Category Archives: Cali

.today.

Last weekend Olive was ordained in the United Church of Christ.  It was a really moving ceremony and such a good example of the way that people are truly called to things.  I cried like a baby.

My world has felt smaller and more full lately.  I think I’m in a paring-down phase – just give me the windows thrown open and a gentle breeze.  I’ve had the urge to throw lots of things away, just move some stuff out.  I do this every once in a while.  It’s a quiet time, a still time.  But I’m just riding it.  I wonder what I’m making room for.

I haven’t been writing much lately.  Just haven’t felt like it, haven’t felt inspired.  Not blocked, exactly, just – well, it probably goes hand-in-hand with the paring phase.  I’m just setting it down for a while.  Trying not to pressure myself into guilt about it.

I’ve been reading a lot more.  Trying to catch up on my sleep.  Last night we went out for dinner with Finn’s midwifery partner and her husband for their 11th anniversary.  They’re only a few years older than us, but we told them they’re our relationship role models, which is the truth.  They’re so obviously in love and solid and drama-free and they just genuinely enjoy one another.  They’re good people and have a great, close-knit family.  It’s pretty awesome to be around.  We went to a fancy-schmancy steakhouse (yeah, I had the steak) and spent way too much money and had a great time.  Worth it.

I feel really peaceful right now.  We just had brunch at our place with Cali and her lady, and Gem.  I feel so lucky to have friends who come over and bring all this random stuff that they have laying around their kitchens and create these delicious simple meals.  We had blueberry buckwheat waffles, an asparagus and bell pepper frittata, rosemary potatoes, bread, coffee.

Off to play the piano for a while…

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Filed under Cali, Finn, Gem, new leaf, Olive, sunshine, the beauty of the in-between

.out of the darkness and into the workforce.

Yup: I am, once again, joining the ranks of the full-time employed!  As those of you who have followed my sad little unemployment saga know, this is a HEE-YUGE relief.  March brings us to Month Seven of my unemployment, and it was beginning to feel like I would never get a job… I was okay at fending off discouragement most days, but I’m not sure how much deeper that well of optimism ran.  Suffice to say, this is awesome timing.

I’ll be working for the federal government, which will be an interesting turn for the girl who has only ever done legal services work.  It being the Fed, I probably won’t give too many details about my job, but I think it’ll be interesting work that keeps me challenged and interested.  (Now if we could just get Congress to overturn DOMA so that when Finn and I get married she could be on my health insurance, that’d be greaaaat.  Obama’s executive order stopped just short of that, and I am not happy.  You hear me, Mr. President?  Not.  Happy. At. All.)

But today is not the day to let discrimination rain on my parade.  I am employed, it is a job I think I’ll enjoy, and I no longer have to live in a state of constant fear that I’m not going to be able to pay my bills.  It’s a good day.

Before I go, I’d like to give a slow-clap shoutout to everyone who helped keep me emotionally afloat the last 6 months.  (In particular, I’m looking at you Finn / Rev – particularly with your well-timed reminder of J.K. Rowling’s discussion of the benefits of failure / Cali / Rala… I don’t know what I would have done without you.)

Yay!

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Filed under anticipation, Cali, Finn, if you call it "funemployment" i will smack you, manythanks, new leaf, Obama, ohmygod i'm a lawyer, queering the binary, Rala, Rev, righteous rage

.my arm hurts.

4 days ago I went to the doctor and had blood drawn.  It didn’t hurt when the guy actually put the needle in and drew the blood, but about a minute after he was done my arm seized up and started REALLY hurting.  I’m kind of a wimp, so this made me lightheaded and stressed that I wouldn’t be able to drive home, but after sitting outside my car with my head between my knees for about 20 minutes, I was okay – just couldn’t use my right arm.  My muscles were weak and it hurt to even move it.  I’m not sure why I didn’t go back in and talk to the doctor about it, but it seemed like something that would pass.

Four days later and it’s still aching, like, wake me up in the middle of the night aching.  Grr.  Finn says, based on my bruise and the pain, that the guy must have both blown my vein and hit a nerve or a tendon in the process.  This, I have discovered, does not make for a very happy pom.  In fact, it makes for kind of a grumpy, wince-y pom.

So that’s this weekend’s news.  Also, I saw A Serious Man last night with Cali and some folks.  No one I was there with liked it much, but I thought it was pretty good.  Dark, kinda depressing, but in a funny way.  (I mean, it is the Coen brothers.)  The very last image of the movie was really striking, hit on a very kind of primal fear, so I think that at least is going to stick with me for a while.

