Saturday, July 25, 2015

We Went to British Columbia and All I Got Was... Badass

For those of you who have been living under a rock, or who have simply blocked me from your Facebook feed because of my incessant narcissistic posts, I wanted to share with you that I recently went on vacation... and the most amazing thing happened.

We went to Whistler, British Columbia. That's all the way in Canada, you guys! It's a "province" (like that's a real thing). The whole trip was kind of a lark that happened due to my poor impulse control. Back in April I was recovering from a very minor outpatient procedure to remove a small Tyrannosaurus rex from my left ovary, but that’s a story for another blog (and let’s face it, I’m reaching the age where a blog in which I discuss my old person medical issues is pretty much on the near horizon, not to be a tease). So on that Saturday night back in April, we were making Chicken Tikka Masala and drinking copious amounts of wine and talking about potential places to travel when The Boy decided to take the dogs outside for a quick walk. While he was gone, I surreptitiously booked a 5-night stay in a suite at Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler. Cuz that, friends and neighbors, is how I roll.

And sometimes my character flaws pay off.

The trip was spectacular food for the soul. Neither of us actually realized how much we miss the mountains since moving from Colorado to the Seattle area last year. And we did the right combination of planned activities (the Planning Tribe for the win!) and spontaneous ones. We hiked, we kayaked with beavers and over beaver dams with a particularly dreamy Frenchman named Morgan, we jet-boated UP a whitewater river in a boat piloted by a legitimate extreme skiing celebrity, we took a chairlift over a sheer vertical cliff at 7300 feet straight to the top of Whistler Mountain that took my breath away, and we ate outrageously good food.  

And somewhere in all of this outdoorsy and foodie goodness, I had a breakthrough.

Some of you know I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life, and some of you know that I have a genetic heart disorder called cardiomyopathy that makes physical activity rather difficult for me (in fact, there are many things I’m not even “allowed” to do, like jogging or lifting anything over 20 lbs). Some of you know that I was told 13 years ago that I likely had a 25% chance at 10 more years. To put it in layman’s terms, on an average day I do everything you do, but I do it with 1/3 of the heart that you have. There are times in my life where I wish so badly that you could spend 30 minutes in my body, walking uphill. I wish so badly that you could see that I’m out of breath not because I’m out of shape (although I am) or overweight (guilty as charged) but because my poor giant fucked up heart is only capable of giving me 1/3 of the oxygen that your heart is giving you.

Most days, this is a source of keen embarrassment for me. I do the usual tricks to try and mask that I’m out of breath and desperately need to stop doing whatever it is that I’m doing. I usually don’t tell you that I have pain shooting up my left arm—the kind of sharp and panic-inducing pain that would make an average and sane person stop and say “holy shit, I think I’m having a heart attack”—because I’m ashamed. Because I don’t want to have to discuss my genetic misfortune with you and because I know that most of you will think I have heart problems because I’m overweight—even though the truth is that I am overweight in large part because I have heart problems. I can’t do boot camps or Crossfit or whatever other extreme weight loss thing you talk incessantly about on Facebook. You know what I can do? Die.

Or not. And mostly I choose not.

While we were in Whistler, The Boy found a great 5-mile “moderately difficult” hike for us on the now-aptly named Cougar Mountain called the “Ancient Cedar Trail.” Easy-peasy, right? Well for you, yes. For me, “moderate” means extremely difficult, especially if any portion of the hike is uphill, and this one—being on a mountain—was almost definitely going to be uphill. On the way to the trailhead, I managed my anxiety by reminding myself that The Boy is incredibly patient and understanding when I need to stop and catch my breath. I reminded myself that I’ve been shocked once before by the defibrillator implanted in my chest and that it wasn’t that bad and that if it happened on the hike, I’d be fine. I reminded myself that I’m not a hostage and can stop and turn around and go back to the car at any time. And then I set my mind to it that I would do no such thing and that no matter how hard this hike was, by God, I was finishing it. I’m stubborn like that.

It was beautiful. The flora and terrain in the Whistler area are so like Colorado, but so different. And the dry air, after the humidity of Seattle, was fantastic (good hair!). True to form, the first third of the hike was steeply inclined and required numerous stops for me to catch my breath. During each of these stops we were attacked by clouds of giant, ravenous, biting horseflies—or as I came to think of them, “Nature’s Little Encouragers.” They definitely kept us moving at a decent clip. I am not even kidding when I tell you that we each got really great swats in against these pterodactyl-like things and while they were shaken, they lived to bite another day.

