Thursday, July 31, 2008

Categories for prizes

We are thinking of giving out prizes for things at our rehearsal dinner. Silly little tokens, not expensive gifts. We've got some ideas but I would love any thoughts.

The point is more to get people talking to each other, to give them a starting point. Because none of our friends know each other, and in fact, we have only met a few of each other's friends. So we thought this might be fun, and might facilitate conversation.

So far, we've come up with a few categories, but we're having a hard time. We thought for each category we'd give out a prize to one of Nick's people and one of mine.

Longest distance traveled to come to the wedding. We have friends coming from some far-flung locations, like Australia, England, Macedonia. . .

Shortest distance traveled. It's in downtown DC - We have friends who can walk there. Or metro one stop.

Friends who have known us the longest.

And that's as far as we've gotten.

Nick was thinking of things like "tells the funniest joke" - but I don't actually want to risk a bunch of long-winded jokes. Or no jokes, which would be worse. He's not averse to having people get up and do stuff, but I don't think I want a contest.

We are considering categories like "most likely to get into trouble this weekend" or thoughts along those lines, but really need some creative help.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How to piss me off in a huge way. Or, find your own warthogs.

I like to think of myself as generous. You can use almost anything of mine. As long as you ask.

But if you use my, oh, blog content, for example, my memories and my words, all without asking, you will make me really, really mad. If you pretend my words are your own, you will piss me the fuck off.

I know for most of us, anyway, the point of blogging is to write. And when I say write, I mean the following: To come up with something and then put it down in your own words. Not, oh, say, MY words. On YOUR blog.

Because doing that, it's called plagiarism. It turns out it's also called copyright infringement. And my friend Dagny pointed out that the good people at Blogger have a place where you can file a complaint.

Because I don't know if you've ever visited a blog that linked to yours (well, which did yesterday - but today, no longer does), started reading a post, and thought, "Wow, that sounds veryvery familiar!"

This was the first time this had happened to me.

The post starts out talking about her third date. In which she goes on to have the exact same conversation with a guy from New Jersey that I had!

The one I wrote about last year!

And when I say exact same? I mean, um, verbatim. Glad you liked the dialogue. Except that it's mine.

What I discovered was that there are several posts that use large chunks of my writing. Verbatim.

So, you know, you can call it "Of doors and rabbit holes," but The One who wasn't the one, the door that was closed over and over - that's MY not-One - not yours. That's MY door! That's MY hurt the size of the Grand Canyon!

And "Warthog theory" - are you fucking kidding me? That's my Warthog Theory Goes Out the Window angst from last July! My warthog theory, and my unicorn! I don't even care if you use the same ideas. Just don't lift my text and pretend it's yours!

Theft always makes you feel violated, but somehow taking ownership of my warthogs, and my devastation over my ex-boyfriend are more galling than someone swiping money from my wallet. It's like someone reached into your brain and your heart and snipped off a little piece of each.

I share all this stuff on LG because I want to. But I don't expect people to take pieces of me and pretend they're theirs.

Who takes your stories and your words and offers them up as their own?

Find your own warthogs. Draw from your own heartbreak. Honestly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The measure of a man who loves you?

"You know I love you immensely."

"Enough to kill for me?"

"Pardon?"

"Do you love me enough to kill for me?"

"Oh. Well, sure, sweetie."

"Who?"

"What?"

"Who would you kill for me?"

"Um. That one woman at your office?"

"OK."

"Or maybe some public figures? If that were what you wanted."

"Oh, that's great."

"Yeah. Maybe I'd waterboard them. And strike deals with them for their lives. And then I'd kill them anyway."

"I..."

"I would do that for you. I'd say 'This one's for Lisa!'"

"Yah, well..."

"And then I'd go ahead and use their credit cards. That's how much I love you."

"Huh."

"Or, maybe I'd dress up in a dangerous outfit, and follow people around until... "

"Yes, good, thank you. That's fine. Thank you. I'm glad to know."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Under the table and other games

So about these bombings in Istanbul. . .

As some of you know, the honeymoon location went back and forth, back and forth. There was seemingly no end in sight, till one of us said, "I've always wanted to go to Turkey!"

