Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I just got engaged!

Here are some of the details. I am still on vacation and didn't bring my laptop and the wifi I have found while out shopping about Vail has mostly sucked except at one bookstore where I twittered and facebooked the news very briefly.

Sam told me Friday that he had a secret, but that he couldn't tell me it until we got to Vail. I thought that was a dumb and weird but whatever I went along with it, we were 2 days from Vail. I didn't know what it could be, and I did think, "Oh God, he isn't going to propose or something?" and then I answered myself with an, "Oh no. There is no way he has been ring shopping lately," (because earlier that day he asked me to refresh him on what I do and do not like regarding an engagement ring--but he said he would need help from his mom or someone else).

Saturday night, we are in the hotel room in Denver, and I start to pester him about the secret, but he won't tell me because we aren't yet in Vail. Sunday night we are in Vail, and as we are getting in to bed to go to sleep, I pester him again, but he begs off until later in the week because he isn't quite ready. Monday night, we are in bed after a fairly late evening of playing Bridge with his brother and father, and I pester him again.

Now he starts to tell me that he was thinking he actually would probably wait until we got back to Chicago to tell me. At this point, I had no idea really of the secret, but I decided that was unfair to not tell me until Chicago. He had to tell me in Vail. I mean we still had several more days in Vail, BUT he better tell me. Then he tells me he will tell me if I promise not to tell anyone else until a week after we get back to Chicago. I agree to this. He gets out of bed in the dark, and I ask him what the heck is he doing. He gets something out of his suitcase and brings it around to me, where he turns on a bedside lamp, gets down on his knees next to the bed and pulls out the ring and asks me if I will marry him. I say yes. I am very stunned because I was not expecting this, but I kissed him and was very very happy!

Then I got to work on convincing him that we actually should tell people. He finally agrees and the next day (today) we tell his parents and his brother and then start calling my family and then I tweet it and then I blog it. Such is my life.

(Oh the ring--pictures later I promise--he picked it out himself by printing out what I wrote to him in the IM, taking it to Tiffany's and showing it to the person there. Then they brought him several rings and he picked it out from there. It is in a mostly platinum setting with a little bit of gold holding up the small rectangular emerald that is nestled between to triangular diamonds on either side. I love it! It is probably what I would have picked out if I had been there. He did awesome!)

Friday, July 24, 2009


I will be.  Starting tomorrow.  After I have to be in the office at nine am for carpet cleaning.  Which I mostly don't have to do.  All I have to do is make sure they are thorough and stay off the clean bits.
But tomorrow, I fly to Denver for my first time out of the airport.  Sam and I are overnighting in a hotel somewhere with his whole family.  Then we all drive to a house in Vail--a house that may be enormous and who knows how opulent but I am guessing at least pretty damn nice.  I will try to take pictures, but I have to remember to dump my camera onto my computer first.  I will not be taking my computer.  I will be taking my Kindle and the itouch.  We will get back a week from tomorrow.
Here is the agenda for the vacay (which I am so ready for as I am way caught up at work and bored and it is Friday):
A concert in Breckenridge
Some tennis--like some me kind of learning how to play with Sam's fam that plays a lot
Some hiking
Some laying around on a lounge chair out side and reading books
Memorizing all my lines for the next episode of the Ville where I really get running for office
The books that will be going with me to be read (noted with an asterisk when they are on the Kindle):
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner*
Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage
Take the Cannoli by Sara Vowell
How to Be Single by Liz Tucillo
The Importance of Being Married by Gemma Townley
Dish: the Inside Story on the World of Gossip by Jeannette Walls
Harriet and Isabella by Patricia O'Brien
A bunch of trashy romances something like 20 of them by various authors*
Script for season 3 episode 5 of the Ville*
Also going, David Sedaris recording of If You Are Engulfed in Flames
Biggest bummer about the Kindle, still have to get physical library books in order to curb ridiculous spending habits that would ensue if gave persmission to self to just download a library full to the Kindle.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I sound like a nutjob on my favorite radio show

I do. They put me on their episode for July 21, 2009 in the last 10 minutes of their final hour of show, and I sound like a nutjob. It was an obsessive fan letter about how their "bad" radio segments are not good by the traditional definition or expectation of radio but that is actually what makes them good.

I was about to launch into a recitation of the letter again here, but I sound like a pretentious idiot. Well maybe not. I just was very exuberant about it. Because they do crazy stuff that isn't so great for the audio listener perspective, but what they give us as it happens is what makes it totally awesome-the sheer weirdness of it.

