On Whidbey

The Daily Life Text

On the island I am covered in words. They are pestery things: it’s a little bit like the imagery and acquaintance conjured up when he said he woke up “covered in a Wookie coat” of mosquitos.

This is not as bad as a Wookie coat of mosquitos, but these words, they pique and annoy. I wake up with them rolling around my brain, which means I wake up feeling like I’ve been in a bowling alley all night. I roll over and notice I’ve burritoed myself into the covers of the ginormous bed I’m in here at the guest house we’re renting.

As I’m trying to get out, I push away the novel I’m studying for my thesis class, it being what I love to fall asleep to, and the crinkling noise tells me that I’ve rolled onto the jewelry catalog a friend has brought for me to peruse. I love the words in this catalog; they are throwaway ones, meant to evoke orgies of consumption.

The walk to the bathroom is only a few feet–two steps and I’m there; another step and I’m in front of the sink–but I can’t seem to make the distance without a book in my hand. I grope around under the covers–ah! there it is, the slim volume of poetry I’ve become interested in lately–and crack open a random page as I take the one, two, three steps to the sink.

The vanity to the sink is large enough that I can set the book down while I’m brushing my teeth and washing my face, but I’m mid-poem now, and I don’t want to end it yet, so I stand in front of the mirror with the book in one hand, and try with the other to squeeze the toothpaste and brush my teeth while I’m reading the poem. It’s not a pretty sight, but it is a nice poem.

I cannot do this while I am washing my face.

Today we are on day 7. Yesterday was graduation day. It was lovely and I cried a lot, but that’s OK. I was really moved by the charge to the students and our friend Mandy’s response, and I it occurred to me that maybe the reason I get so weepy at these things is because we all know what the graduates have been to to get to this culmination of skill and diligence.

It’s a gorgeous morning out as I type, and I’m feeling the need to get up and about. I have a thesis meeting in a half hour or so, and then tomorrow I have to go back to managing the workday as well as managing my own writing.

In short, it’s just another workweek. But here, the work feels like a definite unwelcome intrusion.


Homage to the Weekend, in three parts

The Daily Life Text

Part I: The Race That Was Not (A Race)

To Whom It May Concern,

This weekend I participated in your Rebel Race. A friend encouraged me to “Escape the Weakday”–GREAT slogan!–and be a rebel. I must also admit that I was drawn to the idea of a lot of mud, an obstacle course (I have been lifting, after all), and the free beer that came with the entry fee ($60). I am also a sucker for trail running.

Now, let’s talk about the six ginormous bottlenecks that took place over the 5K course: One at race’s beginning, one almost immediately after the race start, and the four that were peppered over the rest of the mileage.

You promised me a race and a free T-shirt and a free beer. $60 for a 5K race is about $20 per mile. I figure I did not get to race for about a half-mile. Also, I did not drink your free beer because it was a Bud Light and I am almost 100% sure that is not actually beer.

Plus I had to pay $10 to park. All told, I figure you owe me about $18 (Bud Light being $5 at a bar, tops). But I bought the race with a Groupon, so you really only owe me about $9. Please donate that amount to a real race.

Thank you sincerely, however, for the opportunity to spend the day with friends.


Part II: Hideous Clearing Out

Lara and Peter and I have challenged each other to give away, sell, recycle, or discard one item a day for the next three months or so. (I think that’s right. Guys, weigh in if I’m wrong.) This is because we are pack rats and need a little help from our friends.

I got a little excited and stated eBaying stuff the week before Lara got back from her trip, which is cheating. But here is what I have given away (or have listed for sale on eBay) since the Monday we started, which is the 16th, a full week ago.

