Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Details

Ok, now that I'm not feeling so damn scatter-brained, I can write a real paragraph or two. Eliza was correct in saying that I have so many things to say on my website that I haven't mentioned in this past month of non-writing.

Aside from the death of our beloved friend, life is still good! Last weekend, my friends from work and I had a girls' night out. Ok, that's misleading. We did not actually have a "night out." There wasn't any getting drunk happening, or dancing on table-tops, or debuachery of any sort. We did, however, go out to dinner.

Ladies

The ladies, in order from the top left, going counter-clockwise, are Jody, Alisha, Me and Jenny. I will tell you about them. None of them are from Virginia either! Jody is from Michigan and moved here this summer when she married her high school sweetheart. She's quite at first and very sweet and thinks that soda is called "pop." Alisha is from Salt Lake City. She is not Mormon, and she, too, is married. She is not shy or quiet and she has great fashions. You know me, so I will not give you a short synopsis of myself. Jenny is a sweet lamb. She is from Massachusetts just like me! In fact, she went to boarding school about a half an hour from my boarding school in the Berkshires. Jenny and I enjoy giggling and gossiping together at work. The moral of the story is, it's so nice to have some buddies in this not-so-strange-after-all land. And they are normal people! And they like me back, despite my strange qualities and the wanderer. I have also made another friend at work, who I think is friggin awesome. His name is Sarantos, and he is a lover of cats. He's smart and very thoughtful and reminds me in many ways of Gregory. For those of you who know me in the physical realm of life, you will meet these characters that I speak of at the wedding.

And speaking of the wedding. I am making so much progress in the planning. I deserve an award for the love of god. An Oscar, a Pulitzer, a Nobel, whatever, I deserve it. Get ready for it. I bought my dress!!! And I booked the location! And I had my first meeting with the florist! It's true! I'm getting married and there's actual evidence to prove it now! So here are some details. The dress. I got it at an amazing bridal consignment shop called Blush in Newport News. It'a Ivory, not white, and it's strapless and all that I ever wanted my dress to be. I like it better than the four thousand dollar dresses I tried on at the fancy shop. I really do. AND it cost me only five hundred dollars. I am the vacuum cleaner of bargains. It's just coming so natural to me! And the location. It's going to be at a golf course with a fancy club house in town. It's owned by Jack Nicholson, and it looks very Virginia. The ceremony is going to be outside, and the reception will be inside in the big dining room that opens onto the long veranda. Fancy. And the flowers. Not much has been decided on that end yet, but the flower meeting was really overwhelming and I almost started crying in the shop. Not so fabulous of me. I was a little bridezilla-ish in that moment. I can't decide if that's good or bad though. Anyway, that's that. Even though this week has been very hard and very sad, there has been happiness too. And many cocktails.

Austin

Austy Dog

We had to put Austin to sleep yesterday. I don't really know what to say about it. She's been sick for ages now. She hasn't been able to walk for a while. We've been carrying her in and out of the house to go to the bathroom. She stopped eating at least a week a go, and we finally took her to the vet this week. Following the vet's suggestion, we decided to let her go. She was miserable and in pain and couldn't take care of herself anymore. It was so very hard. It was actually harder before we did it than after she was gone. Sandy and I both had to say goodbye to her yesterday before we left for work, because Jason was taking her to the vet during the day. I've never been through this before. It's so hard, oh I don't know what else to say. The vet got her tests back and we found out that Austin had advanced stages of bone cancer. So it feels like we made the right decision. I'm glad she's out of pain. Ok, I will write more later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Country Boys

That PBS Country Boys show that I mentioned? You can even watch it from the website! How cool is that?

No More Drama

Life has been very regular for me lately. Which is new. In New York, we were so broke, and it was always so damn cold outside, and we were a little or a lot less responsible, that every day presented its own mini-drama to get through. Last year at this time, our roommate, Adam, and I had to sit in the bar on the corner of our block from the time that we got out of work until bedtime, because the bar had heating and our apartment did not. I worked on my thesis and Adam worked on I don't know what, and we enjoyed the free heat and drank gin and tonics, so they would not kick us out of the bar for loitering. Also, at this time last year, I wound up in the hospital with an "infection in my fallopian tube." To this day, I honestly do not think there was an infection in my tube. I really believe it was just some bad gas. But, the hospital that I went to in Brooklyn was not what I would classify as "well staffed" or "medically professional" or "cleanly" or even "a member of the National Medical Assocation." But that is neither here nor there. The point is, I'm used to a lot of drama, and there isn't a lot of that going on right now.