Turkey would be perfect. Spendy flights, but affordable lodging and in-country travel. So much history! Great weather! Turkey! So last month, we bought ourselves two tickets to Istanbul.

And though the news lately isn't great, we are not freaking out. But it's not precisely news you want pre-honeymoon either. Realizing, of course, that our honeymoon is not the part that's most tragic about this news.

The story that this triggers is a kind of odd childhood one. It's one that's mine, although really only because I've heard it so many times.

So I don't know how much you know about the history of Bangladesh, but odds are, not a whole lot. We were in Delhi during the war for independence, and as India sided with the rebels in East Pakistan, which then became Bangladesh, India and (then West) Pakistan were at war.

I turned two that summer, and I feel like I remember the blackouts, but these probably aren't memories but visuals created from hearing the stories. Plus then we moved to Bangladesh, where our car had the top of the headlights painted black during the war. Imagined memory makes the most sense to me, since I was so young at the time.

Anyway. In these memories my parents turned the blackouts into play time. Everyone had paper over the windows so no light would shine through. All the lights in the neighborhood would have to go out when there were planes overhead. And my parents made a game of turning all the lights out so we could play in the dark.

My memories, the ones I think I can pull, they aren't scary.

But my parents have this story of a boat trip we took a year or two later. We would come back to the US to visit grandparents every summer, and once, instead of flying, we took a boat from England to the States.

Apparently one night there was a big celebration. An anniversary of the boat or the queen's birthday or something. There was a huge cake with candles. And just before they brought in the cake, they turned off all the lights at once.

And I yelled, "Air raid! Under the table!"

The lights were flung on, as you might imagine, and there were two of us crouching under tables. Me. And a woman who'd been a child in Britain during WWII. She said that muscle memory just took over.

Well, first she said, "Where on earth has this child been?"

Friday, July 25, 2008

How to make the front desk person hate you in three to seven easy steps

Go to a work retreat at a lovely country club in Charlottesville with your future husband.

Wake up all leisurely, and realizing you have the whole day to screw around while he and his people make important work decisions. Heh.

Then let your own personality kick in. Which means: find yourself unable to resist checking personal and work email. Which means: you need to access the wireless that the hotel literature says is available throughout the club.

Try connecting to the one network that pops up. Get nowhere. Decide to call the front desk.

A pleasant-sounding person who identifies herself as Cynthia thanks you for calling and asks how she can help you.

"Hi, Cynthia. I was wondering if you could tell me how to get on your wireless network."

"I'm not sure. Let me connect you to someone who can tell you."

"Thanks."

Music music music. Click.

You've been disconnected. So you dial again. Same pleasant greeting.

"Hi Cynthia. I just called about Internet. I think I got disconnected."

She apologizes and says she'll find the person for you.

Music music music. And then you get connected to a random voicemail box.

So you hang up and call back.

Same greeting, slightly less pleasant.

"Hi, Cynthia. I got connected to someone's voicemail."

"OK. Hold on a moment."

You hear buttons being pushed. And then a recording that says, "If you'd like to leave a message, press one. . ."

And so you call again. And there is no answer. You let it ring and ring and ring. And finally it picks up. A recording. "Thank you for calling the country club. . ."

You can tell me you don't have the answer, and that you will find it for me. That's OK. You can tell me that the person who has the answer is not around, but you will help me as soon as possible. That's OK, too. I'll go have breakfast in the meantime. What you cannot fucking do, without thinking that I'll call you every 30 seconds if need be, is keep hanging up on me or putting me into voicemail.

No, no, and more no.

You slam your phone receiver down hard several times. This makes you feel marginally better. You wait a minute or two. And you dial again.

Cynthia answers. With a very perfunctory greeting.

"Hi, there!" you say. "This is the person who has been trying to get on the internet."

This time she tells you what you need to do. So maybe she wasn't avoiding the phone but rather, was off finding the answer to your question.

You tell her you've connected to the only network available, and it says you're connected, but your browsers won't go anywhere. In other words, you still can't get onto the Internet.

She tells you something must be wrong with your computer.

