Category Archives: new leaf

.and then everything went quiet for a very long time.

I have no idea where the last 6 months went.

I remember, about three months ago, Grant asked me why I hadn’t blogged recently and I said, “I just haven’t had much to say.  I should get back to it, though.”  And then another three months went by, and no blogging, and now it feels like I’m writing from beneath a whole lot of accumulated dust.  But now I guess I’m back.  (Warning: there may be sneezing.  Bear with me.)

The last 6 months have been eventful, but not in any sort of big, What I Did on My Summer Vacation kind of way.  That is, I’m not sure what to write to catch up.  Mostly I’m kicking myself because I don’t remember much, and if I had been writing it down as I went (the whole POINT of this blog in the first place!) then it would all already be there.  But it isn’t.

Finn and I are great.  She went to Indonesia for 2 months (last long trip for a while, she’s promised) which was… long… but she’s back and things are just really, really good with us.  We didn’t get married in the last 6 months, but we did spend an excessive amount of mental energy negotiating what our ceremony should look like, if any, and what our party should look like, if any.  We even went to therapy for a while, and paid a not-small sum of money to a neutral third party to weigh in.  And we still haven’t got it all figured out.  Mostly we’ve worked out the ceremony and celebration issues, actually – now it’s mostly a matter of timing.  At this point, we’re both so sick of it that we just want to be MARRIED already, but it’s never quite that easy…

(I’m told straight people have more wedding drama than this, even, and I’m beginning to think it’s amazing that anyone, anywhere, ever, gets married.)

Work is good.  Like most jobs, I think, it has its pros and cons.  Pros: job security, good pay, good benefits, flexible schedule, low stress, solid group of friends.  Cons: boring, boring, so so boring, and not the kind of law I really want to be practicing.  It’s the kind of job where the days are long and the weeks fly by.  My work-friends and I have learned to solve this problem with multiple coffee breaks per day, which seems to keep us in good enough spirits that we muddle through.  Despite the cons, I think I’m going to be at this job for a LONG time.  It’s the golden handcuffs problem – how can I leave a steady job that pays well and is low-stress, just because I don’t find it exciting enough?  So here I am.  And I’m grateful for it.

Oh, and did you see what I wrote up there?  Work-friends – I have friends!  Put out into the universe that I needed them, and suddenly Finn and I are surrounded by good people on all sides.  So at least that last blog entry came full circle.

On the other hand, my family is insane.  This was not a good Christmas – the first not-good Christmas I can remember (which I suppose I should also be thankful for).  Lots of fighting.  Some just normal big-family-fighting, some a little more serious.  Nothing to do with me, thank God, but I think it’s only a matter of time before shit hits the fan and things start to get messy around here.  There were definitely some things that happened this Christmas that crossed lines that can’t be uncrossed, and now we’re just kind of waiting for the fallout.  Everyone’s keeping it together for the holiday, but I’m not really looking forward to what the New Year is bringing on this front.  I don’t think it’s going to be good.

Yeah, cryptic.

Okay, so that part of next year might suck, but otherwise I do have really high hopes.  I am in a much better place – emotionally, financially – hell, with my gym membership, even physically – than I was this time last year.  I love my girlfriend, I love my friends, I love where I live.  So, here’s to a really good 2011.  And hopefully, to less radio silence and more blogging…

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Filed under anticipation, eagle death roll, Finn, Grant, love, manythanks, marriage, navel-gazing, new leaf, The Fam

.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

.i’m okay, you’re okay.

Well, hello.  Long time no see.

About a year ago, I was talking to my mom about what I had been like as a child.  What did she remember about me?  Did she think I was generally a good kid?  Was I tough to parent?  She thought for a few seconds, and then said, “What I remember about you is that you were always much harder on yourself than we ever were on you.  That’s the kind of kid you were – you’d get a B on a test, and when we’d congratulate you, you’d burst into tears because you weren’t satisfied with a B.  With you, it always had to be an A.”

Here’s the thing about having a blog – when I ignore it for a while, I feel guilty.  I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do.  And then blogging becomes this thing that I should be doing, a chore, instead of something that I do simply because I want to.  This, of course, leads me to… ignore it even more.  All of which is ridiculous, I know, because it’s not like I have all that many readers in the first place, and the ones I have are mostly friends who couldn’t care less whether or not I’m regularly updating my blog.  But it doesn’t matter.  I started this blog to keep a record of what was going on in my life, because I have a terrible memory and I’d like to be able to look back and see what was going on at various times.  So I’m not satisfied unless I’m doing it often, because I set a goal for myself, dammit, and I’d like to see it through.