  •  Rollabind/Circa punch: I have had this thing since 2010 and I have never gotten the hang of the Circa system. I believe this is solidly because I am just not that organized.
  • Levenger Junior notebook: I know, this is in the same listing as the punch, but I am giving it to myself as an item because damnit, I can.
  • A big stack of books: To my neighbor Kathlyn, who loves to read and who is a librarian.
  • A big pile of nail polish: Lots of mini-bottles whose colors weren’t right for me. I freecycled these. 
  • A spice rack with glass jars: Jim bought this for me ages ago when we were first living together IN TWO THOUSAND TWO OMG because he knew I liked to entertain, but it was prelabeled and we no longer see the point of buying spices only to re-fill existing jars.
  • Some half-empty bottles of facial lotion: My cabinet was a wreck before, cos sometimes you buy things like facial lotion and you think they’ll work, and they end up not working at all, or causing gigantic blemishes. Anyway, this was my cabinet before: And this is after:
Okay, so I’m a couple of items behind. Yargh. I have already sold FOUR pairs of shoes on eBay! So THERE! Gack! And given away something like 12 T-shirts!
Meh. This paring-down stuff is hard. And oh shite I just realized I will be gone for nearly a month all told between August and September, so I’d better start counting every book and every T-shirt. What? No? Is that against the rules?
Part III: A Short Trip to the Airport
In reality, it was not a short trip at all. First we stopped at the deli to pick up a sushi lunch that we could all enjoy. Then we were stuck in traffic. Then Mr. Gooddirt got angry at the &$*(! driver in front of us. Finally we got to the airport, and wandered around looking for stuff and guessing at where we should be, until I fielded a phone call:
“Hi, Dad.”
“We are at Terminal 3, check-in.”
More wandering. Then another phone call.
“I did not mean what I said before. We are at Terminal 3, east side, ticketing, door CRACKLE FUZZ FRIZZITY BLOOP.”
More wandering. Then asking of harried airport employee. Then finally, playing a hunch and looking outside, there were my parents, fresh off a flight and onto a four-hour layover at our worst airport.
Then there was looking at vacation photos and sharing of sushi lunch and complaining about one’s daughter’s haircut, and then an hour and a half later, two hugs from each of them for each of us goodbye, and then swatting of Mr. Gooddirt by mother, just for good measure, and then off they went, two figures smaller then I actually remember them, through the security gate and away for their flight back to California.



Fugue State

The Daily Life Text

I took half of Friday to recharge my batteries and see The Met’s annual collaboration with The Costume Institute, called “Impossible Conversations: Schiaparelli and Prada.”

A little background: Elsa Schiaparelli was a designer whose heyday was during the 1930s-60s. She had a playful sensitivity about her that belied fashion’s then-more utilitarian purpose; rather than using fashion as a reflection of the times, she used it to drive aesthetic sensitivity. It all makes sense when you consider that she collaborated multiple times with Salvador Dali, a visual artist who put his views to work for clients as varied as Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney.

Elsa Schiaparelli

Here’s Salvador Dali’s “Eye” painting, 1945

And here’s one of Schiaparelli’s hats, called the “Eyelash,” which is meant to evoke the idea of the whole head as an eye.

Miuccia Prada is one of our contemporary designers, of course. You’ve all seen her logo:

photo via VocialWeb.it

And some of her work:

image via catwalkqueen.tv

Here’s where it gets tricky. The exhibit is called “Impossible Conversations” because clearly it’s impossible for the living, breathing Prada to have a conversation with the long-gone Schiaparelli. But it’s also modeled after a Vanity Fair column that used to run in the 1930s called “Impossible Interviews,” which featured caricatures of unlikely conversationalists (John D. Rockfeller and Joseph Stalin, for instance). The caricatures, painted by Miguel Covarrubias, were accompanied by text by Corey Ford, a regular contributor to the magazine. (For more on the “Impossible Interviews” and a snippet of text, go to the Norman Rockwell Center’s great page on it.)

Okay, that was a lot of background.

It’s an interesting premise, even if the title of the thing–and its invited comparison to the Vanity Fair feature–encourages the underlying belief that Schiaparelli and Prada have deeply conflicting ideas on fashion. (They do, but they’re not as wide in scope as, say, communism and capitalism.) Also, the Vanity Fair column seemed to be entirely tongue-in-cheek, and totally absurdist, whereas this exhibit is entirely earnest.

But it was a disappointment. It starts off with a video of Prada and Schiaparelli sitting at a huge Italianate table having drinks. I thought we’d have recordings of Schiaparelli’s voice with maybe some still photographs at her end of the table (why else is that table so damned long?), but no, it’s Australian actress Judy Davis, giving it her all in an updo and a severe black dress.

Actress Judy Davis (photo via au.ibtimes.com)

Prada, for her part, is just Prada. And it was interesting to hear her talk about what it was like to labeled “minimalist,” and how, as a child, she hid behind things and eventually used fashion as a way to “out” herself. (She doesn’t mean outing as from the closet; she means she found a way to express herself.)

