Category Archives: Olive

.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

.about that last… and banana bread!.

Just needed to work through some things in that last post, stuff I’m not ready to share yet (or probably ever) but I figured I’d password protect it just in case I someday changed my mind and this blog became a discussion of a very different kind.  So, sorry, I kind of hate when people do that on their blogs but this is my only journaling-space at the moment, so there you have it.

But I did want to publicly announce that I made banana bread today.  This is, ladies and gentlemen, the Very First Loaf of Bread of Any Kind I Have Ever Baked (and, other than from-the-box brownies and cupcakes and whatnot, really the First Thing Period I Have Ever Baked)!!!  Oh yes, it’s happening, the transformation is well underway…

Otherwise, I have just been writing more cover letters than any human being should reasonably be expected to write, writing for pleasure a lot to make up for it, catching up with old pals (including the Divine Ms. Olive, who came to visit for a few days last weekend and made me rather nostalgic for our days as roomies, when it was normal – even expected – to find us parked on the couch for hours at a time devouring youtube videos and America’s Next Top Model marathons…) and, of course, hanging with the kittens.  Ophelia says hi.

ophelia bum

(She LOVES to be held like a baby, it’s so weird.)

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Filed under budding foodie, Olive

.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

.finn comes home tonight!.

She’s been away at midwifery school for 2 weeks and I only saw her briefly over the weekend – and now she’s on her way home! It’s hard sometimes; we have such crazy schedules anyway, what with my hour+ commute and her unpredictable hours, and to then have her gone for a few weeks out of every few months sometimes makes me crazy.  But it’s all so worth it when she walks in the door.

In other news however, I am getting sick.  :(   Sore throat, starting up with the sniffles, cough, fuzzy head… I can tell my body’s still fighting it, so maybe it won’t turn into full-blown illness, but it was enough to lead me to take a half-day at work today.   I’m currently laying on the couch devouring season 2 of The Office on netflix-watch-instantly (erm… cue addiction) whilst I await Finn’s arrival.

Oh, also, one of my very best friends and old roommates, Olive, is going to be in town for part of this weekend, so I MUST get well.  (I just did a google search of Victorian names to come up with a good nickname for her – she was born in the wrong era, honestly.)  I’ll only get to see her for Saturday afternoon/night, but we’re planning an old school slumber party, and I don’t want to be anything other than ready to rock.

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Filed under Finn, Olive, sickyface