The worst part of the hike was a fairly short but stupidly steep section of trail that was composed entirely of softball-sized limestone rocks. It was almost my undoing. But I slowed my pace, took tiny steps, and swore to myself that it wouldn’t defeat me. And it didn’t. In fact, once past that section, I found a shaded stump on which to sit and carried on a lively if rather delirious conversation with a biting horsefly in which I found myself screaming things like “Go ahead, DO IT! Bite me! I WILL END YOU!” Seriously, The Boy was several switchbacks ahead of me and called back with some alarm to make certain I was okay. It’s like he doesn’t know me at all.

(Sidenote: My tiny steps got me to thinking that I could create a new fitness craze called Geishacize. You heard it here first, you guys!)

Sweet, sweet stump.
Eventually we got to the giant ancient cedars and they were incredible. Incredible, and yet strangely beside the point. Because this hike, for me, wasn’t about seeing 1,000 year old trees with 30-foot circumferences. This hike was about being able to do this hike.

You see, we don’t know when I’m going to get worse, we just know that I probably will. We don’t know when I will no longer be able to do these things because I’m in heart failure, we just know that the time will come. And I long ago chose not to be bitter about that but rather to let it propel me farther and to let it push me to do more, see more…all while I can.

We passed probably 8 other human beings on this hike; some lovely Asian women from the UK, a group of polite and fastidiously-dressed Germans, a May/December couple from Australia, a heavily-tattooed youngish couple in inappropriate footwear who sounded like they were from the Midwest. It occurred to me only later that each time we greeted these other hikers they likely looked at me and saw a heavy-breathing and moderately sweaty fat girl (but with a “pretty face!”) and her long-suffering but fit boyfriend. And on the heels of that thought was the realization that until now, that’s how I’ve seen myself. I’ve spent decades self-loathing and hating this body I’m in and thinking all manner of negative thoughts about my physical shortcomings…just constantly bashing myself in a never-ending and very familiar litany of stinkin’ thinkin’.

But not that day. That day, I realized I’m a freaking badass.

I am a warrior.

I have died 4 times. And I’m still here.

I am a woman who was perhaps dealt a cruel hand when it comes to hearts, but who has decided to embrace the time she has left and who refuses to miss a single beautiful thing because it’s physically difficult to get there. I decided that instead of hating these chunky, graceless thighs and these wobbly upper arms and yes, this soft little belly that I sometimes feel moving independently of me when I walk—I should love them. They allow me to do wonderful things. They carry me through this life, they shovel delicious food into my mouth and let me see and do and experience what so many people will never get to see or do or experience.

And that is amazing.

I am freaking amazing.

And I will no longer be dismissed as a “fat girl.” Not by you.

And far more importantly, not by me.

An organism that has endured and triumphed against all odds.
Also pictured: A 1,000 year old cedar.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

If You Read This After Monday, It May Be Too Late

In October 2011, I published a post called “Cyborg, YouBorg, We All Borg” that illustrated the folly of setting forth my “Death Demands” before the heart surgery I had in 2010. Well, it’s 2015 and I’m going back under the knife on Monday morning, so it’s like déjà vu all over again.

I still don’t have a will (see # 5 below) so I thought I should likely publish my updated list of Demands as I’m sure that what I write in this blog is totally legally binding and besides, it’s a little late to engage an attorney at this point, unless watching last week’s DVR’d episode of “Better Call Saul” will suffice. (Spoiler alert: It was awesome. Fuck Chuck. I hope this show is available in the Afterlife.)

As you may know, despite how outwardly… um, robust… I appear, I’m actually rather a delicate flower for whom garden variety surgery is a tad more fraught with danger than it is for your average bear. (And by the by, I’ve known bears, and they are decidedly not average.) This was reinforced for me this week when the anesthesiologist assigned to my case took one look at my chart and said what I imagine to be the professional medical equivalent to “Oh, HELL no.” Since that time, my life has been one giant circus (mmmm... popcorn!) of running to various superfluous doctor appointments to jump through various medical hoops to prove that Real Life Me is quite a bit different than Medical Chart Me. Seriously, this dude is going to feel so stupid when I saunter into the operating room on Monday and the scariest thing about me is my thighs. Or my hair in this ridiculous humidity.