At which point you feel compelled to tell her that no, really, no. There may be many things wrong with many things, but currently there is nothing wrong with your computer. Every other hotel's wireless has worked for you. Hilton gives you a screen to log in. Do they have a screen that should pop up?

Yes, they have a screen. If it's not popping up, it's not working. She will send the bellman to see if he can help.

You turn off your computer. You turn it on again. You reconnect to their wireless. And this time, the magic screen appears.

You log the fuck on as fast as possible.

You call the front desk.

Cynthia answers, with a good deal of irritation and loathing in her voice.

"I just wanted to tell you I was able to get on. Thanks for your help!"

She says you are welcome. But in a tone that suggests she'd rather you fell off a bridge.

You decide not to greet the person at the front desk when you walk by for breakfast. In case she recognizes your voice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hair and makeup?

For those of you who just want to spoon your eyes out at another wedding post. . .I'm really, really sorry. There will be, at most, two more months of this. And I promise to try to keep it to a minimum.

For those of you with input, I thank you in advance.

So here's the thing. A couple of friends have said of course I should get my hair and makeup done for my wedding. Even my non-girlygirl friends.

Marta said she didn't have either done for her wedding, but her younger sister did, and she looked amazing. She said it made all the difference in the pictures - and those are what you have forever.

Other friends, because of expense, chose to have one or the other done. Mostly hair. Tejal had her hair done but did her own makeup - and she looked gorgeous. She said you just need to practice a lot beforehand.

Since I really never do anything fancy (or, really, anything) to my hair, my thought was to just pull it back myself (it's going to be just long enough!) and get my makeup done, since that does seem like a fun indulgence. A friend of a friend went to the Erwin Gomez Salon.

The woman who recommended it said, "Totally expensive, totally worth it."

And then I went to get my hair re-blonded last week, and my guy at Bang, who doesn't do wedding hair, said I have to have it done. He recommended one of his colleagues. I'd been flipping through an InStyle magazine while waiting, and had liked this one page with Kate Bosworth.

Apparentlythese finger-waves are in lately, and the style works on short hair. His colleague said she could totally do that. I have never had glam hair, and it's so tempting.

This is what I've learned. You should do a practice session, for both hair and makeup. You don't want a wedding-day a surprise. And the practice sessions are typically only marginally less than the actual day-of doing.

This is a wad of cash. For one day.

It's money that could be spent on other things - things that don't wash off the end of the night. Like buying house stuff. Or spending on our honeymoon. Or, um, shoes?

Do I want to be as pretty as possible? Absolutely. Do I actually have to have either of these done? Absolutely not.

People say you should do it, that you will absolutely not regret it. Just spend it and enjoy the pampering.

And I love the idea of all this stuff. But it feels like an awful lot of money for vanity.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Perhaps not the best analogy ever

I don't know if you've ever not really thought something through, and charged forward with an analogy. . .and then wished you could un-analogize. In some kind of subtle way.

Without looking like an ass. Or in this case, a perv.

If not, then let me just tell you. Comparing blogging to masturbating? Not always the best choice.

Because say, for example, that the fifteen-zillionth person asked you why you write about yourself on the internet. If you are a blogger, you know how often this happens. And how people approach it from different viewpoints.

These people, clearly, they are critical about making the personal public. Ultimately, they want to know several things.

"Every day? Isn't it a big effort to blog every day?"

"No, it's great. I love writing. Mostly I do it because I love to write."

They look sceptical. "Why not just keep a diary if it's about the writing? Don't you feel weird having personal details on the internet?"

And so you could sincerely explain that it's cathartic, and that you've met great people, and gotten amazing support - all of which are true.

Or they could catch you on the wrong day, and you could be irritated. Internally you're rolling your eyes and thinking "Oh, ferfuckssake, I am not getting into this."

You might be feeling wicked, and decide to aim for shock value. It's not always judicious, but it's something you enjoy from time to time.

So maybe you pull out an analogy you've used once before.

"I suppose you could say it's a lot like masturbating."

This definitely catches them off guard. "What?"

"You know. It's fun and it feels good."

"Um. . ."

