Archive for June, 2004

Jun 28 2004

This entry has no soul.

Published by under Outdoors,The Man,Wedding,Work

I’m turning into one of those people who just ramble.  I hate that!  But I am far, far too lazy to stop rambling.  Ramble on, sister. . .

WEDDING FREAK OUT UPDATE

We have secured a DJ.  He swears he will not play The Chicken Dance or the Hokey Pokey.  We didn’t discuss “Takin’ Care of Business” but I think it was implied.

We have not secured a photographer…yet.  The lady we talked to on Friday wanted to charge us an extra $450 because we had the nerve to get married on a holiday weekend.  I am talking to another guy right now who sounds promising.  Waiting to hear from two others but if they don’t get their asses in gear I’m just going to go with the one who is attentive to me and he’ll win by default.  Hey, that’s how the DJ got his gig.

I have yet to pay Stylin for my bridesmaids gifts.

I still need to find a florist, someone to alter my dress, and a cake baker.

I need to decide what music pieces I want for the ceremony.  So far I only have one picked out.  I need four.  That’s a lot of music when you don’t know much about music.

DIY HOME EDITION

Is there anything more mind-numbing than reading about other people’s yard work?  This is an experiment to see how much you care.

I don’t know who put the Jolt Cola in our water supply this weekend, but me and The Man had a big ol’ yard working time of it.  Saturday I had to go to a shower (as opposed to take a shower, and PS what is this, the year of showers or what?  STOP GETTING MARRIED AND HAVING BABIES EVERYONE. PLEASE. FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS AT LEAST.), but we went to Lowe’s afterwards and I bought a bunch of perennials to plant along the back wall of the deck (Shasta Daisys, Coneflower, English Lavender, and Coreopsis for those of you who care).  The Man went to his stepdad’s Saturday night, but I ran a race with the sun, digging holes and digging rocks OUT of holes so that I could get my plants in the ground before it got too dark to see.  To top it off, our “dirt” is actually “clay”, so I wasn’t digging so much as breaking up stuff.  And when I wasn’t breaking up clay, I was lifting out large, heavy rocks and ranting to myself like a deranged homeless person.  “Oh, sure, let’s bury some huge freaking rocks right here!  Sounds awesome!  Because what are the odds that someone would ever want to – I don’t know – PLANT something in an area that is OBVIOUSLY a flower bed!”  And then I couldn’t actually cover up the plants’ root balls, I just had to place small hunks of clay and then douse the whole thing with water to hope it formed back into something relatively solid.  But when darkness fell, I was finishing up my watering and ready to go inside and chisel my hands out from their adobe casing.

Next day – Sunday – The Man got right to work tearing down the dog coop next to one of our sheds.  He ingeniously used the walls and roof of the coop to make himself a new “firewood stacking area” on the opposite side of the shed and moved all of the poorly stacked firewood from the back of the garage into its new home.  This, of course, pissed off one of our chipmunks, who has been living in the woodpile, so he spent most of Sunday creating a new home under the garage.  The Man chainsawed up the rest of the dog house and coop, and we will have quite a fire next time.  I felt bad for the chipmunk, so I built him a new front porch out of bricks – now he has a little brick tunnel to run down.  I left him some sunflower seeds so he would know we were sorry about destroying his last house and he was welcome to live under our garage.

Meanwhile, I had gotten very tired of looking at the ginormously overgrown apple tree in the backyard.  I can’t cut out the extra branches until fall, or the tree will starve to death or some such nonsense, but nothing says I can’t cut out the dead wood.  So I did.  I cut.  And cut.  AND cut.  I don’t think the tree has been trimmed in 20 years and I am not exaggerating.  Branches fell into my hair, face, and onto my head.  I stepped on branches and they flew up to hit my in my face some more.  But when I was done, there was a huge pile of dead wood in the yard, and the tree looked better.  Plus, I can walk underneath it now without dead branches tearing at my hair.  Score!  When fall comes and all the leaves are off, that tree is going to undergo some major freaking surgery.  It will probably end up half the size it is now, but according to Those Who Know, apple tree branches are not supposed to cross, and the branches that stick straight up (water-seekers) need to be cut off as well.  The water seekers alone are half the tree.

After that, I had the much easier job of reining in my potted petunias.  I’m never getting petunias again.  They take so much damn maintenance it just kills me.  I will get hanging plants next year that just require watering and minimal trimming and that will be that!