This tendency to have high expectations for myself isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  For instance, it pushes me to work hard and distinguish myself at work.  It motivates me to write and re-write and revise and write some more, even on days when I don’t feel like writing.  This characteristic is why I get shit done, and I can recognize that that’s a good thing.

The problem is, I’ve been wielding this aspect of my character like a mallet, when it’s really best handled with laser precision.  I’ve been demanding perfection from myself in everything, even things that don’t matter very much (such as, yes, whether or not I post regularly on my blog).  But it’s not just that.  I’ve been beating myself up recently over the fact that I don’t have more hobbies, don’t have more friends, don’t have a cleaner house, don’t have my debt paid down.  That I’m not more successful, more motivated.  That I haven’t published a book or learned Spanish.  That I don’t network.  That I haven’t done, well, anything of note in my life.  That I’m not the best at anything.  That I haven’t distinguished myself at anything that matters.

I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test a few months ago and came up an INFJ, which could not be more right-on.  (For those of you whose Myers-Briggs-speak is a bit rusty, INFJ stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging).  Here’s a pretty relevant part of the description of your average INFJ: “INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments.”

Huh.  Y’don’t say.

So.  In light of the guilt, and my recognition that it’s so often unnecessary… I’m going to try something new.  I’m going to try and use my own high expectations for myself like a laser instead of a mallet.  I’m going to give myself the freedom to be imperfect.

I’m going to give myself permission to be tired and overwhelmed sometimes.  I’m going to let myself sleep in on a Saturday without tempering my enjoyment with guilt.  I’m going to cut myself some slack on the hobbies, the friends, the debt – or at least from feeling like I need to address them all at once.  I can try and work on a few things at a time.  Everything does not have to be running at 100% for me to be okay, be accomplished, be a worthwhile human being.

I’m going to try and use my perfectionism to my benefit, instead of letting it guilt me into inaction.  Turn it on a few things that really matter and motivate myself to work hard and well at some things, rather than shining a giant, judgmental spotlight onto my whole life and berating myself for coming up short.

So yeah, I haven’t blogged in a while.  It hasn’t been a priority.  And that’s okay.  I’ll try and write more often, because I really would like to have a record of what I’m doing.  But if I don’t, I don’t.  AND THAT’S OKAY.

So, with the navel-gazing portion of this post over – on to the actual what-when-where that I intended in the first place.

Not that I need an excuse after everything I just said, but part of the reason I haven’t blogged in a while is that things have been so effing busy!  Mostly in a good way.  I’ve been working late basically every night for the last couple of months, banking credit hours which I can then use to take days off when we have guests.  And oh, have we had guests.

First, Finn’s parents came into town for a week at the end of April.  (I had just purchased a new camera, so brace yourselves for an illustrated post.)

We hitched Ophelia onto her leash and let her out onto the porch to play.  Finn’s parents were a bit dubious of her at first, but she really grew on them.

Ophelia, checking out birds in the rafters of our porch

The weather was gorgeous while they were here, so we went on lots of walks.  Before they left we threw them a big party so they could meet some of our friends, including Finn’s midwifery partner, her husband, and their FOUR BOYS under the age of NINE.  (Great, great, wonderful, adorable kids, and absolutely insane.)

View from the porch, where most of the party happened – photo by one of the 4boysunder9, all of whom wanted a turn with the camera


This is the table at the party, loaded down with food.  Please note that when I say we threw a party, I mean that Finn’s dad, who is an AMAZING cook, cooked us a ton of food, which we promptly snarfed.

A few days after her parents left, Finn’s friend Gina and her 2 year old Chester came for the weekend.  I won’t put pics of them up, because that seems weird, but we had a good time.  I re-discovered that toddlers love me.

The weekend after Gina left, Olive came into town for a few days.  She was doing her final pre-ordination meetings and vote before she becomes ordained as a minister in the UCC church.  It all went well, and so she’s getting ordained in 2 weeks! I’m so thrilled for her.

The day after Olive left, Finn’s brother and sister-in-law and our niece came to visit from Hawaii.  They were here for about 7 days, and I was able to use up 3 days worth of the credit hours I’d been saving up at work to hang out and play with them in the middle of the week.  We went on lots of walks, visited the Children’s Museum, went window-shopping on the main street in our lil neighborhood, hung out at the pond near our house, and spent quite a bit of time at the playground down the street.

Learning about tools at the Children’s Museum


Finn’s brother and the kiddo at the pond

This weekend, we have no guests and no responsibilities.  We’re probably going to the beach tomorrow, and then out to dinner with some friends.  Oh, and later this week we’re going to a baseball game, which is pretty rad.