They look a little stricken. This delights you.

"It's not like other people don't have similar issues to mine. People are just more and less private, and I use a public forum to help deal with my stuff."

"Well, I don't think everyone. . ."

"Everyone does. It's more like whether you choose to do it by yourself in the dark. Or. . ."

At that point, you might stop abruptly.

Because maybe you suddenly realize that this makes you sound like your preferred location might be, oh, I don't know, Tysons Corner mall? On a busy Saturday?

You feebly offer, "I mean. Not that I. Really. I. . .It's more. I, well. . .I just like to write."

And then you flee. Because there is no graceful way to get back from there. That you can think of.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Celebrity crushes

Celebrity crushes are an odd thing, aren't they? They're no threat to your relationship; they don't even affect your real world. I'm not quite sure what they're about.

But they're fun. I like having them.

So in Chicago I developed a massive celebrity crush on Magic Johnson.

Truly. The man is incredibly good looking. And so charismatic. And he radiates kindness. He really does.

I announced this immediately upon arrival home. "I have a new celebrity crush!"

And instead of being interested in my new crush, Nick asked, "What? Did you have an old celebrity crush?"

When I thought he knew full well it was Jon Stewart. He is not so much for the celebrity crush, that one.

So anyway.

Magic Johnson was scheduled to speak at one of our sessions on the work he's done to revitalize urban communities. We'd also invited him to our community service project, in which we were refurbishing an elementary school. And he accepted.

Honestly, he walked in the door and smiled, and you just felt like he was so glad to be there. If he was faking it, he faked a long number of hours really well. He walked around shaking hands, thanking people for their work. He talked to the kids who were there.

He smiled the whole time - and his smile is like sunshine. He signed autographs. He posed for every picture anyone asked him to.

At no moment did he act like he was too important or too busy for any of this. Rather, he looked at you like you were exactly who he wanted to be speaking with, and that all was for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.

Not to get all Candide on you.

He's clearly so passionate about rebuilding urban communities, about providing education, jobs, and opportunities. It's not that he's not making money - of course he is. But he's turned his attention to populations that have definitely been under-served and lacking in possibilities.

I was to accompany the photographer to the next event so that we'd get there before Magic Johnson arrived.

On an aside - I need Lisa-style directions, and anyway, nobody should trust me to find anything. Most people already knew this. Those who didn't learned last week, when I led the photographer the exact wrong way. Thus keeping Magic Johnson waiting. Fortunately, he's a kind man. But I still heard about it from my colleagues for the rest of the conference.

But rewind to our project.

I'd like to say I'm not one to be starstruck, but I got stuck watching him choose Clif bars.

I'm not kidding.

There were all these snacks and beverages, and just as he was about to head to the next event, he was offered some for the road. I happened to be grabbing bottles of water for the photographer, bus driver, and myself just as he was doing this.

I know I went into slow motion, dazed, all, wow! I'm watching Magic Johnson pick out snacks!

It was definitely an Us Magazine "The stars! They're just like us! They eat Clif bars!" kind of moment. Except that instead of being caught looking his worst all puffy-eyed and in sweats, as those pictures usually depict, he looked all sparkly and happy, and, well, magic.

There I was all, "Ohh, I bet he's going to go for peanut toffee crunch...That's a good one." (Although myself, I prefer oatmeal raisin walnut.)

My reverie was broken as one of our VPs said, "Lisa. Lisa! I think the photographer needs to leave."

Out loud I said, "Oh, sorry! I'm ready!"

But in my head I was all, "But now I'm never going to know if he chooses the peanut butter kind! Or maybe he'll pick chocolate! Or...!"

Seriously.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"I think I love you more than you love me."

These are words that make you catch your breath. In a not-good way.

Especially if they're said with a big sigh. By someone you truly love. Who you hadn't seen in days.

So, here's the thing. And to start with, please bear in mind that Nick is a lot taller than me. Standing up, we are pretty much eye to, I don't know, nipple? Armpit? His, I mean.

Also, for those women reading this who are dating men in their twenties and early thirties, I have to tell you something I learned recently. And found shocking, if also mildly compelling. In an I need do something about this kind of way.

