Thursday, September 29, 2005

look out China!

"Super Typhoon Longwang" is headed your way. Hide your wives and daughters!

I'm getting sick of it too

I apologize for all the wedding talk. I am starting to bore myself, it's not just you. So let's chat for a minute about the best part of the whole wedding: the honeymoon.

Jeremy has never been out of the country (sorry, Canada and the Bahamas just do not count), and we decided we wanted to take a trip on which we could really make some memories, and have a little adventure. So we will be spending our honeymoon, all 10 glorious days of it, in the Central American country of Belize. There it is: just south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. Belize is about the size of Massachussetts, and is an English-speaking democracy. It is becoming a very popular ecotourism destination (and sadly, now that Leonardo deCaprio has bought himself one of it's cayes (aka island, pronounced "keys"), it is sure to become overcrowded with pretentious assholes. But not yet. Not before we get a chance to spend some time hiking in its jungles and snorkeling in its reefs.

We will spend the first half of our trip deep in the jungle, at a wonderful private retreat called Ek'Tun. There we will do some hiking, caving, swimming, and lots of eating of gourmet foods. We will also get to play with howler monkeys, an aspect of the trip that I, a bonafide monkey lover, am particularly looking forward to. We also plan to do a day trip to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal, in Guatemala (pictured).

Then, we will drive to Dangriga, on the southern coast, where we will head by boat 14 miles offshore to a 15-acre island called South Water Caye. The island sits right on top of Belize's barrier reef--the longest continuous reef in the Western hemisphere.
It was also just listed by Travelocity as among the top ten less-traveled beaches in the world. Again, I'm glad we're going now before too many other people catch on. There, we plan to do not much else but snorkel, lie in the hammock, and participate in other, ahem, honeymoon activities which I surely do not need to describe here. J has his SCUBA certification, but I have never dived. I'd like to try it--it seems silly to be in such a world-renowned diving location and not shell out the couple hundred bucks for an intro dive lesson.

So I guess what I'm saying is that perhaps you can look forward to some great jungle adventure stories (hopefully, none of which will include being robbed at gunpoint by a gang of shady's not impossible), and that just might make reading about place cards and seating charts and guests lists bearable for just another week or so...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

do pagans like disco?

So far, we have not met with any disapproval from the minister (my uncle) over the wedding ceremony we designed. Of course, *we* are quite thrilled with it, it is a celebration of love in the spirit of nature, and uses an eclectic mix of passages and traditions (including a short passage I ganked from a ceremony intended for "Pagans who must of necessity be wed in the presence of the uninitiated who are not pagan and are perhaps unaware that the bride and groom are pagan"). Seriously though, I'm not pagan...though if I were religious at all, paganism would probably be a top choice. I just don't go for any of the witchcraft/wicca/superstitious stuff, so I could never seriously get involved with that kind of thing. However, for Jeremy and I, the outdoors is our church, so we have incorporated a lot of nature themes into the ceremony. To US, it is a spiritual ceremony.

So tonight we are set to discuss the ceremony over the phone with the minister, and my biggest fear is that he will ask us if the complete absence of the word "God" in the entire thing was intentional (yeah, kind of). In case you are wondering why we are even bothering with a minister when we have a perfectly good JP standing by, the answer is that while I am not in agreement with the evangelical Christian beliefs of many of my family members, I do not feel that my wedding is the place to actually *snub* them. It's also kind of cool to have someone perform the ceremony that actually knows the bride and/or groom (the standby JP happens to be the mother of the groom*, and we'd actually like her to be able to enjoy herself and watch the ceremony). So...anyway...I hope my uncle is not offended by our lack of desire for a lot of rambling on about the Lord and the Holy Spirit on a day where all we want to do is celebrate our love for each other. (Not in the "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love For You"--courtesy of Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack--kind of way, however). Ours is a funky kind of love, best celebrated by disco music from the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack and a few soulful ballads by the likes of Lou Rawls, Al Green, and Barry White.

*Speaking of the mother of the groom...CT just legalized civil unions, and she may just become the first JP in CT to marry a gay couple. (She was hoping to do this!) Way to go, L!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

18 days until my wedding and:

-My face is breaking out as if I were still 17 and slaving over oil vats as the assistant manager at my dad's ill-fated fried chicken franchise.

-I ate like a pig all weekend, surely plumping myself up just enough so that my dress will refuse to zip.

-My feet are not in the kind of optimal shape I would have preferred.

-Neither are my arms. A regimen of vigorous arm circles and tricep exercises must be put back into place immediately.

-We finally just figured out the ceremony, though we still have to wait and see if our neo-pagan-like choices will be OK'd by the minister (who happens to be my uncle). He did say "I want it to be what you want"...

-I still have placecards, CDs, hair accessories and some decorations to finish. I need to buy a guestbook.

-Our house is a disgusting pit that is even driving J crazy. You know it's bad when a mess can give the man of the house a panic attack.

-I have no idea what I will pack for our half-rainforest/half-island honeymoon (except for camera, swimsuit and snorkeling gear, those have already made the list).

