03 January, 2016

*NOT* a Shotgun Wedding

The following was written sometime within the past year. About my wedding to Brett of the Transformed Noncomformist. I think I'll leave it as originally written...

As much as I started this blog to be host to my nerd-musings, I recognize that it has become a collection of stories related to the relationship that developed *through* this blog, with Brett of The Transformed Non-Conformist.

I haven't posted in an outrageously long time, but only because big things are afoot!
We got married!

Now, not only have I been a part of 6 - count 'em, SIX - weddings, but my last job involved providing people with permits to hold their wedding on a beach. I have seen a lot of stuff that makes me question people's priorities.

Our wedding was a total surprise to a lot of people. (I still get looks/questions that imply some people think I'm pregnant.) (...I'm not.) It was NOT a surprise to us. We'd been talking about it for about a year. I guess. It came up pretty quickly but you know, life. We lived in different states, had obligations, it was just a "down the road" plan. Brett moved to my city last winter, and we continued dating like normal people (aka: not long distance). 

In the spring, we talked about getting married after he finished his Masters - so, in fall. (oh, but he "officially" proposed in February at a hipster pizza joint. The waitress was our witness.) But we knew we didn't want a public engagement, and didn't want to set a date or plan an "event" and have 95 people's "opinions" or advice or questions or hell. I do not like being the center of attention. This would drive me crazy.

Then, as Brett's daughter's graduation loomed closer, he got to talking about how, really, his timeframe had been based on the concept that he would be moving to Indiana after her graduation, and we wanted to date a while before tying the knot. Since he had moved 6 months earlier, the fall timeline made less sense. - so, maybe during the summer.

Somewhere along this point, I informed my mother of our theoretical plans, so she wouldn't be blind-sided. I swore her to secrecy and told her I would try to give her some advance notice, but it would probably only be a couple weeks.
I also inquired about having a small ceremony on their property.

Then, one random weekend, I was talking about my sisters being down at my parents' house the next week. (the following is my best recollection of the ensuing conversation.)

Brett: Wait - both your sisters will be here next weekend?
Me: Well, Hestia on the weekend. Diana during the week.
Brett: Oh.
Me: Why?
Brett: I was just thinking if they were both here, we should get married next weekend, while they're here.
Me: Seriously?
Brett: Yeah! Will you marry me...next weekend?
...well, obviously.

And that's all for now.
Sometime I will add more detail. For now, I just want to get back in the habit of posting.

10 January, 2014

Happy New Year...flashback

When I started this blog two years ago, I completed this New Years Meme that I found on the blog Mommy Wants Vodka. Two years later, and nearly Year of the Horse, Happy New Year!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I went to the circus! The Univer-Soul Circus, to be precise!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made one for 2013. For this "Year of the Horse", I've decided I will do/see something new each month to learn about my new city.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
It seems that all my new coworkers had given birth the year before. No lie, 6 babies in one year at my firm!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
A couple of people at my former church. There was a scare with my Aunt, this year, but no deaths.

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Local girlfriends

6. What countries did you visit?
None, but a few states.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:
12.17. It's the date that Brett moved to Indy - just 15 minutes away!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Overcoming my fear and successfully hosting a major company dinner.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Making new friends. I still have no "hang-out" friends.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Whiplash when I fell on the ice - no wait, that was already this January. Umm...Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My electric kettle. Every morning I use it, and because it doesn't sit on the stove-top, it doesn't get grease-splattered!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Give me some ideas. In this country, we've been lamenting our poor political leadership for so long, I can't think of anything positive.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My EX-sister-in-law.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Travel across state lines to see Brett. That's over now, though!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Planning our trip to Delaware so I can do the Polar Bear Plunge again! The trip is coming up in a few weeks, but the planning has been exciting.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
"Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus, which I've never heard in it's entirety, but it had so much press. Holy Cow.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same
iii. richer or poorer? Richer. Having a job will do that!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Vegging in front of the TV.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At my parents, at my parents, at Brett's brother's, at church. Oy vey.

21. There was no #21. I don’t know why there was no 21.
I’ll make up my own question like everyone else.
What do you feel you missed out on in 2013?
My family reunion.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I fell even more in love with Brett than I did in 2012.

23. How many one-night stands?
Many. All with the same guy. :)

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Big Bang Theory is still the winner, but I've also become hooked on Grimm.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
The Weird Sisters. At least it was the most memorable.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
No discoveries this year.

28. What did you want and get?
A fantastic apartment!

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I can't even think of what I saw...

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don’t do my birthday. I  might do something this year, because it's a significant one.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If the fitness center at my development had working machines.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
business-casual, with a heavy dose of sweats and flannel at home!

34. What kept you sane?
Prayer ...and alcohol. (I like this answer. I'm keeping it.)

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I've always secretly doted on Drew Carey.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The impasse about the budget. Americans have all become giant, inflexible, sticks-in-the-mud. If nobody is every willing to compromise, nothing will ever be accomplished. BOTH need to give a little.