But here’s the thing: it IS possible for even a fine art exhibit to think too much of itself, and I think that’s what happened here. The whole thing is way too meta: Here’s an art exhibit riffing off a magazine column that riffed off of real life. And  snippets of the film play all the way through the exhibit, creating a fugue-like atmosphere that distracted entirely from the beauty of the work. All I could hear was Davis’ Italian-ate accent grinding its way through my brain.

So there you are, trying to see why it is these two designers have been paired together, but the clips play throughout, making it really hard to concentrate on some of the statements that Schiaparelli actually made about her work, which are printed at the foot of some of the items. (The script of the film varies just slightly from the actual text of Schiaparelli’s own commentary, whereas Prada’s commentary seems to be taken verbatim from the script, or vice-versa. The whole thing is just too much.)

So what was missing for me? Schiaparelli did some amazing work. She has her relatively tame lobster dress, which was a gorgeous piece of white organza that had a huge lobster printed on it; and her work was incredibly playful–check out these acrobat buttons:

But the exhibit didn’t have what I think is one of her most interesting works, the skeleton dress:

Skeleton Dress image via pumpkincat2010.wordpress.com

And I’m pretty sure it didn’t even include the lobster dress, but instead included an image of it.

I think the most glaring omission of the exhibit was the express exclusion of any mention of the gorgeous masks, all created in the spirit of surrealism by British hairstylist Guido Palau. Here are a few snaps from StyleRumor.com

I would have loved to have seen an artist’s statement from Palau, at least, on these masks. (I think it’s a testimony to their awesomeness that, by the time I got to the Met mini-shop at the end of the exhibit, they’d sold out of the postcards that featured the masks. And it’s worth mentioning, too, that Palau did the masks for the Met’s exhibit on Alexander McQueen last year.)

In the end, I’m glad I went. But I was left with the impression that, rather than wanting to highlight the importance of these two designers to fashion, The Met went the route of highlighting its own importance to the world of fashion exhibits.

The whole exhibit ends with a snippet of film in which Schiaparelli/Davis questions whether she and Prada would have been friends or foes if they had lived during the same era. Prada laughs and says, “No, Schiap, no!”

In the end, I think it’s perhaps this false familiarity, the use of the diminutive where permission to use it most certainly hasn’t been granted,  that signifies everything that grates about this exhibit. Schiaparelli’s work perhaps deserves an exhibit of its own. She doesn’t need a backdrop for us to appreciate her designs and artistry. She certainly doesn’t need Baz Luhrman (I KNOW!!), Judy Davis, scriptwriters, and trick photos* to enthrall us.

It’s questionable that she even needs Miuccia Prada.

*If you go, take a close look at the black-and-white photos of Schiaparelli’s work. Just stand there awhile. Trust me.

hodge-podge brain dump

The Daily Life Text

1. I just had a brainfart and tried to go to the blogger platform to add this post. As much as I love the flexibility this platform allows me, I think I really miss the user interface of blogger. Hm. Points to ponder. Weirdly, I last used blogger something like years ago–Peter turned me on to Posterous, which I really really loved, and then Ed helped me to move over to this site. I don’t know. Maybe WordPress just needs more orange.

2. Here are some things Sprocket has been compared to:

A piece of licorice

See for yourself:

Hamster butt:

(photo CuteOverload.com)

Witness it!

An ottoman

Those first two comparisons are courtesy of Jen Flowers, by the way.

3. People always ask how long it takes to get over a deployment. That answer is highly individual. Because I am a wuss, I suspect it takes me longer than others. I like to Ponder Implications. I like to explore the things we did, and the way that those things might have affected me.

Today I finally feel some sense of normalcy. I no longer shy away from using tap water, and I don’t feel the urge to force myself to lie on the couch and Not Worry.

Perhaps most telling, I am starting on a new physical project that is very exciting, but I’m not going to tell you about it yet. You will have to be patient.

And the corollary to that, of course, is that I am finally ready to start work again on my thesis, which is being re-written in diary form.

So. It feels as if all gears, mental and physical, are turning. Here is a brief list of the things I do in the weeks after deployment. This is only after five deployments’ worth of experience, so I am curious to see how this list will change as I gain more experience.