Every day, Jason drives me to work. I work, and I enjoy my job. I would even go as far as saying that I love my job. At five, Jason picks me up. We cook dinner, and then I try to stay up and watch some television or compute on my computer, but I generally fall asleep by 9:30. Not very dramatic. The wedding planning is adding some excitement, but I really haven't dug in yet. The past two days, however, there has been an event of note for me. PBS is showing this awesome three part mini-series called Country Boys. It follows the lives of two boys living in rural Kentucky. I think it's really good television and recommend it.

If you'd like, I can tell you a little bit about our neighborhood drama.

The woman who lives across the street from us is very old and volunteers at the local "center for enlightenment." She has extra space in her house, so she is kind enough to host foreign exhange students from the Center. And the young woman who is staying with her now is an animal whisperer! For clarity's sake, let's call her AW. Now the older woman used to have a dog. The dog used to roam around the neighborhood making housecalls, and Jason and I used to call him The Mayor, which is how I will refer to him here. The mayor died this summer at the age of 18. He led a good life. AW has been known to talk to different members of the block and describe the conversation that she had with his or her cat or dog. The funniest story, however, is the one she told about The Mayor. She said that she recently spoke with his spirit, and he told her that he's been down in New Orleans helping the Katrina victims. So I guess it's ok that The President may or may not have dropped the ball with the hurricane response, because the mayor has been down there taking care of things the whole time.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Two things

Max, thank you for the Jens Lekman recommendation! I "got" (or downloaded, if you will) his When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog album, and it's really knocking my socks of. His songs are serious, yet whimsical, and his deep voice makes me feel sentimental and sort of reminds me of Lou Reed. Thanks, buddy!

I had a strawberry marg tonight at dinner and it reminded me of you Mo, Eliza, Max and The Heights. Oh, memories. But I will say one thing. I do not mss having to ride home on the subway late at night after going out. You know, a little too tipsy to be riding alone and having to pee the whole way. Not so fun.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Natives

Virtually every day since I've been here, in this state of Virginia, I have been introduced to new, Southern ways of speaking. Namely, new phrases or pronounciations. And I am delighted by each and every introduction. Coming from Boston, I am not one to talk, but the way the speak down here just tickles me. I find myself referring to the people who are from here as "they," as if they are a different species. In my own mind, I am an anthropologist, Margaret Mead, if you will, discovering this Southern Land and its Peoples. In the past few weeks, I have learned one new word and one new phrase of significant note. Interestly, they have been spoken by the same person! This one person is from North Carolina and, to me, has a very heavy accent. I love to be around her. It's not just her accent that I love, it's all of her Southernisms. When I have babies, I plan on surrounding them with people like her, so they can pick up all her ways. The accent, the politeness, the style. It's just amazing.

So anyway, here are the word and the phrase.

Word: Toboggan. It's a hat! A winter hat! From what I understand, it is closer to a beanie than a thick skiing hat. Like when someone knits you a hat, such as these, which Sandy has recently knitted for Jason and me (Jason is very serious about his toboggan in this picture):

My Baby and Our Toboggans!

I will use it in a sentence: It'll be cold outside, so bring your mittens and toboggan!

And the phrase: A gracious plenty! A friggin gracious plenty! It's amazing. It means, enough, like "that's enough." Let's say, for example, that I was scooping some peas onto your plate, and I've scooped enough for your liking. You would tell me, "That's a gracious plenty." How much do you love that?!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Oscar

I had a baby yesterday morning!

Well, technically, I did not have a baby. But I did get a dog! And technically, I did not get a dog; Sandy got a dog. But nevertheless, we have a new member of our household and I am so excited about it.

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Oscar is five years old, and he is a Shih Tzu. Sandy calls him a "sheee-zu." He came to live with us because his mom and dad, who are friends of Sandy's friend, just had a baby and they have been unable to give Oscar the love and attention he deserves. Oscar's dad was very sad to give him up, and earlier in this week he wrote us an email telling us about Oscar. This little tid bit is indicative, not only of how much Oscar's dad loved him, but also of how friggin cute and distinctive Oscar's personality is:

"He loves golf balls more than anything. He will bring you a ball and drop it in front of you and go chase it time after time. When you get tired of playing with the ball and hide if from him he will find it, so make sure you hide it where he can not smell it.

He hates baths, but likes to attack the towel after we towel him off. He hates the Vet. He was born with a hernia and recently had it removed for precautionary reason. He also swallowed a piece of plastic a couple of years ago and had to stay at the vet a couple of days, so that may be why he hates it. He also dislikes getting groomed. We usually have him groomed every 2 months and have the groomer give him a puppy cut and then just let it grow out. He is also afraid of storms and shakes when ever a big storm comes."

Sandy and I picked him up yesterday in Williamsburg, and as the three of us were driving away, Sandy said, "Oscar, today is your adoption day." When we got home, he paced the house and looked very bug-eyed-ish, but today he seems to be much more comfortable. I think he's excited that it's New Years Day. So that's the surprise! Here are two more portraits of the sweet lamb:

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