All of this hoop-jumping has me on red alert and if I’m being totally honest, yes, I’m making a big joke of it here because I’m pretty terrified that I’m going to die on Monday. And of course my way of dealing with just about anything I'm concerned about is to mock it to the nth degree. <-- OMG, Look at me, doing math and stuff! So here they are, my updated Death Demands. Learn ‘em. Love ‘em. And for God’s sake, abide by them unless you want me to haunt you. Because I’m just crazy enough to do it, you guys.

  1. I have one small life insurance policy. It’s a Term Life policy, but I have no idea what that means in terms of payout. The Boy is, of course, the beneficiary—and once the police have ruled out foul play (hey, I watch "Dateline" and to be fair, he is kinda shifty), give the man his payday. God knows he’s suffered for long enough.
  2. I think I may also have a life insurance policy through my company.  I don't know how to tell and I refuse to log into my work computer the weekend before I die. I’m taking this stand right now mostly so that at my funeral, you can all discuss how I was a woman of principle.
  3. I have a 401(k), but I don't really know what that is or what happens to it unless I do something with it upon retirement, which clearly isn’t going to happen if you’re revisiting this list after about 11:00 a.m. on April 6.
  4. I own some stock. I’m not sure if there is a beneficiary for stock or 401(k)s  because I’m stupid about that stuff. But assuming that The Boy isn’t in foul play cahoots with the medical staff, he should get it all.
  5. I do not have a Will.  But damned if I haven't always had a Way.
  6. When I survive this surgery and feel sheepish about posting this blog, remind me to get my financial and legal shit together. Note to yourselves: You failed to do this in 2010 and look where that gotten us?
  7. Also, remind me to get some principles.
  8. "Vegetable" is not a good look for me-- you know how I even hate candid photos or photos taken from my “bad side” (pffft—like I have one!).  If I go all brain-dead and drooley, pull the plug.  I am not kidding.  Plug the plug or I will haunt you.
  9. I wish to be cremated. I’d like my ashes mixed together with Chanel’s (her ashes are in my safe) and to have both of us taken back to Colorado and scattered from what The Boy calls “Jake’s Rock” on our favorite hike in Pike National Forest. This will be the first time I’ll ever get there without breaking a sweat and honestly, I’m kind of excited by the prospect. You know how I deplore sweating.
  10. I would prefer a cocktail party to a funeral.   It should be catered.  There should be an open bar (premium liquor only) and definitely a champagne toast (I'm picturing many of them). Please no baby corn (it’s just weirdly unnatural) or deviled eggs on the buffet and no carnations in the arrangements. You must make sure this is a festive thing—I wish to be celebrated, not mourned.
  11. Celebrate me, dammit!
  12. Please find the absolute best photo of me possible and put it in a frame in lieu of a viewing. I should look thin in this photo, so Photoshop it if necessary. There will be no “viewing” of my dead body. If you let there be a viewing, see #8 above because I will completely haunt your asses.
  13. There are many songs that must be played at my cocktail party:
    1. Good Riddance, by Green Day
    2. I Won’t Back Down, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    3. I’m Gonna Live Forever, by Billy Joe Shaver
    4. Say, by John Mayer
    5. Amazing Grace
    6. You Make My Dreams Come True, by Hall & Oates
    7. Uptown Funk, by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
    8. Pussy Control, by Prince
  14. Everyone, and I mean everyone, must furiously 80s dance to #f above.
  15. Vicki & Tracye must choreograph a line dance to #g above prior to the party, and all of the ladies must participate at the party. This means you, Priscilla. I know how you feel about dancing in public… but just dance like nobody’s watching. (No one is, they’re all staring at their phone screens.)
  16. I chose #h only for how uncomfortable it will make everyone. And that shit is funny.
  17. I understand that Mom and Dad will want a religious service and that’s okay too. Please be sure they use 1 Corinthians 15:55 and Psalm 27:1 (my absolute favorite). Also, maybe leave out that Prince song from #13 above.
  18. But I want a cocktail party.
  19. If there is an obituary, please make me sound more important and wonderful and happy in death than I was in life. See #11 above. And use the photo from #12. If you’re not going to spring for the additional cost of the photo, I will haunt you.
  20. There are some things in my bedside table that I would prefer no one else see. Second drawer. Ideally, The Boy will be too devastated to remember this, so take care of it for him.
  21. Don't judge me for #20.
  22. I made a casserole for The Boy to munch on while he takes care of me post-op. It's in the freezer in the laundry room. Since he's undoubtedly too devastated to eat, someone will need to eat that. Maybe put it on the buffet. I hate to see food go to waste. See principles referenced above.
  23. If he's not devastated and is instead happily devouring that casserole, don't rule out foul play.
  24. I did not have time to get my hair colored prior to my surgery and I refuse to enter the Afterlife with grey temples. Please engage Kelsey at the Silverdale location of Gene Juarez to take care of that. She's a genius with hair color and I'm sure will take no umbrage with processing my hair once I'm dead. She'll likely appreciate the silence and not having to tell me to stop moving my head.
  25. I love you all beyond measure… Time, distance and death will never, ever change that.
Okay, not to be morbid or anything, but should Jesus take the wheel on Monday and decide to run this car off a bridge (which is kind of how I always imagined I’d die), I am relying on you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Adventures in Dating, Episode 10: The Boy Meets The Girl