  • Mope
  • Drift aimlessly from room to room
  • Eat. Anything. Buckets of popcorn; bushels of fresh fruit and veg; massive luxurious sandwiches. Those are the primary culprits.
  • Hide out. I almost never want to see anyone in the weeks after a deployment.
  • Watch TV. Loads and loads of old movies, or episode after episode of something like Miss Marple, Poirot, Frost, Lewis…(This may be because we almost always deploy with a Brit on the team, since there are more of them than there are of us. I’m probably just missing the accent.)
  • Lie on the couch.
  • Make a mess of the house, which inevitably is a clean slate for my mess, since Jim is nice enough to clean it just before I get home.
  • Stare at art. This goes back to the whole “hide out” thing. If you’re staring at art, people don’t usually approach you.

I think two weeks is about right. Weirdly, I never write about the deployment, and I don’t usually talk about it. And I usually get back on a weekend, so this one was weird in that I got back on a weekday and had to dive headlong into the workweek. I cancelled a trip to Philadelphia almost at the last minute cos I was feeling sick, but I really did think I was going to be Just Fine. What a dweeb.

Anyway. The day beckons. Hope it’s a good Monday for everyone!

Good citizenship

The Daily Life Text

This is Sprocket.


Well, that’s Sprocket and me, anyway.

Sprocket likes to run and play, like any other dog. And, like any other dog owner, I will say that he is probably the best behaved dog I know. His recall is pretty much 100%. He waits when we get to a street, until I tell him it is okay to cross. If we see someone coming with another dog, or children, we pull off the sidewalk and he sits until I tell him it is okay to say hello, or he waits until they go by. If we see another dog in the park, I make him sit and wait until I have walked up and greeted the dog and asked the dog owner if it is okay for Sprocket to say hello. If not, then I return to Sprocket and release him from his sit. If it is okay, I call him to come play.

We made sure he learned all of these things because Sprocket is primarily an off-leash dog. And I should say that in every city we’ve lived in, the local law enforcement seems to have become used to seeing him off leash. They largely turn the other way.

White Plains has been a challenge. It is by far the most dog-unfriendly city I’ve ever seen. Everywhere there are signs like this:

I am not proud of the fact that law enforcement has to look the other way. I do not ordinarily flaunt the fact that Sprocket can be walked off-leash when most other dogs can’t be. But I am saying this now because I have been made genuinely curious by something that happened on Saturday morning.

It was beautiful out, and Sprocket and I walked down to the local schoolyard to play. There is a track there, one I’ve written about before, and there were kids riding their bikes on the track and people walking around it. Normally, people are having lunch and playing soccer or volleyball and lots of kids are rollerblading around the track or riding their bicycles. Today, though, it was mostly just walkers and one or two bicycles. Sprocket and I were in the middle of the field in the track oval, playing fetch.

I was on my knee, saying something to Sprocket, when I noticed a man coming over. He was not smiling, but he was walking doggedly towards us. Usually people want to say hi. But this man’s face was not friendly. So I stayed where I was.

He got to within a few feet of me and pointed. “There are two signs, one there and one there, that say ‘No dogs allowed,'” he said. He’s right. They look like this:

“I know,” I said. “We’re not bothering anyone.”

“The signs are right there,” he said.

“Uh huh,” I said. “When you see people riding their bikes, or rollerblading, or drinking booze in here or playing soccer or volleyball here, do you go up to them and tell them they’re breaking the law?”

“So you’re saying that their wrong makes you right.”

“No. I’m just asking if you treat them the same way you’re treating me.” Here I point. “That little girl has been here on her bike for awhile. Are you now going to tell her she can’t be here?” [Here I was erroneous. I thought the sign included bicycling too, but it doesn’t, for some weird reason. Bikes on a track are much more dangerous than skates.]

“I’m going to call the cops,” he says. “You can argue with them.”

“I’m not arguing with you,” I say. “I’m just curious.”

After that the situation disintegrated. Sprocket and I left the field with me yelling something about ruining everyone’s Saturday and then I believe I said very loudly that the man was a terrible citizen and that he should be ashamed of himself and that it’s always dog owners who pick up after the riff raff of White Plains.

And it’s true, too. The first sign I posted above, the brown one, is in the park across the street from us. When we first moved here Sprocket and I would go very early in the mornings and play ball or frisbee when there were fewer people. Now, no matter when we go, there are dogs in there. They run here and there while we owners keep a sharp eye out for glass 40s or food containers with leftover fried chicken in them, where people who are stoned or drunk will leave them after they’ve eaten off their binge drinking or whatever.