37. Who did you miss?
All my friends in Delaware. A lot.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
My 5yo niece Titania! She's a doll. She sparkles and smacks; she's full of spunk... and reminds me at times of ...me. haha.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
Family is the most important.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now"

(Banana Pancakes, by Jack Johnson)

29 October, 2013

The Aftermath

I survived!
Like I said before, I wasn't worried that I would NOT survive, just stressed about the event itself.

The dinner I'm referring to happened, what, 3 weeks ago? I'm lax in my writing. Sorry.

It started badly. I shot right by the restaurant, even with my GPS...the signage was all on the other side, on a one-way street. So I was running late now, having to navigate the stupid one-way downtown streets. Almost hyperventilating. But I prevented myself from crying, thankfully.

I arrived later than I intended, but earlier than the guests. One coworker was there,  and the Founder Of The Firm! Oops. He was actually a big help. I think we're bonding. 

And I really think most people are more flexible about time than I am, so no sweat.

People came in, I gave them nametags and explained about the wine (bottles of red were out, but they had to ask for the white, which was still on the chill). Once I was behind my little greeter table, I was quite comfortable, and would have been happy to stay there until I left. But my boss arrived, schmoozed some clients a bit, and came by to check who hadn't arrived, declared they wouldn't be there, and pointed me to a seat between two clients' wives.

Oy. Socializing.
I survived. More than that, I was hailed as the organizer of the event! And both big bosses thanked me for all my hard work. (awww...)

When I felt done, and thought everyone was comfortable with the scenario, I excused myself to my boss, who gave some final instructions, and I left.

The weight of the world was off my shoulders.

Next day, at work, my boss offers me a gift card to this restaurant. Apparently they made a deal to get 2 or 3 gift cards, since we were giving them HUGE business, and everyone felt I earned one of them.

I'm very grateful for that. It is a great restaurant for Brett - a Brazilian steakhouse where the meat just keeps coming. But I don't eat red meat, so $50 a plate is too much for me to spend on a salad bar and a couple pieces of chicken. Now, I get to take him to a fancy restaurant that I would never go to otherwise!

I'm so excited.

We have reservations for this weekend.

He just got *another* 100% on his last class, so we're celebrating that.
And Also? It will be the 1 1/2 year anniversary of the day we met. AWWW!

04 October, 2013

The Agony And The Ecstacy

I'm trying to be better about blogging weekly - or close to it.

This week? Anxiety. That's what's on tap.

There's this huge event on Sunday, and I have to go.

And it doesn't involve my people.
But I've been doing most of the planning and organizing.
It's for work, so I'm paid.
It's for work, so I have to be professional and polite - as compared to casual and normal.

Now, I can'thonestly say I suffer from some kind of "social anxiety disorder". I'm not afraid of people. I don't avoid touching, or  avoid crowds. I won't end up curled in a ball under a table from fright. I'm just not social.

Oh, I *can* be. I'm a P.K. (Pastor's Kid) I'm used to putting on my Sunday manners in front of strangers. I dress up well, and you can even take me out!

I've come to realize, though, that I don't like it.

No...stronger than that, just not to a diagnose-able level...
It stresses me out beforehand. It's emotionally exhausting during.

Even parties held by people I know - I tend to change my mind 19 times before going, thinking how much I'd rather stay home and read a book. Sometimes I go, sometimes I skip it.

I can't skip this one. I can't even tell my boss that it bothers me, because he's been trying to get more of these clients to contact me directly, so I know it's important that they put a face to a name, associate a person with the email, etc.

Here's the deal:
Me, a half-dozen coworkers I know, 3 or 4 employees I've literally never seen, and 70-ish clients and potential clients. A fancy (VERY) restaurant. They will all be coming over from a conference.  A pretty important crowd.

I'm not worried I'll embarrass the firm or anything, and I actually half-hope that next week my boss will tell me how impressed he (or everyone else) was. I just don't like hanging with people I don't know or care about.

That's my vent. Now for the good news:

BRETT'S COMING! Oh, not to the dinner. At $50 a plate, I'm not high enough on the totem pole to bring my S.O...although he's much better in social situations. He may not like them, but he does well talking to strangers while I just linger back. I will happily pretend to be his arm-candy. 

But he's here this weekend. He has a calming effect on me. He's just so matter-of-fact about everything. Easy-going. Logical. By the time he leaves on Sunday afternoon, I know I'll be ready to take on the old men in suits!

25 September, 2013

I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill!

(...that's a title of a Louis Armstrong song.)

It's also the name of the restaurant where we ate Brett's "birthday" lunch.

My Promised Post About My Recent Weekend Road-trip with Brett.