Next weekend I’m off to a funeral for my aunt, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last week.  I’m still not really ready to talk about that.  The weekend after that, Olive is getting ordained, and she and her sig other, KC, are staying with us for the week.  Then the weekend after THAT, my brother and his girlfriend are coming into town for a week.  Annnnnd that gets us til the end of June!  Phew.

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Filed under anticipation, anxiety, crazy cat lady: ur doin it rite, eagle death roll, Finn, love, navel-gazing, new leaf, Olive, pictures, The Fam, type A personality: check, vacation all i ever wanted

.happiness is two kinds of ice cream.

This is me.

Happy.  :)

Work is going well.  Really well, actually.  Chief Judge telling me “You’re already better than half the attorneys on staff and I think you should think seriously about becoming a Judge in a few years” kind of well.

The windows are open, the weather is gorgeous.  I hope it holds.  Finn and I splurged on some patio furniture for our deck, which should be arriving this week or next, and I am pumped.  I have this dream of waking up Saturday mornings, taking my tea onto the deck, and whiling away the day reading.  Also, we’re planning on lots of outdoor dinners, and it’ll be great when we have friends or family over.  We’ve been here for 7 months, but we’re finally getting into gear and making this place feel more like a home.

Finn’s brother and sister-in-law and the baby (who I should probably start referring to as “the toddler,” because (a) she walks and talks and (b) she’s SO TALL for her age) are coming in a few weeks.  I think one of my brothers and his girlfriend and her son (also young-but-not-a-baby) are coming in June.  July is my birthday.  We’ve got a wedding in late July, and another in early August to attend.  (What about our wedding, you ask?  Excellent question; no answers forthcoming.  We’ll get to it eventually, we’re in no rush.)  Anyway, what I mean to say is: there is a lot to look forward to.  Things are good.  I am happy.

Sometimes it’s hard to post when you’re happy – and busy – but I’m still here, alive and well.  Hoping the same for you, wherever you are!

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Filed under Finn, love, manythanks, marriage, new leaf, ohmygod i'm a lawyer, stuff pomegranates like, sunshine, the beauty of the in-between, The Fam

.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

.breaking.

I received the following email in my inbox this morning:

“Hi [Pomegranate]…

Just wanted to tell you that “I know” and all is right with the world…. I will love you forever…Grandma”
Thaaaaaaat’s right.  Apparently my grandma and my mom had a conversation last night which went something like this, according to my mother’s reenactment:
Grandma: Um.  I think I know something.
Mom: What do you mean?  What do you think you know?
Grandma: What do you think I think I know?
[Continue this Who’s on First for a few minutes, until…]
Grandma: …I think [Pom] is a lesbian.
Mom: Oh.  Well… you’re right.  She is.
So there you have it.  The moment of loving, tolerant, progressive understanding that I’d been hoping for.  Hurrah!

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Filed under love, manythanks, new leaf, queering the binary, The Fam

.girl gone mild.

Today is one of Those Days.  I’ve got a major case of anxiety, which I’m tracing back to the earthquake in Haiti – natural disasters which devastate large groups of already-impoverished people inevitably lead to me to question why bad things happen, why things like this are out of our control, what we can do, why any sort of God or Universe or what have you would allow it.  BUT, because I can think of nothing more loathsome and offensive than whining about how an earthquake in Haiti has really ruined MY day, dammit, I’m gonna gather up all that anxiety into a tight little ball in my stomach, roll it around until it’s shiny and smooth, warm it up until it’s something good and hopeful, and offer it as a little glowing prayer for all the people who could use one of those right about now.

Oh, and I’m gonna donate.  (In case you haven’t heard, texting “HAITI” to 90999 will automatically donate $10 to the Red Cross; texting “YELE” to 501501 sends $5 to wyclef jean’s Yele Foundation; and if you go to the Red Cross website you can donate using your one-click Amazon setup if you have one.  Technology used for good, not evil.  Melikes.)

And though it seems somewhat crass to do a blah blah blah update when there are so many more important things happening in the world, I haven’t updated in about a month and this is the time I set aside for it, so.

I was at my parents’ house for Christmas this year.  It was really lovely, and I was blown away by the thoughtfulness of the gifts I received.  It seemed like my parents and siblings and I all really put a lot of thought into what we wanted to give/do for one another this year.  My parents got me a Connecticut Journal (newspaper) dated December 23, 1793 featuring articles by George Washington and John Adams… I almost couldn’t breathe when I opened it.  (My initial response, actually, was to scream, “WHY DO YOU KEEP BUYING ME NICE THINGS?!?!?!  I DO NOT FEEL ADULT ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF A RELIC OF AMERICAN HISTORY!!!”)