You see, for the longest time I dated men younger than me. Two, four, at one point seven years younger. So these men were, for the most part, early to mid-thirties at the oldest.

Here's what you will find, as you start dating older guys, or as you age along with your partner.

It is this: Men start getting hair in all these random places. Like their ears. Who knew they'd sprout hairs on their ears? Or that their eyebrows would get all wild and crazy?

Did you know this? I did not.

So there he was, my beloved, sitting at the kitchen table, holding his arms wide open. I walked over for a hug. And sat down on his lap, ruffled his soft brown hair, and kissed his cheek. All very kissy and lovey and happy.

I'd missed him, you know?

We were having a sweet little nuzzly moment, when he sighed, and said, "I think I love you more than you love me."

I pulled back.

"Why, sweetie? Why would you even say that?"

"Because here I am telling you how great you are and how much I love you, and you're all, 'Yeah sure sweetheart I do too and hold still I'll be right back I'm going to go get a tweezers.'"

Um.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Among the 50 million reasons I love Chicago

Chicago is one of my favorite cities. It's pretty in both a big city and also this, oh! look at the lake! nature, but not too much of it! kind of way.

And the buildings are old and exquisite. And there's so much art around. And food is great.

Really, it just all around feels good.

One night Marta and I walked down the Magnificent Mile. And there were all these sculpture dresses.

They were made of everything from bubble wrap to keys. Some seem to be more ephemeral than others, so clearly not permanent. But so lovely to stumble across.

I think my favorite is the one with the keys. But I also like the white one. And the one that looks like twizzlers. And the swirly black one that I think is made of zipties.

Super cool, no?










Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One good way to try your patience and make you really, really happy to be home

So, you go to a different city and live in a hotel for five days. With everyone you work with. And a couple thousand people you don't know.

For the most part, you're ready to go by 6:45 am and your day ends when the event of the evening ends. Or rather, after that ends and after you go out for drinks with the people you like.

And then the thing is, when you spend that much concerted time together, the number of coworkers who fall under the rubric of "people you like" dwindles fast.

People - both attendees and your colleagues - can be great.

But they can also be like this:

Which makes you want to do this:


Luckily, I work with a couple people indulgent enough to see the need for documentation of the flight from Tyrannosaurus Sue.

And that is definitely huge.

Anyway. Hi! I'm home! I missed you!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm very sorry to leave you with this one

Something bit me the other day. On the inside of my arm.

I felt a little pinch as I was walking up 16th street. It's not like there's dense foliage, so I had to imagine it was a random flying insect. But there's a little trail of spots, and then one larger one. So maybe a spider?

I've ruled out Botfly, in any case. And Guinea Worm. Something far more prosaic seems likely.

But what concerns me is the itch.

This bite was several days ago. And it didn't start itching till this morning. And now it really itches.

So I'm adding Benadryl cream to my stupid little clear plastic bag of three-ounces one can take on the plane. Those three ounce limits sure make me feel safe.

But what this brings me to is not fear of flying (she says, with a brownie on one plate, and bacon on another) but a newly acquired fear of itching.

Because I don't know if you read the New Yorker, but one of the recent issues contains one of the most horrifying things I've ever read. Have any of you read this article on itching?

If not, let me just say this. It's fascinating. It's about itching, and how doctors haven't quite figured out how itching works, neurologically speaking.

I recommend it, but with reservations. Because also? It will make you do a squeamy little ooogy twitchy dance. When you get to this one particular part.

The part where this woman, who had shingles on her head, which killed a lot of the surface nerves, scratches too much. Because, while her doctors think she shouldn't be so itchy, she itches. And she scratches. She tries to stop herself, but at night she scratches.

So much that one night, she scratches clear through her skull.

To her brain.

Seriously. She wakes up in the morning with a weird fluid on her hands. And goes to her doctor. Who calls an ambulance immediately.

Honest to god. Scratched through to her brain.

If that doesn't make you do a squeamy little ooogy twitchy dance, I don't know what will.

And now, I'm off to Chicago. Great weekend, all!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

54 different directions! At the same time! Time! Need more time! And less caffeine! And maybe some gin!