Before the movie we had dinner, where I managed not only to learn what curling is (i.e. one of the funniest sports I’ve ever seen…  the brooms, are you kidding me?) but to impress people with my extensive knowledge of both Twilight and Miley Cyrus.  It’s amazing the things that seep into your consciousness while you aren’t looking.  (Though, to be fair, I did make the choice to read all of the Twilight books, but I stand by that decision as it has afforded me the ability to critique the shit out of it using ACTUAL examples instead of the more common I-hate-what-teenyboppers-love critique heard elsewhere.  Also, they’re incredibly easy to read.)

Today was gorgeous.  I had brunch with QS and I’m kind of regretting that we didn’t sit outside on one of the very last nice days before our long New England winter hits.  I had this vague idea that we might go for a walk, but instead we went to my place and watched several episodes of Buffy.  We finished season 5, in fact.  Crazy.  (It was pointed out to me, yesterday, by Cali, that I am kind of dating Buffy in Finn’s absence.  I figure if a fictional vampire slayer is all she has to worry about, we’re doing okay.)  :)

Anyway.  Wish I’d been outside more, but we did have the windows open, so…

Oh!  The weekend’s other news is that after purchasing many (many) plane and train tickets, I am officially going to DC for Rev’s birthday, then to Philly for Thanksgiving, and down south for Christmas.  Grant – who’s in DC doing an internship at the moment, coincidentally enough – and I already have plans to take a ton of ridiculous pictures.  This has renewed my lust for a particular  camera I have my eye on but probably wouldn’t use enough to warrant buying it, sigh.  (Something you may or may not know about me: I have a tendency to lust after strange things sometimes – these are another current fascination – and if the lustiness lasts long enough, I end up caving and buying.  Hence, these, which are, I must say, awesome.)

Okay, I’m babbling.  I should go figure out dinner.  Which, by the by, I have been successfully cooking!  I’m no chef, but I’ve got some staples down and my kitchen confidence is up.  So far so good.

Off I go!

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Filed under budding foodie, Cali, Finn, girlcrush, Grant, nerdiness, QS, Rev, stuff pomegranates like, sunshine, vacation all i ever wanted, WTF

.join the circus?.

So, turns out if I can’t be a public interest attorney, apparently I don’t want to be an attorney at all.  It literally took one monster.com search for me to figure out that there is not a single legal job out there unrelated to public interest that I am even remotely interested in.  More than that: the thought of working at any of them makes me slightly queasy.  At least I know what my calling is, I suppose.  No idea what to do in the meantime but apply and see where the universe takes me.

You know how in the beginning of Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” Jonas is searching for the right word to describe his feelings?  That pretty much sums up my last few weeks.  I’m not… and I’m not quite… maybe I’m… no…

Jonas ends up settling on apprehensive. Discombobulated might be the best fit for me.  I’m all over the place, a little lost, not unhappy, just unsettled.

The past few weeks have been some of the strangest in recent memory – I’m a Cancer, and we very much prize our routine, place great value in our surroundings being orderly and serene.  That’s all out the window, obviously, but I’m working hard to take it in stride.  I haven’t cried once since we moved, in fact.  And I’ve been sleeping well (though waking at ungodly early hours.  I think it’s because we finally live in a place that isn’t shrouded in tree-shade – the sight of the sun whispers me into consciousness each morning.  It’s not a bad thing).

This must be what it feels like to be caught by a safety net.  I’ll take discombobulated over homeless any day of the week.

I am very lucky.

We’re moved in, getting a little closer to settled on the homefront every day.  So the pictures are being hung, the laundry folded, and the kittens are adjusting.  I had brunch yesterday with Cali, dinner with QS.  Tomorrow I’m having coffee with Grant (so nicknamed for the Civil War general, and I hope he appreciates it) who I haven’t seen in forever and who is moving to DC soon as part of the mass exodus to the District which seems to be happening in the last few years.  Among my pals, anyway.  He has requested some sort of crazy adventure that I can later blog about.

Because obviously my blog is so full of adventure!  Laundry!  First-time unemployment!  What will she do next, ladies and gentlemen?!?  :)

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Filed under anxiety, Cali, Grant, manythanks, new leaf, QS, sunshine

.we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for a freak out.

Tomorrow is my last day of work.

Two days after that we’re moving.

I found out yesterday that I didn’t get a job for which I was incredibly well-qualified.

I also found out yesterday that a guy I went to middle and high school with died very unexpectedly.