This is the 12th installment of my Adventures in Dating series, and yet somehow only episode 10.  It's like I'm paying homage to my adorable inability to do math.  You can dig on episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 6, 7 , 7 revisited, 8 and 9 here.  

I've been teasing you for a very long time with the lead up to this story, which is probably why it has taken me so long to write it. I've built this blog post into something epic in my mind...and in reality, it's a simple and common little tale told the world over: Boy Meets Girl. Or in this telling, The Boy meets The Girl.

It might have escaped your notice, but I haven't posted a blog in a year. During that time, much like you, I haven't read any of my former entries, so I thought perhaps to get ourselves back into the groove we shared when I was a blogging fool, we'd rehash things a bit. In the late Summer of 2010, I was back on the dating scene for the first time since 1990. To say my dating skills were rusty would be tantamount to saying the Grand Canyon is a quaint little gulley. So I did 6 months of hard time on the absolute freak show that was, had one date with a tangerine-colored man from eHarmony and had all but given up on ever finding love. Or the perfect pair of black pants.

But I digress.

And then in March 2011 I received an inquiry on eHarmony from a dimpled, blue-eyed software engineer with a profile photo that purported to show both a love of dogs and an interest in reading. It's not that the bar was set that low, because yes, there are a lot of men out there who love dogs and reading (and I'd dated most of the available ones in the Denver area), it's just that, I don't know, there was something there. It wasn't actually IN his profile, but his profile hinted at it. I'm a man of character. I will keep you safe. I will tolerate your ridiculous puns and outrageously cold feet.

My first glance: I will admit to being vaguely concerned about the sheep skin.

 So I did what any rational woman would do: I ignored him. For two weeks.

And then finally, after Yoda (my shrink) pushed a little harder than maybe a detached therapist should (people attach to me, dunno why), I responded to him. Unlike, which allows you to IM with the grotesquely horny sort of stranger who invites you over right then "to watch football" the first time you ever have contact, eHarmony puts you through your paces. eHarmony cares not for your instant gratification, sort of like that abrasive Patti Stanger on "Millionaire Matchmaker" who is always screaming at rich people about "no sex before monogamy" but with less screaming and fewer strangely cheap-looking clothes. Seriously, rayon much?

So this supposed dream boat of a bookish dog lover sent me 5 questions to answer. They were multiple choice, but with the option to write in another answer. The only question I actually remember was an inquiry into the depths of my financial responsibility. And anyone who knows anything about me in 2010 would know that my idea of financial responsibility was to empty my paltry savings account because White House Black Market was having a pencil skirt sale and it would be irresponsible to miss out on all of those "savings."

Still, I was trying to become more responsible (or at least dress the part) and so I answered honestly by saying something like I was reformed grasshopper, learning to become an ant. Get it? Aesop's Fables... yep, I read too! Of course, that was one of my childhood books, but clearly the lesson had stuck with me. At least in principle, if not truly in practice. (I also remember that one of the stories had something to do with a fox trying to drink out of a wine glass, which honestly, explains a lot.) Pleased with myself, I sent him 5 questions too. Not because I was actually into that, but because I wanted to put him through the exercise. He replied with his answers, which were all perfectly fine, if perhaps not as poetic as mine, and then he sent me some other hoop through which to jump.

By this time, I had been on the dating scene for about 8 months and I was smack-dab out of patience. So I sent him an email in which I nicely said something like "Look, I really don't have time for this. If you want to talk to me, here is my home number." (It should be noted that to this day, he swears I didn't actually say it all that nicely.) And then I hit send.