We pick up after ourselves every time. Sometimes I will pick up after errant dog owners…maybe they didn’t have a plastic bag with them.

Despite our poaching the park, I still feel like a good citizen. But after I’d told the guy out loud that he was being a bad citizen, I had to take a really hard look at myself: Am I being a good citizen?

What do you think?



The Daily Life Text

This past week has been utterly non-stop.

Last Thursday I went to Connecticut for the annual Go Red luncheon, in support of awareness of women’s heart disease.

Later that night, I picked up my good friend Nicola from the bus station.

From Thursday night until the following Tuesday, we had a packed schedule that involved me getting up early in the morning to work so Nic and I could mess around town and see art and go for walks in the woods; things we like to do together. It was nuts. We went to MOMA and hung with friends and saw a reading and hosted a visitor and had dinner with 10 of my nearest and dearest, and then we hosted dinner for 10 at my place on Saturday night.

Tuesday Nic left for Boston, part of an East Coast tour she’s doing, and although I moped a bit on Tuesday afternoon, feeling like the house was awfully empty, there was–and is–plenty of work to be done.

Then this morning happened. At 8:10 or so I was walking the hound in the park, getting ready for my dentist appointment, and checking my e-mails. One from ShelterBox HQ was in the queue, asking after my availability for an as-immediate-as-possible-departure to Peru to respond to flooding.

I replied that I could go, returned the hound to home, went to my dental appointment, and on return to my desk, one side of face drooping from Novocaine, called in to confirm readiness.

I got confirmation from the team lead a scant hour later and started making arrangements. I was excited–I’ve never been first team in before, and never been on a recon trip, and the team lead is a good friend.

And then I got asked to stand down.

All of that is fine. The SRT member who is replacing me speaks Spanish and has responded to a Peruvian disaster for us previously. He is absolutely the right choice.

But do you know what? In the midst of all my preparation and dashing about last week, I realized that with the call to stand down came a small bubble of breathing space. Into that bubble came rushing in all the phone calls to friends I’ve been putting off because I’ve been too busy; all the small things I like to do that have gone undone because I have been too tired; all the meaningful correspondence I’ve been wanting to reply to.

“Stand down.” The order is more meaningful than I thought. Sometimes, a girl just needs to stand down. What a disguised blessing.

The long road home

The Daily Life Text

Ooh, but it’s felt like a very long time since I’ve had time to sit about and do nothing. First there was a trip to DC to help move my brother and his wife into their lovely new home in Washington, DC. Then there was a week-long trip to Wisconsin and Chicago to see a friend get married and to visit with friends.

Then there was a friend moving back home–cause for great fanfare on that count–and then there was The Weekend, and now it is Monday again. I am too tired to do anything but photodump, so I’ll do that.

In related news, there were 479 photos on my Blackberry when I finally purged it this morning. I’ve noted it elsewhere, but I’ll say it again–when you’ve been staring at a photo on a very small screen for ages, it is somewhat of a shock to see it on big screen. The results can either be good, or shockingly bad, or just kind of annoying. (“I never noticed my lens was smudgy before!”)

Here are some photos from the trip. Our friend Kim got married in Wisconsin, and the reception was at the Harley Davidson museum. Peeps, if you’ve never been, go. It is truly an extraordinary archive of everything machine-related, and that includes marketing materials. For a word nerd like me, it was heaven. Here:

Love this fantastic copy.
And this great poster, a collaboration between Harley Davidson and the National Coalition for Safety, whatever that is.
and this.
The bridal party, from afar.
Kim hired the Milwaukee Brewers racing sausages. There were 5, and they did the Conga line and the Chicken dance. Only in Milwaukee.
Here's a photo of a 1936 Harley. Love the sweeping lines.
Just look at the gorgeous marchinery that goes into a bike.
This lovely sidecar is called a "chummy car." Wonderful.
If I had a motorbike, I'd want this one. It was created in '74, the year I was born. Must be a sign.

I shall close with this photo. Kim had these little LED lights that substituted for candles. When I turned my back,…well, this is what happened.

I see a remarkable resemblance to these creatures:

Hopefully the next time I post I’ll have less fuzzy photos and more interesting things to say. Sigh.