In sum, I don’t like change and there has been a lot of change, upheaval, disappointment, and facing of my own mortality and that of the people I love, all within the span of about a week.  Oh, also the cats are panicked and peeing all over everything.

I try hard not to wish away my days, even the bad ones, because every moment is so precious.  I try hard not to feel like a failure when I don’t get the things that I want and work hard for.  I try not to waste time worrying – obsessing? – about whether and when and how the people I dearly love will pass away.  I try not to want to kill my sweetly tyrannous baby kittens.

And yet.  I am ready for this week to be over, I am ready to be moved in, I am ready to have said my goodbyes at work and shut the door on that period of my life, pleasant though it was.  I am ready to stop being anxious so I won’t fall prey to my mega-anxiety-producing-triggers (unexpected deaths being a major, major trigger for me).

I’m ready to let go and let myself be happy again.  I’m ready to take responsibility for my own joy.

When I was in high school, one of my best friends and I both kept small notebooks with us at all time.  We called them our Happy Books.  They were filled with an ongoing list of things that made us happy – pictures, inside jokes, people, events, memories… I’m sure half of it wouldn’t make sense to me now, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been as content with my life as when I kept a Happy Book.  Seems like it might be time to start that back up again.  So for tonight…

10 Things That Make Me Happy Right Now

1. My shiny new apartment

2. Numbered, color-coded moving boxes

3. The fact that my haircat loves me so much that she hates that I’m typing this right now, because she really wants to be sitting ON ME

4. Brunch with Rev

5. Victory over The Man: Comcast gave me an amazing deal on cable when I called to tell them I had to go to basic because I’d been laid off.  Everything I have now for half the price.  Ahmazing.

6. Finn’s freckles

7. Air conditioning

8. The story that has been floating around in my mind, waiting to get out

9. Living one train stop away from Cali beginning Saturday

10. The possibilities that await me now that I’ve got free time again…

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Filed under anticipation, anxiety, Cali, crazy cat lady: ur doin it rite, Finn, memories, new leaf, Rev, type A personality: check

.ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

Apologies if this post ends up being erratic and/or making no sense – I’m doped up on percocet but figured I’d give the blog thing a go anyway.

So.  Where were we before I fell off the face of the planet?  It felt for a while there that everything was floating around and no decisions were ever going to be made about all the things I was waiting on, but I’ve finally got some concrete plans!  First, I was finally given my official layoff notice, which was actually rather anti-climatic considering I’d known it was coming for so long.  That said, I found out that my employer is going to cover the cost of my health insurance premiums for 2 full months after I leave, which I had no idea would happen, so at least that’s a little of the weight off.

Second, I had a job interview a few days ago.  I can’t say too much about it, but I walked out feeling like it went well and I at least knew I did my best.  From there, we’ll see if I happen to be what they’re looking for.

…I just fell asleep at my keyboard.  Good drugs.

Right, so, I am feeling good on the job search front thus far, but of course there are always so many factors that go into why an employer hires one person instead of another (or in this case, one person instead of any one of the other 400 applicants) so I’m trying to get myself into headspace where I won’t beat myself up over not getting it if I don’t.

Third, Finn and I are officially moving at the end of this month.  We are super excited, our new apartment is very close to the city, public transportation, and our friends.  Living in the ‘burbs for a year was nice, and I think it was good for Finn to see that she wouldn’t end up killing herself out here.  There are definitely some things I’m going to miss, like the awesome library 5 minutes away and having a yard (even though we didn’t really use it, since the weather has been so rainy/muggy all summer) and a driveway (no fighting over on-street parking!) and a garage (no shoveling snow off the car!) but like I said, the new place is gorgeous and convenient and overall I’m really excited to be back in the city.  It’s also cheaper (not the rent itself, which is the same, but heating and cooling will be cheaper, we won’t have to pay for yardwork, we won’t have to take our own trash to the dump, we won’t have to shovel our own driveway, etc. – saving us money and time).  Plus, Cali is moving back so she’ll be right around the corner!

I had my wisdom teeth out this morning.  I had been ridiculously nervous about the process – I am not one for letting go of control, so the idea of getting drugs that were going to make me so loopy that I wouldn’t mind that I was having 4 teeth ripped out of my head scared me more than the actual procedure itself.  (Though it didn’t help that people kept telling me horror stories either – what’s up with that, people?  So uncool.)  But it went fine, I actually LOVED the drugs, and I just dozed and listened to my ipod (“teethout mix”) while he was doing his thing.  The groggy, bloody aftermath wasn’t so fun, but once I got home and Finn tucked me in, drugged me, and made sure I was covered in ice, things improved.  I proceeded to sleep through 3 movies, and now I’m actually feeling close to human (though still resembling a hamster, no worries).