-I am incredibly excited to see all of the family and friends who will be attending.

-I can't believe I am getting married!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dear Walgreens, Please hire more women cashiers.

Last night I was faced with the most unfortunate task of having to purchase an embarrassing feminine hygiene product (EFHP). For the record, it was neither tampons nor a pregnancy test, as I am too old to give a shit about buying the former, and I expect that when it comes time to buy the latter, I will be quite happy about it.

My initial plan of action was to purchase the EFHP at the grocery store, so that it might be safely camouflaged among the healthy, organic foods in my cart ("Look, she's such a healthy eater! This EFHP must be for someone else, as this woman could not possibly need it.") Unfortunately, the grocery store was out of the particular EFHP that I was looking for, and so I was forced to head to the local Walgreens, where I needed absolutely nothing but said EFHP.

In Walgreen's, I meandered first through the cosmetics department, picking up some body lotion so that I would not have to purchase the EFHP by itself. Perhaps the EFHP could just hide underneath the lotion, and no one would even have to know a thing! Yes, that's it. Lotion, in hand, I headed toward the EFHP aisle, which thankfully, was empty. Just as I began to reach towards the EFHP of my choice, I sensed a presence behind me. Surely it was someone just passing by, I thought, as the unspoken drugstore rule is to NEVER stand directly behind anyone selecting condoms, hemmorhoid cream, enemas, or EFHPs.

EFHP in hand, I turned around to find--to my horror--a couple in their early 20s standing literally a foot behind me. They had broken the unspoken drugstore rule! How dare they! To make matters worse, the mirrors along the ceilings allowed me to notice that the male of the couple was staring at me (disgustedly?) as I walked away from him. Cocksucker.

I was so ready to get out of there. So I headed upfront where, not entirely surprisingly, there were no cashiers working the regular registers--only 2 youngish guys checking people out at the photo counter. And I'm sorry, but there was no way I was going to purchase my EFHP at the photo counter! In the end, I flagged down a female cashier who'd been posted at the cosmetics counter but had strayed away to help some old lady pick out vitamins. I think she was trying not to laugh at me after I'd followed her all the way back to the cosmetics department only to plunk down a bottle of lotion and the EFHP. Bitch.

I called my friend S to share in my horror, and she had a suggestion I may follow next time: just buy 5 or 10 of the damned things so you won't have to deal with the humiliation again for a long, long time. And they were on sale last night too. Dammit.

Friday, September 16, 2005

reason #64 I like waking up next to my future husband

The first words I heard this morning from a very groggy J were:

"Oh, you still have your head."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I hate you, Martha. (PS, I love you)

Apparently the urge to become "the woman that does everything more beautifully than you" has overcome me. I am channeling Martha Stewart every night (though she has to beat the crap out of the spirits of Jenny McCarthy and Droopy in order to get in there). I've spent hours with my paper cutter, sticker maker, and spools of ribbon. I've been hunched over trays full of beads: threading them on wires, shaping those wires into flowers, sticking them to tacky tape so I can have votives that perfectly match my color scheme. I've photoshopped and cropped and printed invitations and printed CDs (with the special printer we bought justfor the occasion), and cut and threaded finicky threads into tiny holes. I've become a graphic designer, special event planner, and craftess extraordinaire.

All this for 6 hours of my life, 30 minutes of which will be spent making the transition from single gal to married woman. So I hope you enjoy the placecards and the votives (which you must take with you because I slaved over them) and the color scheme, and I hope the cake is beautiful and the food is tasty. I hope there are no wardrobe malfunctions and that everyone dances and has a swell time and is glad they came. Because in addition to becoming a graphic designer, special event planner, and craftess extraordinaire, somewhere in there I will also have become something that will still seem unbelievable until it happens: A WIFE.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

it's about time...

Big congrats to The New Dr. Ergo on defending her PhD thesis today! It's been a long time coming; we here in the blogosphere are very proud of you ;)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Place: Inside one of those new-fangled, non-stinky, composting pit toilets at the campground.

The Time: After dark.

The Conversation:

J [shining flashlight into the hole]: Is that corn?

Me: Let me see! Oh my god, is that corn? Or is it vomit?

J: Come on, let's go.

Me: Wait, shine it down there again!

J: This is disgusting.

Me: Is there really corn?! I think it might be vomit.

J: [shakes head and walks out]

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I was at church this weekend

red dragonfly
Originally uploaded by polly~magoo.
Camping was just what we needed! I am convinced this red dragonfly is my new personal mascot. Maybe more like my "totem" (which will make sense to you only if you have read "Clan of the Cave Bear").
The first time I ever saw one was last month on my birthday, when one landed right on my hand as I was getting the mail. Then, this weekend, there seemed to be one at almost every turn on the trail. We were having lunch halfway through our 5 and a half mile hike (yes, sometimes we are athletic), when this one rested on a branch right behind us. It sat there long enough for both of us to get several pictures of it. J let me use his telephoto lens for the shot you see here.

