Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And Eighty-Two Years Later, I'm Still Sitting Here

I dropped by The House (I've taken to calling it The House until I Officially Move In after I am Officially Wed) to drop off some wedding things and possibly put things in the two organizer baskets I bought for the bathroom closet, and decided that while I am here I could just, you know, real quick like, check my email and maybe peek at our registries (which I hear you're not supposed to peek at until after the wedding, but I have never been one to ignore opportunities to ruin the surprise), and pretty soon it turned into reading every website I ever read even occasionally, and now suddenly I am considering doing some online window shopping for apartments in France. Perhaps this is just what happens when I get distracted from my endless to-do list. Or perhaps it's what happens when I've had nothing more than coffee, granola, and a piece of chocolate loaf to eat all day. Come to think of it, I am feeling a little faint. Maybe I should sit here a bit longer and recover.

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In an homage to my childhood love of the Smurfs, I went for the blue polish today at my pedicure. I had this great plan to take a photo and, now that my very own computer is finally up and running, actually post the photo to flickr or something and let you all take a peek at the kind of color only a twelve-year-old girl could truly love. However, today's pedicure was not only lacking in leg/foot massage finesse, but also in polishing skill. Dude had no idea what he was doing (yes, he, I got a man pedicurist), and all the ladies were sitting around watching Vietnamese soap operas. At one point during what was supposedly the massage portion of the pedicure, I looked over to see the youngest of the trio of soap fans tearing up a bit. What really annoyed me, though, was that it seemed that none of them had any interest in interacting with their customers. While the ladies at my Connecticut nail salon were not chatters, they always greeted me warmly and smiled at me when I looked up from my magazine. This place was not about to be wasting their time with idle chatter, or with a brief neck massage while my poorly-applied polish began to dry. I don't miss much about Connecticut, but I do miss Star Nails. And as far as I'm concerned, Nail Place at Ward Parkway Mall (I didn't pay attention to the name, honestly) can suck it. I won't be going back.

Oh, and PS, also they razored off some of my callouses, which is not a good idea, but I am too much of a wimp in those sorts of situations to tell them to STOPPIT NOW. So. Two thumbs down, please do not be going there and keeping their sorry excuses for pedicurists rolling in cash.

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Things for the wedding seem to be coming along fairly well. In the middle of the night, when I can't sleep because I can feel my list staring at me from inside my backpack, I sing a different tune, but for now I feel like it's going to be all right, that I can get everything done without collapsing in a heap. Of course, maybe that's the coffee and chocolate cake talking. If that's the case, I suppose the only thing to do is to have iced mochas and chocolate cake every day. It will save my sanity, I am certain.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We Should Have Gone to Vegas

That or Niagara Falls.

Weddings are HARRRRRRD. Just when you think you have all your ducks in a row, they start swimming in circles and plunging beneath the surface, possibly meeting their doom in the murky waters below. About that time, you begin to realize that, hey, these aren't really ducks. They're cats. And not the weird kind that like to swim and have been known to rescue humans, either.

I mistakenly thought that since I pretty much know what I want and started my planning before we were even engaged that things would fall into place and go pretty easily, but I am here tonight to tell you, that, oh, internet, I was wrong. Because to be right there would have to be no one on this earth except me and people who exist to do my bidding and agree wholeheartedly with everything I decide, and it seems that this is not the case. I mean, there are a lot of people doing my bidding, but...well. It also turns out that there are a lot of people with opinions and, oh, I don't know, lives of their own or something, who are not carrying on their existence for the sole purpose of making our wedding go off without a hitch. I KNOW. INJUSTICE! And to top it off, my skin hates me. It hates me in a deep, cystic acne, inflammatory way, which is exactly what I need two and and a half weeks before my wedding, don't you think?

On the upside, though, (the really huge! fantastic! amazing! upside!) I am home. I spent a few days here in Kansas City hanging with Jarod (as well as Jack and Mary Liz, serendipitously enough) before heading out to Colorado with my mom, where not only did I get to hang out in cooler weather, I also got to witness someone getting stitches in the Pikes Peak Marathon finish line tent. It pays to volunteer right next to the medical services area, especially when it's a fairly puke free race. (I did see one guy, the third place finisher, doubling over, and in an impressive display of speed and grace, a med volunteer managed to place a garbage bag beneath him in time to catch the offending substance.) I felt a little strange not seeing the summit this year, and also a little jealous when I saw the way cool jackets the finishers got, but ultimately I had to admit that there was just no way I could have done it. I wouldn't have trained properly, and then it would have been me on one of those cots in the med area, hooked up to an IV, waiting for an ambulance to take me away.