It was a fun weekend. We went to St. Louis, to specific places we'd not been together before. We must have walked about 8 or 10 miles on Saturday, in downtown, and up in the University City (?) area, where Blueberry Hill - a very famous restaurant - sits among cool shops, art galleries, and coffee-shops.

It was a pretty low-key weekend, if you call "Champagne Brunch" low-key! (I learned that a Mimosa made with cranberry juice is called a Poinsettia. Yum.)

Wait, back up...

Brett's shoulder, sans monkey.

On TUESDAY (I think), Brett was in the ER with his horrible, possessed-by-a-monkey shoulder. His current job is very physical, so by the time the weekend rolled around he had movement, but was still on some kind of painkillers, and the arm was in a sling. Fun times!

It was. It is always fun times. We just enjoy each other's company, so any "activity" or "meal" or "location" is just a setting for our fun.

At one point, I noticed that we didn't seem as in-sync as usual, and I guessed that his shoulder was bugging him more than he was saying. Later, at Blueberry Hill, I got some kind of "stuff overload" from all the very cool memorabilia. So I was kind of out of sync for a while.
My wounded hero mimicking art.

But it doesn't matter! It was still a good time, with good food, and good art. In fact, it was an exhaustingly  good time.

After meandering the University City (?) area, we both needed to relax, so we headed back to the hotel. I'd received a reliable tip on a good blues club to visit in St. Louis, so we looked at the website together, saw who was playing, looked up both acts, and decided we liked the later one better. Later as in 10pm-2am...or something.

No problem. That's why we were chilling.

...and comfortable.
...and ordered a pizza.
...and relaxed.
...and didn't want to go anywhere anymore.

but my feet were tired.
but I could lay my head on Brett's shoulder here.
but I could take out my contacts if I stay.

And here's how awesome Brett is for me, knowing how I am about following through with my plans.
He put down his computer, leaned over to me where I was playing Sudoku on my phone, looked me in the eyes and said:
"You know, we don't *have* to go out again." - notice, no CAPS, just *asterisks*.
and then...
"I'm happy to go wherever you want, but we don't have to if you don't want to."

I think my logical response was, "But I really wanted to report back to [Otis] about going to this place."

But I thought about how I truly felt right then...

And I realized that Brett was right.

(I compromised with myself by taking Brett down to a hotel restaurant for drinks and an appetizer)

Added  bonus of the perfect boyfriend setting everything right:
"Otis" saw one of the pictures Brett posted the next day and commented about the location, and Brett simply let him know we didn't make it to the particular club he mentioned, but that there will be other times.

He is so perfect for me.

16 September, 2013

10 for Ten - Four to go!

I am now 4 days away from my next road-trip with Brett. Six days ago I challenged myself to write "something" every day for the intervening 10 days.

I wrote a blog post.

I have caught up with old friends - with pen and paper!
I helped a friend with her research by answering extensive questions.
I wrote my Christmas letter - well, it needs tweaking, but it's basically there. 

It occurs to me that, 'round about the beginning of the year, I made some kind of goal-thingy to blog once a week this year. I have failed miserably. This 10-day challenge I gave myself inspires me that I really CAN do it!

After tonight, my next 3 "writings" will likely be more cards to friends, and hopefully finalizing my Christmas letter.

Then, well, the deal with this weekend is...my mistake. I saw that Blue Man Group was playing in the area and Brett said that sounded cool, so we assumed the weekend was on, for here. A couple-few weeks later when I went back online for tickets, I realized I had been looking at the wrong prices. $87.00! If it was something one or the other of us was wild about I'd consider it. But I've seen Blue Man Group, and Brett was only interested because "they seem cool".

Anyway, I suggested we "go away". And that's what we'll do. Nothing extravagant, just a new adventure to try.

Now that I'm back in a habit of writing, I will post something about the weekend afterward: Promise! 

10 September, 2013

10 for Ten

In 10 days I will see Brett again.

We get together about every other weekend, but recently our weekends were back to back, plus his birthday is the 19th, so I thought it would be fun to do something on that weekend.

(actually, there was a show that weekend I wanted to take him too, but that fell through.)

Anyway, I suddenly thought, this afternoon, that it would be fun to challenge myself for the next 10 days. Over 10 days, I will do 10 specific cleaning tasks... Over the next 10 days I will cook/bake a different item each day... 10 days of a certain genre of movie.. I will shop for 10 specific items... Something.

I solicited suggestions on facebook, and succeeded in confusing people. SO...tonight is day one and I will WRITE something each day. Might be blog posts, but I also have some cards to send to people I've not contacted since my move, and I have a Christmas letter to write, and you know, Brett's birthday is at the end of 10 days - I suppose I could count a birthday card to him if I make it special.

Any thoughts? What "10 for 10" comes to your mind? Alternatively, what subjects would make good blog-fodder, in your opinion?