I feel so connected with the forest. At night, when the tree frogs sang, I just got this overwhelming sense of being but one creature surrounded by countless other living beings. I felt as if everything around me was lush with life (and it was). Then, I got a glimpse of the stars. You can see so many, and it just makes you feel so small. But instead of a feeling of smallness in the sense that I don't matter, instead, I feel inspired to be a part of this larger being that I can't quite comprehend. Nature is my church, the universe is my god, and I am a part of it. What an incredible feeling.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

into the woods

I'm off for a weekend of camping with J. I can't wait to immerse myself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest. We are supposed to have great views of the Catskills (and Taconics?). We've reserved a waterfront campsite--those were usually not available back in the midwest where I did most of my camping growing up, so it's a special treat. See you when I get back from communing with nature...

Friday, September 02, 2005

I see your true colors, shining through.

So it's finally happened, despite my naivete in thinking it wouldn't: my humble blog has been dragged out from its dark burrow in the recesses of the Internet jungle and into the light of day. It has been discovered, a new species, quite a bit like one that had already been identified, but with subtle distinctive quirks and crass tendencies. One of J's relatives has glimpsed what I stupidly regarded as a semi-private reserve of thoughts.

My first reaction at finding that someone I never expected to enter this world had penetrated it was one of horror. I mean, these people liked me (I hope), and now they know that I use profanity, and laugh at drunk people, and stare at tennis players' asses, and have bachelorette parties with naked strippers, and that I'm lazy at work. What could they possibly think of me now?

But then I started thinking: this may very well be the root of my insecurities. Growing up, my friends' parents always liked me. I was a good student, a "good influence". The guilt I felt when I went out drinking with these friends, or smoked cigarettes with them, or stayed out too late with them, this is the same guilt I felt when I made the decision to move in with J--even though we were engaged, and even though it made no sense to do otherwise--because of my father's disapproval. This is the same guilt I feel when I am in a bad mood and worry that I might have come across as a bitch; my god, how will anyone ever like me again? This is the same guilt I feel when I have said or written something that was taken the wrong way and may have hurt someone, even though I never intended it as such. It is a deep ache that is difficult to resolve because at the heart of it is a fear to let people know who I really am, because if I do, they may not like me anymore.

The irony here is this: One of the things I love best about J's family is that I have always felt that I could be myself around them, and that they really liked me for who I am. I have never tried, or felt the need, to put on airs. In fact, I harbor guilt over this as well, because it is difficult when you realize that you feel more at ease with someone else's family that you do with your own. I am excited that I am becoming a part of their family. The thought that I may have done something to offend one of them is very painful.

So that leads me to this: I am not ashamed of anything I have written here. I am an adult. This is who I am. I swear. I can be pretty crass. I am not easily offended. I am more easily hurt than most people realize. The main purpose for this blog is to be entertaining (not sure if I'm entirely successful at it yet). I try to write things here that make people laugh, with the occasional rant thrown in for good measure. If you know me in person, I hope that I can be true enough to myself every day so that nothing you read here would change your opinion of me. And if it does, I will just have to accept that, because I can not go on feeling like I can only show my full self to some people and hide some parts from others. Because if I can't accept all of myself at once, how can I expect others to do the same?

Thanks to J, who knows me inside and out and loves me anyway.

And to P: I am changing my name because it means a lot to him, not because I have to. Also, it will allow me to fit my full name when I sign receipts and things; I always said I would only date men with short last names! ;)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I am so sick of Connecticut drivers. Yesterday, a guy in a town car tried to pass me on the right, so I sped up a little because passing on the right is a dick move. Mind you, I did not slam on the gas or anything, I just moved up to close the gap a little between me and the car in front of me. Well, Town Car apparently thought that my car was made of magical pixie dust, because he decided he was going to get in the left lane whether or not my car happened to be in his way. I am not kidding, the guy just started pulling over even though we overlapped by half a car length. I layed on my horn, giving a full continuous honk puncuated by a few small ones at the end, for good measure.

What do I get in return? Town Car gave me the air-handjob sign. Now, I expect those kind of responses from little pricks in souped-up Subarus, but this was a man probably at least my father's age. And he had a passenger with him! I have to wonder, did she cheer him on, or tell him to stop driving like a maniac? I'm guessing the former, because later on I spotted him actually straddling the two lanes at a very congested spot in the road, presumably so that he could quickly pick whichever one was moving faster ("8 mph or 10 mph? I must get those extra 2 mph so I won't be late for that seminar on beating my wife more effectively!!"). For all that effort, he never got more than a couple of cars ahead of me over the course of at least 10 miles. Let's just say it's a good thing I don't keep a pellet gun in the car.

Maybe this rant sounds like no big deal to you, but these are the people I deal with every fucking day on my commute. Add to that the fact that gas is now over $3/gallon, and I wonder why the hell I even bother going to work anymore. Especially those days when I sit in my office and am bothered by absolutely NO ONE, not a phone call, nothing. I could totally do my job from home. Thanks for letting me vent :)