About 10 minutes later, my phone rang. And of course I didn't answer. Seriously, I didn't mean NOW. He left a voice mail and I liked the sound of his voice-- so friendly and open, in the same way his eyes were so kind in that profile photo. So a respectable time later that clearly said "I'm busy, I've got a lot going on, but I'm happy to hear from you," I called him back.

I was about to write that it was a memorable conversation, but then I realized I don't really remember what we talked about. What I do remember is that the conversation flowed easily, he was obviously very intelligent, and his quick wit made me laugh. We agreed to chat again, and when I hung up the phone that night, I was feeling cautiously optimistic that I'd get to gaze directly into those kind blue eyes, and likely very soon. Considering that, days before, I had forecast a lifetime of traveling the world solo in a caftan like Mrs. Roper while regaling strangers with photos of my many costumed cats  (who would, no doubt, eat me when I died alone in my home)...this was a promising turn.

And that's where I'll leave you for now. Because maybe it is epic, after all.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Wilby

His name was Roger.

We met in junior high home room, on the first day of 8th grade. I was the new kid, and probably the weird kid, my first year in public school after seven years in parochial. I was nervous and alone and knew I didn't fit in and I was terrified no one was going to like me. He sat next to me and was kind and open and funny. We became friends. He was my first junior high friend, the first to extend a hand and make me feel welcome and a little more safe.

In the 9th grade, I went to his birthday party. It was one of those make-out, 7-Minutes-in-the-Closet things and I had a big crush on another boy whose name I no longer remember.Olivia Newton-John's song "Magic" was playing when I arrived at the party and I remember Roger watching me walk into the room, smiling ear-to-ear. And not long after the party, he told me that a boy had a crush on me but he wouldn't reveal who it was. I hoped and hoped it was the now long-forgotten boy... only for Roger finally to admit that it was actually him. That HE had a crush on me.

It was sweet and painful because he was clearly in the friend zone and I didn't feel the same. But we stayed friends anyway. And then we went to different high schools and grew apart.

My sophomore year in college I remember sitting in my Micro-Economics class and watching this gorgeous guy walk into the auditorium. I very clearly remember thinking "sit by me, sit by me!" and being so happy when he looked me directly in the eyes as he approached me with a big smile and open arms, shouting "ANNIE!" It was Roger. And my, how he had changed. He wasn't the chubby boy from junior high anymore. And he was so happy to see me. I couldn't believe my luck.

I was living in the sorority house at the time and I remember getting ready for our first date. ABC's "Be Near Me" was playing and I was singing along "All my dreams came true last night, all my hopes and fears..." and thinking that maybe this was it. That maybe he was going to be the love of my life.

I had no idea how absolutely right and completely wrong I was.

We went out on a couple of dates and then things just fizzled. I can remember us driving around in my little red RX7, listening over and over to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" and singing at the top of our lungs. We were so young, so full of life and possibility.

By the time I turned 20, we had both dropped out of school. I was living in my first apartment and had just had a huge falling out with a group of girlfriends. I was pretty much alone again in the world for the first time since 8th grade and so desperately lonely...and one night after going to see the musical "Cats" with my family, I called him out of the blue. I had wept through "Memory" at the show and for some reason it made me think of him and so I just called, not knowing what his response would be.

"ANNIE!" he yelled into the telephone, so happy to hear from me, so happy to reconnect. We started seeing each other again and one thing led to another and then we were dating. I was friendless and alone one moment... and in the next moment there he was and my life was full and happy again. He picked me up, dusted me off and made me feel loved and worthy again, always with that brilliant smile, those beautiful blue eyes, that amazing brain, that quick wit.

One of our favorite movies was "Mr. Mom" and in the film we both loved Kenny's relationship with his blanket. In hindsight I think it was named "Wooby," but at the time we thought it was "Wilby" and that's what we started calling each other: Wilby. And that's what we were to each other: Safety and security in a world that was suddenly so large and so frightening. Wilby was also a play on words. It meant "you will be mine, always." We clung to each other and though I thought we were happy, years later a look through my "Roger Box" (a shoebox full of momentoes from our relationship) revealed a very tumultuous relationship...and by then I knew why.

Roger was gay. When he shared that with me, I was devastated. He didn't want to be gay. He didn't want a life on the outside (this was 1987). He wanted a wife and a family and the white picket fence and the PTA and ALL of those things. And he wanted it with me...but he couldn't live a lie anymore. Our breakup was terrible and we stopped speaking for many years. And as much as it hurt (and as much as I didn't understand it at the time), I still always missed him. Because he was mine. Always.