Kickstart My Heart, Part II

The Daily Life Text

So. While I was headed down to the gym earlier tonight (at 10:30! What a joke!) I was struck with the most certain terrifying thought that if I didn’t write down all of the wedding weekend festivities, I’d just…forget.
I mean, hey, we all say things like, “It was a night we’d never forget,” but…well, a girl gets old. Stuff falls out and between the cracks. And besides, I want to share this with peeps who weren’t able to go.
So I’ll give you the rundown of the weekend now. But in the interest of space and your own sanity, I’ll save the rumination for later. There’s a lot to think about.
Got that? Boring timeline now; potentially boring reflections later.
Okay. So when last we left this blog, it was Wednesday afternoon and Lara and I were picking up Ms. Jody. We collected a bizarrely baggage-less girl, and although gullible me just shrugged when Jody waved her small carryon backpack at me and said, cheerfully, “dress and shoes, that’s all I need!” it proved to be that the airline had lost Jody’s luggage.
So we spent part of the trip out of Vegas trying to find mobile phone spots in which Jody could bark at the airline, trying to figure out when her luggage was going to get to Death Valley. We had a minor detour during which we stopped at WalMart and Michael’s to pick up some odds and ends*, and then it was finally, finally off to Death Valley. We checked into our individual rooms, said hi to Jim and Scott and Nichole (Jim’s best man and our officiant, respectively), and then, delight of delights, got a text that Peter was already at the resort, family in tow.
We met Peter for drinks and some light eats at the Corkscrew Salon, and then hot-footed it back to my suite to put together gift bags. This included some small disappointments: The letters I’d had the resort print out came out in a different, decidedly non-1920s font, despite my spending some time having chosen a specific look, and I forgot to add the location of the post-race BBQ to said letter, so Jody spent some precious time and energy writing the location on each of the 52 gift bags. Nuts. This might be why the scene in our room looked like this:

[photo: Jody]
In the end, though, everything looked OK.
photo: cousin Rachel, wicked w a camera
It felt a little bit surreal. I’ve never undertaken such a large-scale “craft” job, unless you count the time I made all those bracelets for Terry, and that was just with Jim helping. This time, having two of my closest friends nearby, felt strange, especially with Kim Kardashian yammering in the background. I still don’t know why Lara chose that channel. But I said I wouldn’t ruminate.
Okay. So. The next morning we gathered for breakfast and then showed Lara and Roj (he’d arrived earlier that morning) and Jody around the ceremony and reception site, and then, with Scott and Nichole and our friends Kathy and Jeff in tow, we finally set off a little after lunchtime for a trip to the nearest sites available to us, Badwater Basin, the Artist’s Palette, and…something I can’t remember right now. Oh, right, the Natural Bridge.
Here’s Badwater.

Photo: Lara

Yes, yes, that’s me and Roj tasting the water. I daresay, I think my plank is better than Roj’s, although I will confess I had a dangerous time of actually getting up from the dip that was required if I was going to taste the wine of the desert.
Here, I like this photo:
Photo: Lara

And here’s a photo from Lara’s camera of our group. Lookit all the friends!

Jody and Lara and Roj and I went back to the Inn, where Jody and I went to sit by the pool and chatted up the race director, and then we ended up deciding that it was a good time to head up to the bar with Lara. The text messages started coming in then; Jen and Ken; Kara Andersen, and Jim stopped by, and I know there were one or two others, but I cannot remember now.**
Dan and Audrey arrived then, and we had drinks up in my room, and then eventually my parents and my brother and sister-in-law pulled in, and after getting them all settled in, we went out to dinner down at the Ranch, where we ran into a whole bunch of other friends, like Ed and Kathleen and Peggy and Amalia and some other people*** and it began to sink in just a little bit that everyone was gathered here for a reason.
It was a most delicious sensation. But I digress.
The next day was race day. We got up and dragged ourselves down to race start, where, oh! joy of joys! My parents AND Kara’s were waiting, to take pictures of the race start, and we heard that Lara had indeed decided to undertake the marathon with Jody and Jim’s brother Jon and his trainer TJ. The half-marathoners were me, Roj, Kathy, Jeff, Kara, Rachel, Ed, Kathleen, Peter, and Dustin. And Jim decided he was going to do the 10K. Here’s this lovely lovely race photo!