BUT in hearing them read my email aloud in its entirety, I sound like a freak when I write. I think I use bigger weirder words or am more prone to it when I write and I so did in that email. The real question for the blog is are my writings more pretentiously worded than my talkings? This is a serious question if I start really working on my storytelling-y things, you know soon or like ever.

If you want to hear my lovely letter read live on air go to here and either click on the 9:00 to 10:00 hour for the 21st of July or use that date to find that hour. I am in about the last ten mintues of that hour.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elton John and Billy Joel

It was awesome.  It did not rain.  It was also very different from regular concerts, in part I think because they had such different performing styles.
First they played together a set of songs, and it was kind of cool to hear the other interpret the vocals of their friends song. 
Then Elton had a set.  Sir Elton does not talk, he plays.  He does not set up songs, he doesn't tell stories about them, he doesn't say that it is one of his favorites, he just sings.  At MOST he will mention the album that the song came off of.  Instead he relys on the songs to do the entertaining, well the songs and the stellar musical performance of himself and his band (some of which seem to have been with him for many, many years), and it works.  This shouldn't be surprising because the man has a lot of hits, so he can play a small subset of them and not even leave the realm of MEGA-hit.  He is an amazing pianist and it is super cool to here 15,000 plus people sing Tiny Dancer.
Then Billy had a set.  He talks.  He talks a lot.  He has a lot of schtick.  He had a flyswatter which he enjoyed waving at imaginery flies.  He had jokes.  He made sort of sad jokes and references to his current divorce.  It made me a little sad for him.  His talking and schtick seemed to be a way for him to get more into his playing.  His piano theatrics are awesome, and I really love a lot of his songs.  And some of the songs I love are more fun live, like "Angry Young Man" mostly because the piano theatrics are able to be indulged live in a way they couldn't be on a studio.
Then they played together, and that was wonderful!  In their final set together they indulged in a lot more dueling piano business.  Both men are great musicians and it was very exciting to see this.
I think that I enjoyed Billy more, and I think it was because although both men deviated in the live act from the studio versions of their song, Billy did it in a big, big way that worked very well in a large open air stadium venue whereas Elton did it in a quieter, more musically complicated way that would've lent itself better to the kind of performing space where the sound and acoustics could be more carefully controlled (smaller, indoor places that are concert halls and maybe not sports arenas).  I actually think he would be incredible to see in like a little cabaret venue or you know hanging out around his grand piano at his house.  I'll let you know when he invties me over for that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The weirdness of my Idaho life

So there is a kid from Idaho who was captured by the Taliban, and of course because this always happens to me, my friend Jared knows him.  They used to work together.  But when I heard where Bowe Bergdahl was from and how old he was I knew that there was a ridiculously good chance that Jared would know him.  They are from in and around Hailey, Idaho a small town in the Southern part of the state.  The really lovely part where Hollywood stars and rich people live, where Bruce Willis has his home.  I really hope that we get him home safe and soon.
In a totally unrelated side note on Friday I ran into Chris and Sara waiting to go to a movie when I popped into the theatre to pick up pre-purchased tickets.  A few minutes before I ran into a fellow tri-citian and Vandal who now lives in Minneapolis on the street.  She is a youth leader there and was here with her students for a service project.  Because (vaguely related) this stuff always happens to me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