All in all, the yard is looking better.  We are slowing getting rid of the last occupant’s junk and random weirdness and reclaiming the area behind the garage.  This fall we will plant some trees in the old garden area and then we can work on reseeding that with grass in the spring.  Or whenever.

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY TODAY

  • I was the only one in the ladies room a few minutes ago.  I hate it when people try to talk to me as I’m peeing.
  • Bob Evans biscuits.  Yum.
  • No one has had any problems with the latest quiz released.
  • One of my teammates got my chapter turned into a PDF doc when my computer inexplicably went on strike.
  • My caffeine withdrawal headaches have been relatively mild.
  • My hair has not reacted to the humidity by going POOF!
  • It rained, which means I probably don’t have to water my plants again tonight. Go go moisture-retaining clay soil!
  • I’m having a forein-language battle with another of my teammates.  He speaks Spanish and I don’t, so I have to use Babelfish to write my replies.  I inadvertently told him “I have little cats in my undergarmets”, when I meant to say “I have kittens in my socks”.  Apparently the word calcetines has multiple meanings.  How the hell was I supposed to know?

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Jun 23 2004

Awwww. . . freak out!

Published by under Wedding

Hi, how’s everyone doing?  Me?  I’m freaking out.  Just a little bit.  It’s the wedding stuff.  See, I’m trying to find these people, like photographers and musicians, and I think I might have put it off for a little too long.  Or maybe didn’t pay enough attention to how much it was going to cost.  The photographer people I’m not really that worried about. . . we have an appointment to meet with one on Friday and I’ve got another guy on standby (although he’s kind of more expensive than I wanted).  But it’s the music that is really getting my head turned around.

See, the issue here is that we’re not having a traditional “get drunk and party on the dance floor” kind of wedding.  For one thing, those kinds of receptions always give me a headache.  For another, The Man’s family is not all about the loud, raucous party.  But mostly I just wanted a get-together where everyone can eat, drink, talk, and see each other, because we don’t all get together a lot.  And for this, all I really need is some background music: jazz or classical or something nice to hear but that is not THUMPA THUMPA THUMPA club music.  But most of the DJs in this area seem to be “high energy”, and there is apparently a musician shortage in my area because I only found one string quartet and they are not responding to hails.  No pianists or keyboardists.  No people playing the Kenny G soprano sax (gag). At this point, I’d take a guy on a sousaphone playing nursery rhymes if he could do it in a “background music” kind of way.  No, I’m just kidding.  I don’t need a lot of sousaphone players banging on my digital door, quoting me prices.  But even if they did, I wouldn’t know if their prices were reasonable because I don’t know what the normal amount is to pay.  I want music for the ceremony and the reception – reception will last about 4.5 hours.  Someone could tell me this will cost a two thousand dollars and I wouldn’t know if they were serious or pulling my leg or giving me a great deal.  No clue.

So, this wedding is looking to be a silent affair.  Or maybe we can all just set up a CD player and make mix CDs beforehand.  Or each table can have one of those clever little “private” juke boxes like you see in retro diners.  That would be cool.  But I’m just freaking out a little bit about the reception – I want it to be a good time (hence the open bar), but I don’t want it to be a BRAWL.  I mean, we’re going to be in formal wear, and to me that just means that you don’t roll on the floor doing the Alligator (seen it, it’s ugly).  I want to spend time with the people who trekked all that way to be at my wedding.  I don’t want to have to shout to be heard.  I don’t want my guests to walk out with no hearing and a headache and stinging eyes from the fog machine (been there).  And I want a little mood music, at a reasonable price, from someone who is not going to get all weird and think it’s okay to play The Chicken Dance or The Thong Song.

If anyone is in Michigan and wants a job spinning tunes or playing the sousaphone at a reception in November, shoot me a line.  Bring your Casio keyboard and hit the Demo button all night.  Whatever.

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Jun 16 2004

Wanted: Wedding Readings.