Oh dear, I think I’m rambling.

When I add up everything that has/had to be done this month, it’s a little overwhelming: I have to get all of my cases at work ready to transfer to other attorneys and do all the million other closing-out things that need to be done when one leaves a job; I have to go on interviews and really get into the job search process; I have to pack up the whole house (and may I add that Finn is out of town at school for 2 weeks this month, so who do you think is going to be doing most of the packing??) and move into the new place; and I had to have a scary chimpunk-face-transplant surgery.  Maybe it’s more than the drugs making me so tired right now.

I wish I were still at the beach.  That trip deserves a proper post of its own, really.  I had so much fun, it was so awesome to see Rev’s place, meet her pup, and traipse around DC with her, and then road trip down to the beach.  There I turned slightly more flesh-colored (didn’t even burn much – score!) and got to hang with the family (and especially with my brother’s girlfriend’s son, who’s 3 and LOVES me) and spend quality time with everyone.  I slept and lounged, read, played on the beach, ate about 3 times more than I normally do of heavy, greasy, delicious southern foods, and really just quite enjoyed myself.  Told my siblings about the engagement and they were thrilled, which was sweet.

Seriously rambling.  I can’t think of a way to end this and I’m feeling too woozy to bother reading it over.  Oh, wait, here’s a good way to end – this applies both to my whining about my teeth hurting and also about the million things I have to do this month.  As my Grandma would say:

deal, dammit

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Filed under anticipation, anxiety, Cali, Finn, love, Rev, sickyface, vacation all i ever wanted

.of olives and faith.

Had a recent dinner with Olive and Signe – so much fun, and reminded me of how sad it is that so many of my friends have moved away within the last year or so.  At dinner O and I were recounting the first time we met (she was a mutual friend though two people – she was in grad school with Rev and had gone to undergrad with Cali, oddly enough.  Small damn queer world, eh?)  After sitting next to one another at a grad school function (which I was attending because Rev and I were still in a relationship at the time, and which Olive was attending because, well, she went to grad school there) several of us decided to go out dancing at the local gayladyclub.  Olive and I – having spent the past 2 or so hours sitting next to one another – were basically immediate best friends.  We somehow decided that I would accompany her to her house so she could get gayladyclub-prepared, and then she would accompany me to mine, where I would get similarly prepared – and also, we would take some shots.  (How shots so quickly entered the mix, I do not know… but I like it.)  A small amount of primping and several shots of rum later (rum!  ha) we began the short trek to the club.  On the way Olive’s bra somehow broke, and we got hopelessly lost, both I think mostly due to the drunkenness.  And from that point forward, we were inseparable (in mind, if not body.  We actually often refer to ourselves in the singular as “The Brain” because we fairly consistently say the same things at the same time with the same inflection.  It’s odd.  But again… I like it.)

In sum, I present the Beautiful Friendship Equation:

first hangout

+ team rum!

+ bra sighting

+ no sense of direction

= long-lasting bond.

Seriously, for all that she is something of a trauma magnet (we’re talking about the woman who has set her hair on fire, and once fell off a roof and… well, I’ll quit while I’m ahead) she is also the kind of person who walks in and shifts the energy of any room for the better.  Got her finger on the pulse of joy, that one.  Man I miss her.

In other news… I told my mom about the engagement.  It went pretty much the way I expected, which I can live with.  That is, I told her, and she cried, and said that she was happy that I was happy but she would need some time.  And then we changed the subject.  In more adorable news, though, Finn’s parents sent us flowers last weekend with a card that read, “We both woke up this morning with a big smile on our faces because of your engagement.  We love you!”

Maybe this is just a defense mechanism, but I have to believe things will work out with my family in the end.  I keep reminding myself that they’ve really come so far – nary a quotation of scripture to speak of following the marriage announcement, which would have been standard fare not so many years ago – and I keep hoping that over time this will feel like the norm to them.  I’ve been through the worst; I have my foot in the door.  And I was surprised to find that my mom’s response didn’t feel like rejection to me.  I knew she would be upset; she was upset; I told her I understood; she told me she was happy for me; we dealt.  We’ll see how the aftermath plays out, but I have faith.  Perhaps I shouldn’t, but I do.  And isn’t that what faith is?

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Filed under Cali, Finn, marriage, memories, Olive, Rev, The Fam