I'm all runny-aroundy today trying to get ready to head to Chicago tomorrow morning.

On an ordinary day, I move fast. You can only imagine what a little whirlwind I am lately. The other day one of those parking police guys laughed at me walking by as fast as my short legs can move me.

"Slow down! You could get a ticket!"

It made me giggle and was a good way to pull me out of my super-intense forward motion.

But right now I feel like, geez, I just got back from Maine, and barely got all my clothes clean, and now I have this five-day work trip that I'm just not ready for.

So much to do. Not enough time!

Because, you know when you're trying to get out of the office for a big meeting, and you have all your own things to deal with - and you could adequately get them all done without a problem, but then people drop random stuff on your pile for you to contend with immediately and you need to step in because someone else is gone and also, oh, look, someone needs you to revise something that you already sent out and you have to get that donerightaway! so you can print a number of copies to take with you and you're already juggling 17 things even without having to redo work because other people didn't actually run things by the people on their end before saying sure! it's correct! send it out! and then on top of that you need to pack and you're trying to get all your wedding invitations sent out because now you are really really down to the wire and seriously, who knew that all of this stuff would take so much time - time! which is really what you're lacking, and if you just had a little more time. . .

It makes you want to just dump it all into a run on sentence, pour yourself a large glass of gin, and sit in a corner and swill it, you know?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

And now Nick is all Albionic. Or, Britishisms abound!

This morning Nick got Britishized.

His mom is from England, and recently, he realized that he could apply for citizenship. And so he did.

They make the process remarkably easy, it turns out. He had to get his mom's documents and fill out a bunch of forms, and have some actual Brits who know him vouch for him being an upstanding citizen. And then, one day, they emailed and invited him to come on over to the embassy and become British. They were so polite and efficient about the whole thing.

So this morning he went to the embassy, and in my imagination they draped him in the Union Jack, served him tea and scones, and then made him sing Rule, Britannia! and kiss a picture of the queen. Although actually, I think they just made him sign something.

I'm guessing, because really, he didn't give me any details when he called.

Mostly he said things like, "Hello, luv! Crikey! Blimey! Fish and chips! Brilliant!"

He then sent an email, in which he referred to me as "mate," along the same lines.

It's cute how excited he is. I think we ought to go out for pints tonight to celebrate. I'm just waiting for him to suggest we round up some of the lads.

I envision conversation this evening being rather stilted.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

I learned a number of things on our trip.

One of the things I learned was that there are Dunkin' Donuts everywhere in Massachusetts! If you go to Maine, drive from Boston! It's donut and coffee heaven all along the way. Who knew?

And another, more interesting thing is this. In Maine you are constantly driving 11 miles.

Honestly. Anywhere you're going, no matter where, you will drive in 11-mile increments. I'm not kidding. Wherever you go - whether it's 63, or 97, or 130 miles away - it will be divided up mostly into 11-mileses.

How do I know?

My parents bought a new GPS and gave us their old one. Her name is Alice.

Incidentally, their new one, which has a lot more bells and whistles? She does not yet have a name. So if you have any suggestions, I'll pass them along to Betty.

Anyway. So Alice? Knows pretty much everything.

We brought her with us and not only did she save us $10 per day in GPS rental, but she got us all over rural Maine. Which, as far as I can tell, is the entire state. She even found the place we were staying, which was both small and not really main-roadish. (But very Maine-roadish. Heh.)

But it was always, always 11 miles. "Please drive the highlighted route. Then turn left on Route 127. Then drive 11 miles."

"In point five miles, turn right on US 1. Then drive 11 miles."

Honestly. You try it; 11 miles is the magic number in Maine.

One thing I like about Alice is that she is both firm and patient. When you fuck up her instructions, all she says is, "Recalculating."

You can imagine the electronic sigh before she says it, though.

You know she's all, why are these people so stupid? I tell them a mile beforehand, and again half a mile before, and somehow, they still miss the turn.

Cretins.

But she never says this. Just, "Recalculating."

Plus, she also doesn't say, "Another stop at Dunkin' Donuts? It's as if you don't even want to fit in your wedding dress."