Kathleen and I ran almost all the way together. I’m sure I was holding her back, but by mile ten my hamstring was seriously jacked up and I told Kath to go on. We had a nice run together, anyway, and I enjoyed the company and stopping to take photos and the scenery and all of it. I do love that race.
I came in nowhere near where I wanted my time, but there’s not a whole lot you can do about crap training.
Roj won his age group, and Jody won her age group in the marathon, and and and … well.
After that, we stumbled back to the hotel and did stuff I can’t remember, like…ummmmm. Gosh. I really don’t know. This is awful. I know I was with Jim. Maybe we were looking for my parents. Maybe we hung out with my brother? Maybe we hung out by the pool again. Or maybe I went down to the Ranch to hang out with Jody. No, that’s not right, cos I was back at the Inn in time for rehearsal.
Yes, rehearsal!!
Here was our wedding site, pretty much:
Photo: Alan

If you look real closely you can see all the chairs set up for the ceremony in the upper right hand corner of the photo.
So rehearsal happened, and then there was a post-race BBQ where there was a ton of roasting and a ton of laughs and just some really good times and apparently the cameras didn’t come out until, at 8PM, it got windy and we all repaired to the bar at the Ranch.
Oh. My.
It was crazy buffoonery and there was rather too much drinking for the night before a wedding, but hey, what the heck. You only live once.
Jim went to stay in another room (why? why? I will never understand this), so when I woke up hungover then next morning at 5:45, having been awakened by the howling whistling wind, I totally freaked out. And I called Jim.**** This is the problem with outdoor weddings, you see. Things could Go Wrong.
Well, they didn’t go wrong. The wind died down, we took our pre-wedding photos, which included a little bit of this:
Photo: Nichole Donje

and some of this:
Photo: Scott Allinson

and finally some of this:

and then we went back to the Inn and put our feet up for a wee bit, and then there was a ceremony and some vows and then there was this:
Photo: Matt Siber
Photo: Scott Allinson

And then there was an Epic Fricken Party with the best friends in the world and a pretty good after-party, and that’s all I have to say about that for now, cos this post is SO LONG.
But I will risk a bit of rumination and just say here that it was one of the two best weekends of my life, for a few reasons. One, everyone who was there mattered. Really, really mattered. And two, it was the best ever for its normalcy. Think about it: We had drinks and dinner, we ran a race; we had a post-race BBQ, and then we had a big event and everyone went home happy.
This is the way every weekend should be.
Next post, some Deep Thoughts. Well…some thoughts, anyway.

*these included some gift bags and an item of clothing which I will er, reflect on later.
**See? How awful is that? I’ve already started to forget! If someone out there is reading this and was there, could you remind me?
***Seriously, brain is for shit.
****It would have been so much easier if we had been together, so I could have just pounced on him and yelled, “MAKE IT STOP!” instead of doing it over the phone.

Woman, Clean Thy Closet

The Daily Life Text

I’m taking a break from purging my closet to write this post. A girl needs a break, after all. Since I’ve spent roughly the last two hours purging, I have been reminded of a few things.

  • I am an inveterate pack rat. This means not only that I keep things I really should throw out, but also that I keep things in the hopes that I’ll someday use them. Things that people bought me that I’ll never ever wear or use; or things like, um, socks or gloves that have lost their mates, or old T-shirts that I think that I’ll eventually turn into rags or donate to the local animal shelter or something. Freecycle has been a lifesaver, but…
  • I am a panty-waist. I keep a lot of things around in the fear that I will eventually go looking for it and then suffer horrible pangs of guilt or sorrow that I gave the thing away. In reality, of course, there’s only one item that I really wish I’d kept in the years I have of giving things away or throwing them out, and that’s a little loden-green vest with suede edging that I got at Loehmann’s with my mom AGES ago. Fifteen years ago, maybe.
  • Purging makes me  nostalgic. I feel like I have to call up all of my long-lost friends and have a conversation of some sort.
  • Purging results in a bigger mess before the benefits of a more orderly life can be reaped. You should see all of the handbags all over my effing floor. Horrible.
  • Purging makes me think of the lifecycle of a product. I have socks and pantyhose from a good five years ago and they’re still all elastic and fine. I haven’t worked in an office for about that long, so what the hell am I doing with pantyhose? And what will happen if I throw them out? Can I depend on them actually degrading and not clogging up a landfill? This is terrible. I will have to see if there’s anything I can actually do with all of these textiles.

Okay. Back to it. Do I really have to throw out this enormous pile of single socks? So sad!!