I got married and divorced. And then married again. And in 2007 just before moving to Colorado, I met Roger for sushi. We had such a nice evening, catching up on each other's lives, reveling in our successes, comforting each other over our losses. It was so great to see him again. He was just that man that I felt instantly comfortable with... he was still my Wilby and yes, I was still his. We became Facebook friends and followed each other's lives from an admitted distance, but we were still bonded.

I moved and divorced again. Fell in love with a wonderful man and moved in with him and watched Roger do many of the same things via Facebook. Last Fall after the break-up of a long-term relationship, Roger and I chatted online a great deal. He was hurting and floundering and planning on coming to visit me, to get away from it all, to come to my mountain hideout and do some soul-searching. I was so excited for him to meet The Boy, I really thought they'd like each other as they shared so many qualities, not the least of which was their ability to make me feel safe and loved. But then Roger met someone new and the trip never happened.

He privately messaged me on New Year's Eve, telling me he had proposed to his new love in London and he was over the moon that he said yes. I congratulated him and he wished me a Happy New Year. The last thing I said to him was "I love you."

And then last night he died.

My sweet Wilby, the one my heart kept returning to over the course of 34 years, one of the very few men in the world who ever made me feel safe, special and loved... he's gone. There won't be another reunion. I won't see that smile again. I'll never hear his enthusiastic "ANNIE!" again. It always felt like we'd have another chance, that there would never be an end, that we'd keep finding each other over and over and over and finding joy in one another each time.

But my Wilby is gone. And I'm alone in this grey city... so far from The Boy. So far from anything that feels remotely safe or anything like my home. I don't have my photos of Roger, I don't have my Roger Box. All I have are memories...and a heart suddenly so very empty in a world that no longer seems as safe.

Godspeed, Wilby. If I can't find you again in this life, I promise I will in the next.

Rest in Peace, my beautiful Wilby. June 1, 1966 - February 16, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Homecoming... and Homegoing

I sat outside on the front porch today and just looked and listened.

Our front yard in Colorado
I looked at Long Scraggy and remembered the first time I saw it in April 2011, so excited about the possibility of finally finding real and lasting love. And I remembered the last time I saw it, a month ago, through the tears of a woman completely panicked about leaving behind one life and beginning another.

I listened, and I remembered after a month in a concrete jungle exactly what my home sounds like. If you've been here before and have stolen a few private moments outside, you know what I'm talking about. You hear absolutely nothing except the wind in the trees...and at this time of year, you hear the wind in the trees and the sound of melted snow trickling between the boards of the deck and dripping off of the roof.

It's the sound of nothing and it's the sound of everything. And after 30 days of hearing the harshness of car horns and sirens and people yelling at each other on the street, it's heartbreakingly beautiful. After all these weeks of not hearing anyone say my name, of not feeling the warm touch of someone who truly has my best interests at heart, of sleeping alone and uncuddled and sitting lonely and alone in a well-appointed but sterile corporate apartment...and especially after a beautiful weekend spent with the man I love and our furry family, I have to leave again in 2 hours. I have to once again walk out of the house where we shared our first kiss, drive away from the kiddos who clearly miss me so much, and fly away from the mountains I accepted as a gift and from the man who gave them to me.

Leaving again so soon, it's just kind of overwhelming. I didn't anticipate I'd feel this way today when I boarded Friday's plane so full of excitement and anticipation. I gave no thought to how hard it would be to leave again so soon.

I know how lucky I am. I know what the new job at the new company means for my career. I know I will soon be moving into a beautiful new dream house that I get to furnish and that I will grow to love. I know that in two months, my family will join me and we'll turn that house into our home. And I know that The Boy and I will have all new adventures being tourists in our new city and new state.

I know all that. 

It just seems so far away. So very far away.
And sometimes it just feels like all of this change is going to eat me alive.

Tomorrow, I will wake up and look out on this cold and lonely new life again... and I'll wait. I'll wait for my family to come to me, I'll look at all of the animal hair I brought home on my clothes, I'll smell The Boy on my skin, and I'll remember what my home sounds like.

My front yard in Seattle

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On Platypuses & Buttercream Frosting

In keeping with the sharing that's going on over in Facebookland, here are 16 things that I bet absolutely nobody knows about me... because they aren't true. That did not stop them from making me belly laugh. Special thanks to The Boy for his many contributions to this list.