And on and on

I have been a very good little worker at work of late.  This is not to say that I ever let myself be a really bad little worker at work, but I haven't been the best this winter/spring as I was dealing with the distractions of my personal life (which at times seemed more like my personal hell).  I have accomplished things in a very timely manner and quite well.  Last week I even got out way ahead of myself (which was weird), so my vaction of all next week shouldn't hurt so bad.
However, the personal life that had seemed like it was fixing itself up, has hit a bump in the road.  Sam fell off the wagon twice in the last week.  Last Tuesday he got kind of stressed out about a friend and decided that half a bottle of vodka would make him feel better, and it did for a while until he realized how it would make me feel.  Instead of letting him head out and drink more, I asked him to stay in and talk to me and to stop drinking with what he had.  And we stayed up late and I listened to him prattle on with all the excuses his disease would give me to get me to play along nicely.  I simply pointed out that I disagreed with the babble his disease spouted and kept him talking and not drinking until he could fall asleep. 
This weekend he was oddly sleepy.  We went to bed kind of early Friday night (well for a Friday) around 11 and slept way in.  Then he was busy all Saturday making a stew for a couple of friends we had over for dinner, and we went to bed early again at like 10 and we slept in until 10.  Then he napped after we went over to clean my apartment because my roommate returns tonight, and I wanted to make sure the house was left in good order.  I tried not to let him nap too long because I knew he would never go back to sleep and that is a terrible way for him to start the week (especially a week when we are picking my roommate up at the airport late tonight and then going to the Elton John and Billy Joel concet tomorrow), but he couldn't fall asleep.  I however could since I had not been napping as much as he had all weekend (being wrapped up in a few novels).  Since I was there sound asleep and he couldn't sleep, he remembered some Sake he had noticed in our fridge a few days ago.  It must have been very old sake, and it angered me to find he hadn't mentioned it to me earlier, but he is an alcoholic and I would wager that he is at best in the early stages of recovery.  So he drank the entire bottle (he says it was a little bottle) in order to help him go right to sleep (he says).  And I slept through all of this.  I awoke when he was fully dressed and about to leave the house to go out to his favorite piano bar, and I knew immediately that something was wrong.  I asked him what was going on?  Where had he been?  What was he doing?  I got out of them that he hadn't been anywhere. . .yet and then asked him if he had been drinking, and he admitted he had.  It was a little past two in the morning.  I asked him not to leave, and he didn't.  I realized he hadn't gone to the Sunday meeting he had decided he would start attending, I guess he had slept through it.  I spent the next two hours awake. . . just hanging out with drunk, unsleepy, alcoholic who is my partner.  We talked a little, I listened a lot.
We especially talked about 90 meetings in 90 days which is a program that alcoholics are encouraged to do when they first give up drinking.  He wasn't going to do it when he gave up drinking at the end of May beginning of June because he wasn't sure he needed AA.  Then he wasn't going to do it when I nearly broke up with him right before my birthday because he was doing AA, and his therapist said that it was probably alright not to start it if he didn't fall off the wagon, but if he did, he would have to do it.  I asked him about it last night.  He says he will start it, but he can't start it until we get back from Colorado.  Basically because he cannot tell his parents he is an alcoholic.  I have encouraged him to tell them because I think they will end up being a bigger asset than he thinks, but I also understand his fear.  I do however think he won't ever get truly recovered until he can tell them about it honestly.  He doesn't want to tell them about it until he has been on the path to cure for a while, like after he has finished a 90 meetings in 90 days course.  I sort of dropped my course of arguing then.  He isn't going to do what I want of him.  When we return from Colorado, then I will see what happens.  Hopefully that will entail him starting 90 meetings in 90 days.
It is very interesting how I feel like I deal with this now.  My reaction is kind of clinical.  I feel like a nurse.  Well, not in the moment exactly.  I cry because this is heart-wrenching, but I also sort of pull my chin up and set to work and do what needs to be done, like staying up late with a drunk alcoholic.  And in reflection, my experience of it becomes sort of matter of fact and sterile.  I guess it has to be to put one foot in front of the other and move along.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life Goes On

I feel like I am bad at using my free time.  I come up with all sorts of projects and activities, but as soon as I get into the apartment, they are pushed aside by what is on the Tivo.  I have been empowering myself to delete things from the Tivo that I am not going to watch.  Those three episodes of Mythbusters that are mostly if not all reruns, they can get deleted.  It is fine.  They won't last until the weekend when I should be enjoying the lovely weather and not watching them, or I should at least leave them unwatched until they get deleted by newer shows.  If it rains this weekend I can curl up with them, but I don't have to.
I made a big pasta salad last night, but I am not satisfied with the dressing.  I cheat and buy dressing premade for it, but the one I bought was not the one I thought it was, and it was missing some of the flavor.  Quite frankly the best pasta salad dressing I have ever found is The Olive Garden's house Italian dressing.  I am not a huge fan of The OG since I have discovered neighborhood Italian joints that blow it away (I am looking at you Rose Angelis and your gnocchi with apricots and prosciutto and Gorgonzola cream sauce and your demilune spinach ravioli with pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and brown butter sauce--heavenly gigantic bowls of YUM), but lets face it the draw there has always been the bread sticks which may well be made of crack and their Italian dressing for their salads which is probably the best thing they actually make.
My cat is probably a two litter box cat, and so we begin that process this week.  Since he has been protesting pooing where he pees and he has a history of deciding those things must not go together (although before that meant he used the litter to poo and the toilet to pee), we decided to just go along although Sam's place is awfully teen for two litter boxes.
Also I am starting my own personal campaign of being unashamed of what I like even if it is dumb stuff that I ought not to like, such as the music of Nickleback (which I actually don't like but I think that we can all universally agree that no one ought to like them and perhaps should be ashamed if they do).  Like chick lit and rom coms.  I love them.  I do.  I mean like all genres their are good and bad and better and worse specimens and I don't give them all a universal pass.  I bought 27 dresses about a month and a half ago and have watched it 10 times since then.  It makes me happy.  Not every movie needs to challenge every neuron in my brain, some of them can just make me happy.  It isn't incredibly deep, but it uses Shakespearean devices to twist its plot, and if some of its plot devices are obvious or trite or not so realistic, well I am fine with that as all I ask of my escapism is to help me escape my reality.  I don't need slavery to realism because well real life is what I am trying to avoid when I watch this stuff.  My reality is harder and more complicated than a rom com, and I am fine if the rom com wanted to airbrush that stuff out.  That is what I want it to do.  And I get really sick of boys being all down on it.  I am sorry this genre isn't aimed at you, you are not its target demographic.  Of course some of you will like it, just like some girls like action-y or war-y pictures that they are not the target demographic for and of course quality comes in here, the higher quality the story and its story telling the higher likelihood to rise above the target demographic.  And boys are the target demographic for like everything practically, so give me something.  Plus I would like to ask if all their targeted stories are slavish to reality (like the laws of physics and the fact that bad guys are way worse shots than good guys the end).
OK, rant over.  BUT I say we all start today not being ashamed of the cheesy pop songs and silly genre movies we secretly love.  I am not asking you to go proclaim it on a street corner, I am asking you to defend your crush when others talk it smack.  Go.  That is your mission should you choose to accept it and this blog will not self destruct in fifteen seconds, it will likely take much longer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I hate that my boyfriend smokes