(I’ve since calmed, and discovered that all I really need to do is frame it on archival quality matboard and under special UV-protectant glass.  Phew.)  But yea, fucking amazing gift.

I also received the Lomo LC-A+ I’d been lusting after, and – hilariously – a still-functional Teddy Ruxpin, which my mom found for me on ebay in order to shut me up, because I’ve been complaining to her since I was five years old that I never had one even though my cousin did.  (We couldn’t afford one when I was a kid… and I’ll tell you, I wept countless bitter tears over that fact, as only a particularly dramatic elementary-schooler can.)  Thankfully, this gift means that my own children will never have to experience the privation of going through life without an animatronic talking bear around to tell them stories before bedtime.

New Years Eve was spent in fairly pathetic fashion, hanging out at home with my parents.  (Not that it’s pathetic to hang out with one’s parents, but y’know, I’m 26 years old and I nearly fell asleep before the ball dropped.  So.  Loserville.  That’s all I’m saying.)  We were supposed to spend NYE nestled up in a cabin in the mountains, but alas, there was a snowpocalypse which left an icy residue 6 inches thick on the driveway leading to said cabin, so it was a no-go.  All my siblings spent the evening out on the town with their significant others, so it was just me and the ‘rents.  I think my mom and I watched a House marathon until about 11:55 – or was it an SVU marathon?  I don’t know, so many marathons – and then we all drank a little champagne and went to bed.

Though not before I made my typically long list of resolutions, of course.  While I have made a habit of sharing my resolutions in the past (in other, earlier reincarnations of this blog) I’ve had the resultant experience of being roundly mocked for them by, ahem, some.  (Yea, I’m looking at you, Grant.)  Do some of them tend to be a little overly-earnest?  Sure – but then, so do I.  In any case, they pretty much come down to one thing, which I guess is kinda my theme for the year: Fuck Being Comfortable.  So.  We’ll see how that goes.

A few days after New Years, I flew back home, lil sis in tow.  As you may recall, Sis was supposed to come visit me for a week following her high school graduation last spring, but was waylaid by a two-week-long hospital stay. So, this was sort of her make up trip.  Because of school, she could only stay for 4 full days, but we had a great time.  We went to museums, I took her to see Wicked, we lounged around baking cookies and drinking hot chocolate… it was equal parts fun and relaxing.  She and I don’t get to spend all that much time together – she was only 10 when I moved away to go to college, and we haven’t lived in the same city since – so it was nice to get some one-on-one sister time in.  Unfortunately, Finn was away at school for most of the week, but they got to do a little last minute bonding as well.

What else what else what else…  Oh!  I saw Avatar in IMAX 3-D, which was fantastic.  It was much more subtle than most 3-D movies I’ve seen (with the notable exception of Coraline, which was the first I’d seen that didn’t try and constantly bombard you with gimmicks, Jack-in-the-Box style, but instead used the technology to gentle, scene-enhancing effect).  Avatar’s story was so-so – kind of a Pocahontas meets Fern Gully in Space thing, with no real surprises – but it was just so pretty.  My pal @samfeasor does a much better job of dissecting it here (“Why Avatar Didn’t Suck Like I Thought it Would”) for anyone who’s interested in reading her queer, gamer-girl, tech-savvy take on the whole thing.

And so that pretty much brings us up to this week.  Finn is still out of town for school, but she got called back for a birth Monday night, and we had time for a quick lunch yesterday afternoon before she had to head back.  I had seen her two days earlier, over the weekend, but there’s something nice about seeing someone special when it’s unexpected.  I got all googily.

Last night I hung out with QS.  We’ve been going through some stuff, friendship-wise, finally working out some unspoken shit we’ve been carrying around for too long, and we’re making a more concerted effort to spend good quality time together as a result of that work.  Last night we cooked dinner and drank too much wine (or I did, anyway) and had an impromptu dance party in her living room.  It was a good night.  I only wish there were pictures…

This week I’m hanging out with Gem, writing, running a million errands, and getting the house ready for K&J, who are visiting for the weekend.  I think I’m going to have to give them better names, they show up in this blog more than I’d anticipated.  Hmm.  Okay.  I dub them Bert and Ernie.  (Everyone knows Bert and Ernie were gay, right?  It’s perfect!)  Ha.

– Pomegranate, Whose heart is still sad

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Filed under @samfeasor, anxiety, Finn, Gem, Grant, manythanks, memories, nerdiness, new leaf, QS, The Fam