And now it's all wedding all the time. There will be a few Starbucks-soaked mornings, for sure, but for the most part I'll be working hard to get all those cats out of the pond and herded into kitty cat-shaped kitty tents, where they will be nice and cozy. I'll also be working hard not to be a total bridezilla, as there are so many people helping out and I would be the rudest person on the planet not to acknowledge and appreciate their contributions. To that end I am offering special Gold Star Awards to those persons who have gone above and beyond. The first two Mary muses Wedding Extravaganza Gold Star Award winners are the following fabulous people:

1. My fiance, who patiently puts up with a lot of crap and still wants to marry me anyway. He has listened to every little fear and nagging worry (not to mention plently of ridiculous complaints), has driven me all over the place so I can get what I need, and he didn't even bat an eyelash when he heard to total price of the skincare system I purchased today. (I personally had heart palpitations when the total was announced, but he was cool as a cucumber.) He's a good man, that's for sure.

2. My friend Nicole, who totally saved us from a cakeless wedding. Nicole is invaluable to me as a friend, and really deserves a big gold star every day of the week, but for this she deserves an extra super huge one. I am in awe of her quick thinking and resourcefulness, and I am indebted to her listening ear and encouraging spirit.

Congratulations, lucky winners. Now tally ho or sally forth or something. We've got a wedding to put on.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

In Honor of This Momentous Occasion, I Have Had My Toenails Painted a Godawful Shade of Orange

It's also sparkly. What am I? Seven?

My last day of work was yesterday, but I stayed an extra day here in Connecticut because Al has insisted since way back in the wintertime that I come to the county swim meet to watch him swim. So I stayed, and I went, and I watched. And it was good. He worked hard all season to improve his swimming in every way possible, and it paid off with firsts in all his events (butterfly, backstroke, freestyle). I'm really proud of him, not for winning, really, but for the effort and focus it took him to get that good. I am terribly glad I stayed the extra day here to watch him, even though it does mean I don't get to fly Midwest this time. (No fresh baked cookies! No roomy leather seats! AND I have a layover! I KNOW! SACRIFICE!)

But I suppose it doesn't matter what airline I fly. I am getting to go home. After all these months, I am landing in Kansas City not just to turn around and leave again in a few days, but to stay for a good long time. And that? Feels wonderful.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Feel Sad Every Time It Crosses My Mind, Which is Often

This past Friday my dear friend Sheldon, who many of you know either personally or through attending the New Earth Coffeehouse way back when, fell twenty-five feet while painting his house. He has fractured his T5 vertebrae, his clavicle, and four ribs. He is lucky to be alive and without injury to his head. However, the doctor has told Sheldon that he will be in pain due to this injury for the rest of his life. Those of you who know Sheldon may know that he has suffered from another back condition for quite some time and has dealt with a great deal of chronic pain already; I'm sure that you can imagine that it would be disheartening to hear that, after years of already dealing with great physical pain, you'll be facing even more. Please join me in praying for him and for his family at this difficult time. In addition, if you are interested in offering some financial support at a time when it will obviously be impossible for Sheldon to work, please email me at marymuses at gmail dot com. Sheldon is one of the kindest and most patient people I know, and it is my wish to support him and his family, who I love very much, in any way possible at this time.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Brought to You by Captain Obvious

Al: Do you know where Reggie's underwater cave is?

Al's friend: No.

Al: It's underwater.

Ba-dum-CHING

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For those of you keeping track at home (like my brother), my page count now exceeds 2600. However, to be fair and honest, I must disclose that it's not anything weighty (unless we're counting actual weight) such as theology or philosophy. I may be winning the page count race, but my brother wins the cerebral reading award by a long shot. I was just catching up with Harry Potter. I dropped off after reading the fourth book, simply because that's the last one that Jack and Mary Liz owned that I could borrow from their shelves. So five, six, and seven still needed my attention, and, being near at hand, they got it. I'm all caught up now, right down to the very last page of the series.

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And then there was one. Week, that is. Of work! Before I go home! Often when I am driving hither and yon on some work related errand, I get to thinking about how I won't be driving those same roads multiple times a day anymore, and it seems odd. A good kind of odd, but odd nevertheless. This has been my life for the past fourteen months, driving a minivan, living in a room above the garage, taking a train into the city...and now I'm moving on. That's a good thing.

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Speaking of taking a train into the city, this weekend will mark my last New York City excursion, at least of the sort where I leave my home base in Connecticut and take a train in every weekend. I know I've said it many times, but I will miss that very much. But the tradeoff of being home, of having a more relaxed life, of hanging out every day with the man I love--well I'm definitely getting the sweetest part of the deal there, no question. So tomorrow I'll visit some of my favorite spots, and I'll pick up a few last minute gifts and souvenirs, and I'll most likely console myself with a chocolate mousse cup on the way back to Connecticut.

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One more week. Oh, dear, that makes me incredibly happy.