I hate it. For a variety of reasons. I have tried not to be a jerk about it though because he is a grown up and gets to call the shots in his own life--that is how I would like to be treated so that is how I will treat him.

I was very tolerant of it when it was one or two cigarettes while we were out late at a bar maybe once or twice a month. Fine, whatever, I can handle that. Plus the bars here are smoke free, so he had to go outside away from me. Fine. But it is many more now, approaching a half a pack a day, and I don't like it. Especially as he has taken to smoking inside.

I hate it because it bothers my sensitive eyes that if not actually allergic to smoke are very sensitive to dryness and irritation.

I hate it for all the regular reasons of it smelling bad and tasting bad and just being kind of gross and icky.

I hate it because the fact that he totally ignores the fact that I hate it seems so flippant and kind of rude. I mean, seriously, just take it outside dude. And for the love of God at least brush your freaking teeth after you get done.

I hate it because my towel in the bathroom smells of it, as does the cloth shower curtain, and I fear the scent will waft further to my pillow and the sheets and my clothes and the couch.

I hate it because I fear he is using this addiction to cure his other addiction which seems awfully counterproductive and just a postponement of dealing with the actual problem rather than getting down to the business of solving the problem.

I hate it because it feels like a lie or a trick. I didn't start dating a smoker. I dated a non-smoker who turned out to really be a very rare social smoker who is fast becoming a serious smoker with a habit. This feels very unfair especially since I am working through many other things I hadn't bargained for (although granted so is he), the least he could do is work at quitting.

I hate it because he is always quitting in the same way the stupid cartoon character Cathy is always about to start a diet tomorrow. And I now even hate the lie that he is quitting. I am sorry but you are or you aren't. It isn't a complicated difference and at this point intentions-schmententions.

I just hate it. I hate it I hate it.

I. Hate. It.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Stuff on my Mind

I am tired from my trip.  And CRANKY.  Mostly at work people, for being dumb.  Not major dumb, just you know needy and worky and I didn't miss that when I was gone.
I am however very excited about going to St. Louis.  It should be awesome.  My undergrad friends are having a do it ourself reunion of sorts and Sam and I will drive down on Friday and back up on Monday.
I am also a big fan of my library even if my Kindle isn't.  I also added the due dates of my library books into my calendar, so that I can be sure not to have overdue fines that are more expensive than just buying the freaking book.
I want to write a bigger blog about the wedding, but just thinking about it exhausts me, so I might not get there.
I want to go to a movie, or watch movies for like a whole day, just as a recovery sort of thing.
I am hungry and need to go to lunch.
I thought I had cooler things to say but NO.  Sorry.  I got boring all of a sudden.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Brother Wedding Brief Update

So, I left last Wednesday for my brother's wedding this past Saturday and spent A LOT of time with A LOT of family and friends, and I mean A LOT!!!!!

It was wonderful and kind of a giant mess all at once (it can happen with weddings) and I am exhausted. I will update more later maybe tomorrow once flying is done.