To which I would've had to say, "Shut it, Alice."

So anyway, we'd disappoint Alice, and she'd recalculate. And gently lead you around the block to go back in the correct direction.

"Recalculating."

When you know she really wanted to say, "I'm sick of recalculating! How fucking hard is it to get on 295 South? You've done it three fucking times since you arrived yesterday! When you didn't actually need to!"

Recalculating.

We love Alice.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Maine, Maine, and more Maine. Plus a couple of my people.

I really really wanted to get these up because I leave for Chicago the end of the week, and if it doesn't happen before then, it won't.

And does anyone else find putting pictures in order in Blogger is super irritating?

So very low on text or much organization, but briefly, let me tell you. We stayed on one of those fingers sticking out into the water. This is the cabin where we stayed. All the photos except a couple of Nick's childhood summer camp were taken right in our back yard.






And I love this tree. It was next door.



Super cool swirls on this tree trunk.

The seaweed is kind of creepy and so fascinating.

Close up of one of the rocks.
Nick went to summer camp here for years and years. There were no showers, and they used to bathe in the lake. Even now, they have no internet or phones. It's all about being rural and outdoorsy. Eeee. He loved it.

Somehow, all the old camp people we ran into could tell just by looking at me that I'm not the camp type. Odd, that.

And I have to put this up because she's just so cute you want to squeeze her. Betty found some nice wood down by the water.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Waiting for the ducks to pass

We're at the Logan airport.

Did you know Harpoon was brewed in Boston? Turns, out, if their (their being the cafe we're lunching and beering at) wall map is accurate, our beer was brewed 1.5 miles from where we're currently sitting. Who knew?

As you know, I'm an "eat everything in case you die" traveller. And Nick is never going to turn down a beer or two. And so the Harpoon? It's a nice little product.

This was a hurry hurry trip, but so fun. It was so hard to say goodbye to my parents this morning. I'll post pics, hopefully tomorrow. I keep losing signal so it's pointless to try to upload them now.

Can I please just say that Maine is incredibly beautiful? Someone Nick knows described it as "God's country" - and it's conceivable he's right. Every time you turn around something is so beautiful it makes you catch your breath.

Are there more stars in Maine than in DC? I don't know, but the silky black that sneaks in after a heavy peachy-pink sunset and calls itself the night sky is just swarming with them. It takes your breath and holds it above you, just for a moment.

And you know me. I'm never going to be all promote-y of the countryside.

The truth is, I don't like being far from cities. I'm not someone who sees a country road and thinks "how lovely." Rather, I think, "Ah, fuck! It's only two lanes! Two lanes! And look how these people drive! Do you know how godddamn long it's going to take us to get there?!"

Yesterday, Betty and I had to stop behind a pickup truck, who was stopped in front of us, seemingly for no reason.

I was all, "Seriously, Maine country driver dude! And you're stopped because...?!"

And then we saw the family of ducks that was crossing in front of them.

So fucking cute it squeezed your heart. And made you realize you were in a hurry for. . .nothing. I'm just used to hurrying.

Just. . .fast. Why am I always moving so fast?

We spent a lot of good family time this weekend. My parents adore the crap out of Nick and he seems to like them back a whole lot. Ever since Chuck passed away, I've been on a huge "life is short" kick. I want to spend good time, and I want to spend it with people I love.

And why don't I spend more time stopping and smelling the roses? Or waiting for the ducks to pass?

I hope you all had a really fun 4th and an amazing weekend. I know ours was.

We're delayed but with any luck, we'll be back in DC this evening.

Hugs to all!

(And yes, if you're wondering, I'm very hugalicious lately. Life is short. Did I say that already? It is!)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Vacation! Bucolic beauty! Makes me a little twitchy...

We're going to Maine! In a couple minutes!

Maine! I've never been! It looks so beautiful in pictures!

We fly to Boston and then drive. The tickets were pretty spendy flying to Portland. But it's going to be a gorgeous drive. I've never spent any time in New England! Yay!

My parents have rented a place there for a week. We're joining them for three days.

They keep calling and saying, "I can't hear you! Hello? Hello?"