Published by under Wedding

It’s hard to try and plan a civil wedding service that consists of a bit more than “Do you?  Good.  Do you?  Good.  Ok, you’re married, kiss her.”  I’ve been prowling the Internet, trying to find example ceremonies to use, so I can steal bits and pieces of the wording.  But what I’m really having a time with are the readings.  I want two readings, neither of them from the Bible or the standard love poems.  So far, I’ve got one reading from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gilbran.  I really don’t want to have to search through volumes and volumes searching for the perfect chunk of words.  I’ve been doing searches on wedding readings, but you know what I get?  Lots of sites that are selling books full of popular readings for weddings.  That’s kind of sad.  I don’t want to buy a whole book full of quotes that I’m only going to use once!  I’m thrifty!  And lazy!  So, I’m asking for a bit of help.  If you have suggestions for readings you think I’d like, leave them in the comments.  There are a few criteria:

  • Can’t be a short little snippit, like only four lines.  I’m not hauling someone up to the podium to recite “Roses are red, Violets are blue, it’s our wedding day, and I’m glad I chose you.”
  • Can’t be a poem.  Sorry.  I don’t really like poems.  But it can be poetic prose!  I’m all about that!
  • Nothing from the Bible, or any other Holy books.  We’re not having a religious ceremony for a reason.
  • Not anything else from “The Prophet”.  It’s beautiful, but I’ve already got one quote from there.
  • Not “A Gift From the Sea”.  It’s good, but it’s a little tired.

If you go to all the trouble of helping me, and your reading gets picked, what will you win?  Um. . . I don’t know!  What would you like?  I’ve got some Kool-Aid, I think.  Maybe some candy?  Yeah, cool.  If you win, I’ll send you some candy and some Kool-Aid (packets).  How ya like THAT?

Other than the one missing reading, I think I’ve got some pretty good bits and pieces to choose from.  I’m trying to give Hierophant an idea of how I want the ceremony to flow and what kinds of things each part consists of. . . if he likes and feels comfortable using the pieces I’ve found, cool.  If he doesn’t see himself being able to keep a straight face reading some of it, he can suggest something else.  I think it will be interesting once we get down to it.

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Jun 14 2004

Tripping on shopping.

Published by under The Man

Had to go to the mall this weekend. I needed to get two of the most girly things possible: makeup and new lingerie. Sweet. And The Man came with me, in what I’m sure was a totally fun-filled trip for him. First he got to sit in the Marshall Field’s “intimates” department for about twenty minutes while I tried to find some undergarments that didn’t look like something a prison matron would wear (is that too much information? I can never tell). And let me tell you, men in the “intimates” department seem to be viewed with a great deal of suspicion. I don’t understand it. Most of the time, if you stop to take a good look at them, they don’t look lecherous at all, they look kind of panicky. Because they don’t want one of those broads deciding that they’re a pervert and then attacking with the great big Mom-type purses that hold 50 pounds of shit from a gold brick to three-year-old chewing gum. So yeah, The Man was stuck in there for a little while, and I tried to be cognizant of that fact and hurry up as much as possible. Plus, I freaking hate trying stuff on in those dressing rooms that are specifically designed with three major features:

  1. Fluorescent lighting: All flaws are visible in the harsh, unforgiving light of reality. And just in case you missed something you’ve got
  2. Three-angle mirrors: No matter where you turn, your big fat ass is there, making you stare at it. And because no normal woman can take this for very long, you’ll begin to cry which is when you notice that you’ve got…
  3. Half-height louvered doors: Only the illusion of privacy. Every curse, every sob, every exclamation of “when the hell did my ass get that fat?!” will be heard clearly by the other people in the rooms around you. But don’t worry, they’re too busy with their own mental breakdowns to notice yours.

So, finally I’m done buying my new “intimate apparel” and we can go back downstairs to the Estee Lauder makeup counter to get my lipstick. But lo, Estee Lauder was giving away FREE GIFTS with purchase of $25.00 or more and I must have all free gifts! So I had to buy some eye makeup remover as well as the lipstick to get my total up high enough to get my FREE GIFT! And then I couldn’t find the shade of lipstick I needed, so The Man had to help me search through the miles and miles of lipsticks until we found it. If someone had been watching us shop that day, I’m sure that they would have thought The Man was a drag queen in training and I was his mentor, showing him how to be a “real girl”.

We got out of Marshall Field’s intact, and started to make our way to the exit. And that’s when we met Jordan.