1. As a child I had a pet platypus named Corky.
2. I have 6 toes on my right foot and often have to pay an additional fee when getting a pedicure. I affectionately refer to my 6th toe as Anne Toeleyn and sometimes dress it in ruffled collars.
3. I'm deathly afraid of heights, which is why I'm only 5'2".
4. I once punched David Spade in the throat during an argument over an egg salad sandwich.
5. In my early 20's, I actually knew a man from Nantucket.
6. I suffer from Hypertrichosis ("Werewolf Syndrome") and shave my entire body up to 16 times per day.
8. I wrote the jingles for "You're Gonna Love Love My Carpet," "By Mennen," and "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee."
9. Each year I hand make all of my Christmas gifts. Last year I gave my Dad a TV.
10. My sweat tastes like buttercream frosting.
11. In 2010 I went on a date with The Most Interesting Man In The World...He bored me.
12. I was born on an Indian reservation in New Jersey. My Indian name is "Pork Chop."
13. I once fed a fig & goat cheese crepe to a Sperm Whale. It was magical.
14. Until the age of 13, I slept standing up. I thought everyone did!
15. In high school, I was a competitive Hog Caller. For reasons I don't understand, my nickname was "Sweet Lou." There is a recording of one of my hog calls in the Smithsonian (in the "Americana" exhibit).
16. I don't own a TV or a computer, so I'm not sure who this Miley Cyrus child is, but I sure dig her chutzpah.
Bonus thing:
17. I don't really speak Yiddish, so I don't know what "chutzpah" means.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

This Post is Not Even Remotely About Syria, Slut-Shaming or Miley Cyrus

There are things you don’t know about me.

Even if you follow me on Facebook, where I seemingly blurt out every random thought that appears in my frizzy little head…yes, there are things you don’t know. And shockingly, things I don’t say.

Proof Point #1: The Boy and I were talking about possibly doing something kind of stupid that possibly involves large predatory wildlife the other night and he mentioned that if we DID it, I couldn’t post it to Facebook. I looked at him in all seriousness and said “If I can’t post it to Facebook, why would we even do it?”

Proof Point #2:  Last week we were watching “Orange is the New Black” and there was a scene where two lovely women were making out in a pretty sexy way and I casually asked him if I ever went to jail if he’d mind if I cheated on him with a woman out of sheer loneliness. His eyes lit up like a kid’s on Christmas morning and he (kinda) shouted “You don’t have to wait for prison!” I totally wanted to make that my Facebook status, but I wasn’t sure my parents would see the humor and it’s possible I’ve horrified them enough already. Also? From his response, I think The Boy thinks a stint in prison is something imminent in my future. (Note: Whatever it is or whenever it happens, clearly I WAS FRAMED.)

So yes, there are things I do and things I say that you know nothing about and would likely be either outrageously entertained by or maybe mortified. Either way, I’m holding out on you. Or at least I was, prior to the two Proof Points above. Now maybe you actually do know everything I think.

Whatever the case, there are also things I DON’T do that I keep from you, and one of these is this tasty little nugget: Despite the fact that both cats in our household are Ogg children (and one of them is a decidedly barfy lil guy), I refuse to clean up cat vomit.

There, it’s out. I REFUSE TO CLEAN UP CAT VOMIT.  And I’m really, really good at it-- and clearly not ashamed to admit it.

I think at first The Boy thought he could just wait me out, thought that surely after a few hours or a day or so I’d give in and just clean it up. But NO. I can studiously avoid cat vomit for WEEKS if I have to. That shit can be close to disintegration and I still do not “see” it there on the carpet. Seriously, it’s a gift. Or maybe an art. Or maybe something totally new: A gart.

Which leads me to one of the reasons that I love The Boy so much: He cleans it up. And usually he does so without fanfare or any expectation that I’ll fawn all over him for it (because, eeeewww gross, he just interacted with cat vomit). As I type this, he has just completed shampooing about a dozen different vomit spots in our living room and bedroom and is actually whistling as he lugs the giant shampooer thingie (that I don’t even know how to operate and am unable to actually lift) down the stairs to start on the basement spots.

Seriously you guys, he’s a keeper. 

And clearly so am I. Just to prove it, here's an artfully composed kitteh photo for your viewing pleasure.

Kip: The barfy lil guy.
What I lack in cat vomit-cleaning skills, I MORE than make up for in cat costuming skills!