Cell reception seems to be spotty.

Nick asked if I'd like to leave laptops at home. Has he met me? And then he just said that we might not get internet anyway.

Twitch, twitch.

What kind of place is this Maine?

Anyway, happy happy 4th of July to all of you! Big hugs and if you're a firework setter offer, please remember all those kids who blew off limbs and eyes and such in those safety films they used to show in school.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

And really, at the end of the day, Clarissa, it's just a party

OK, so I have been really low stress about the wedding stuff. Or anyway, I had been. Up until, oh, last weekend really.

People kept saying, "You must be so stressed!"

Not really. We've been pretty low key about most things. We're not getting all detail-y. We've been proud of ourselves for how not-stressed we've been.

Until Nick's mother came up with five more couples who needed to be invited. Not three months ago when we asked. Not two months ago. Not even one month ago.

On Sunday.

Sunday being two days after we received all our invitations from the printer. All our invitations meaning a few extras to make an even number. Not five extra.

Because we had their people. Or anyway, we thought we did.

Crap.

So we decided that we could use the three extras, and his parents and one sister would not get invites; instead, theirs would go to his parents' friends. And then we would have enough.

He explained this unfortunate situation to his parents, who didn't really have room to not be understanding, having been asked multiple times for their people. Somehow, the timing or the urgency or something just never clicked with his mom earlier.

If you think I didn't lose my shit over this, you're mistaken. If you think I didn't rant to every one of my friends, you overestimate me. And if you've never seen me lose my shit, it's not pretty.

Betty and Maude both said we could not send them invitations. They'd donate theirs to the cause. And I replied?

"I'll be damned if I'm not sending you invitations. They are pretty. I want you to have one. YOU ARE GETTING AN INVITATION."

Yikes.

With a directive like that, all you can say is, "Great! Can't wait! OKloveyoubye!"

But the good news is, we're not very organized with this. My The List was not entirely Nick's The List. Or rather, the one he thought was The List. Which was the one sitting on his desk from when we did the magnets. Not the one I have in Google Docs (thanks to awesome recommendations from VVK and HKW).

Yes, I know we went through this with the magnets. And still we didn't learn. We have learned.

So back to the good news. There were a couple people in the Nick column on my The List that had dropped off of Nick's version. So it looks like we will be OK on invitations.

Me. I'm getting all stressed and upset and spreadsheety and shit-losing-y over pieces of paper. For a party.

I don't like it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Invitations! Or, proof that I am, in fact, a bit of a bridey-bride. Even though I like to think I'm so not.

These are my invitations.

My friend Maria designed them. She's the same one who did the save the date magnets. She did such an amazing job.



The second page has the traditional sort of the parents of Lisa are so tickled pink that she's marrying Nick, son of his parents, at this time in this place and so on and so forth. Just written more formally and with more specific details than that. As you might expect.

And then the third page has location and hotels and such information.

Maria was very helpful with not only the design but with the kinds of things one says on a wedding invitation. And as for design, it makes me so happy. She sat down and thought about what might be very ME and then designed it.

Except for content, I really had no input, because I just plain liked her ideas from the start. She was all afraid I'd be like, "Can you move this and that and make this bigger and that smaller and I'd like my text to really sing!"

Not so much.

I bought cream colored silk ribbon, and fuchsia and orange embroidery thread for binding. I don't know which I like best. Unfortunately, I only took pictures of the fuchsia and cream. The orange, however, is the same as the fuchsia. Just orange. You get the idea.


We've got shocking orange envelopes (I think it's actually Orbit Orange at the envelope store) for the invitations, response cards, and thank you cards.

Orangealicious! Yippee!


Also, I don't know if you have ever been in an A.C. Moore? I went for the first time on Saturday. It is like a palace of wonders.

Honestly, I could've spent all day in there. I wound up leaving with yards and yards of ribbon and thread and a packet of needles, plus a small bag of rhinestones. Because, when I accidentally turned down the rhinestone aisle, I had to restrain myself.

You may be someone who can walk by bags of rhinestones without getting all "pretty, shiny sparkly!" and reaching for them, but I am not.