Jordan is a young man who fell in step with us shortly after we left the store. He was walking right next to me, which I found unnerving. But what was really unnerving was that he talked to me. I’m not very personable under the best of circumstances, but when total strangers come up to me and act like we’re in the middle of a conversation, it really discomfits me, and I turn a little suspicious. In retrospect, I probably could have been nicer to the kid, but you never know what the hell is going on, so I try to keep strange people at a distance, as you can see from the transcript:

Jordan: I’m on summer break!
Me: Good for you.
Jordan: Yep, I have summer school this year, but today’s Saturday so I have the day off (makes a “raise the roof” motion)
Me: Uh-huh.
Jordan: I’m 14 years old. I go to <local school district>. Where did you guys go to school?
Me: Um. . .*not local school district*
The Man: *other local school district*.
Jordan: I’m going to be in ninth grade! I’m so glad to be done with middle school. My name’s Jordan, what’s yours?
Me: Jasina.
Jordan: Nice to meet you, Jasina (shakes my hand, and let me tell you, Jordan had the weakest handshake I’ve ever encountered. He basically just lay his hand inside mine) What’s YOUR name?
The Man: I’m The Man.
Jordan: Nice to meet you. Well, I guess I better get going.
Me: Okay then.
Jordan: Bye!

After he left, I muttered “What the hell was that about?” to The Man and he told me to check and make sure I had everything I was supposed to have. I did, so Jordan wasn’t a thief, anyway. Then we spent the rest of the drive home thinking up reasons that Jordan picked us to approach. Here’s some of our ideas:

  • His buddies dared him to do it
  • Jordan thinks that he is too shy, so he has set a goal of introducing himself to a set number of strangers every day to overcome his shyness
  • He is part of a psychological study and the doctor in charge of the study was hanging behind, taking notes on our behavior
  • He’s just a friendly kid
  • He was trying to pick up on me
  • He was trying to pick up on The Man

Regardless of the reason, it was a little surreal experience to top off our day at the mall. I’m starting to remember why I don’t like the mall that much.

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Jun 08 2004

The theme of this entry is work.

Published by under Media,Outdoors,Work

I started reading The Godfather yesterday and it’s a good book.  I’m relieved.  I needed a good book to cleanse my palate after my run of bad luck with the Crappy Classics.  By the way, check out the Reading list – at the very bottom is a list of books I want to read but haven’t gotten my hands on yet.  I’m looking for the “required reading” fiction.  You know the kind.  You had to read it in high school, or college, or whatever.  I didn’t have to read it, and now I have to make up for my ignorance.  Leave your additions to my required fiction reading list in the comments.

The rest of this entry has to do with various kinds of work.  And none of it is very long because I can’t make my brain focus on one subject for a great length of time.

YARD WORK

My yard is busting out in high style.  My peony bush bloomed and this morning I noticed that my roses are blooming as well.  Hurrah!  But I am getting tired of the sad little vinca that I planted around the flagpole.  They are not doing their part!  They are not growing as they ought!  I’ve had vinca before – you put them in the ground in bright sunlight and they grow!  These ones apparently did not get the memo, because they are remaining small and pathetic.  I have instituted a daily regimen of watering and yelling until they get their flowery little butts in gear.

HOUSE WORK

The Man and D– are supposed to be stopping by the storage unit on the way to our house tonight.  Which means that when I finally make it home, there will be Boxes Upon Boxes of more stuff for me to wade through.  I haven’t even gotten the last load put away yet.  And the cats are getting nervous with all the boxes in the house.  I’m sure they think we are going to pack everything up again and move them somewhere else.

WORKING OUT

I think I’m using my new stepping thinger wrong.  The lady on the workout video they sent me (which I didn’t ask for) keeps asking if I “can feel it” in my inner and outer thighs.  And I can’t.  I can feel it in my quads.  I didn’t know that I was climbing stairs wrong all this time.  That’s kind of embarrassing.

I can only assume I’m getting an okay cardio workout from this thing because I’m sweating like a pig when I’m done.  I had to stop exercising last night because sweat was running into my eyes and making them hurt.  I think I need to get me one of those Jane Fonda stretchy sweatbands.  Hip!

PLAIN OLD WORK

Today I got to be a firefighter as several small emergencies flared up and promptly got a bucket of water half-heartedly tossed on them.  It was almost exciting but I couldn’t get over being disgusted with the fact that all this could have been avoided if people actually talked to one another instead of relying on aliens to relay their messages.

WORK IT, SISTER!

My drunk girl t-shirt came in the mail yesterday.  It rules. I wonder if I have anything else on mail order that I forgot about.  I hope so.  I like getting things through the mail.  Except bombs.  Those aren’t so cool.

PS – This entry sucked.  I’m sorry you had to sit through that.

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