Monday, July 8, 2013


July is probably my favorite month.

By July, it's definitely summer - even in Minnesota. And believe you me, summer can take a LONG time to get to Minnesota. We had an unseasonably warm day in March, and a snowstorm in early May. Seasons be crazy, is what I'm saying. Anyway, it's definitely summer, which means skirts and flip flops and sunshine and green things. I love all of those things.

Then we have July 4th. Annual picnic with bocce ball tournament (complete with trophy!), deviled eggs (I think I've finally mastered these - taste, texture AND easy-to-peel eggs), grilling, sunscreen, fancy desserts, cousin time. New this year, we also had a baby in attendance! And of course, fireworks. (Incidentally, I love fireworks, but I've been working so much lately that this year, what I really wanted was a relaxing night at home. We opted for some Doctor Who in lieu of fireworks. Still got the infinite joy of hearing them go off right outside our windows, though. Thank goodness.)

THEN we have my birthday. Now, birthdays in my family tend to last a long time. You have your friend dinners, your grandma dinners, your immediate-family gathering, maybe a different friend dinner, another family event, and, for me, CABIN (which we'll get to momentarily). So not only do we have my birthDAY, we have my birthWEEK and sometimes seemingly my birthMONTH! Of course I love July! It helps that I love birthdays. Turning another year older has never bothered me. Life moves forward, and so do I; I welcome each new year and the (mis)adventures it brings. I also love that there's this one day where people get celebrated just for existing. There's no national holiday, no religious significance, just..."hey, you were born, and I think that's pretty neat, so let's celebrate." It's wonderful. Also, cake.

And then, of course, July = CABIN. Cabin started as a birthday retreat, but over the years, it has morphed into something so quintessentially SUMMER that I no longer even try to claim it as my own weekend (mostly). My whole summer revolves around CABIN as this central focus, this gravity well that everything else is heading toward or reluctantly leaving. Every year, it seems I take off more and more time and start the weekend earlier. Cabin is amazing. It's booze, fires, cheese balls, sunshine. It's floating on a lake without a care in the world. It's laughter and friends that are family, magical kayak journeys and day-long trips to urgent care. Cabin is something Other, something Magical and Wonderful. July is my favorite because Cabin is the best.

As if all of that weren't enough, I have one more reason to love July, and his name is Aron. Right around two years ago, an old friend started becoming something more. He came to cabin for the first time, where we burned the wedding-planning books that his ex had lent to me. We must have released a whole lot of bad juju, because something changed that weekend, and that something has grown and blossomed and become something amazing. I love July because it's first dates and first kisses and uncontrollable smiling. It's getting to know someone better, deeper. It's an unstoppable comedic force.

There is a day in July that is not so good. There is a day that ripped my world apart, threw me to the ground, and destroyed the life I was building. Five years ago, July was the worst month I could have imagined. The wedding I had planned no longer existed. The road to Arizona became a dead end. My dreams, my future, my hopes all became a fleeting dream, leaving me trapped in a living nightmare. It would probably be excusable if I hated July, hated my birthday, wanted no part of any of it.

But the funny thing is, time goes on, whether you want it to or not. I lived my pain, I grieved. And then I realized that life was still going on around me. I dipped a toe in the water. I took a tentative bite. And eventually, without even realizing the scope of it, I was happy again. I was ME again.

And me? I love July.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

So much, so little.

A serious of strange and unfortunate recent events led me to read my blog today. All of it. Not every word, certainly; I wrote them all, after all, so it's easy to skim and remember. But it got me thinking...I really like blogging. Maybe I don't always like making time for it, or coming up with the right way to say what I want to say, but when I get to go back and read it all? Then it's all worth it. I can't begin to express how glad I am that I recorded things. Pain, joy, sorrow, love. The boring ins and outs of my job. Little things that happened that I had otherwise already forgotten. Big things that I've already forgotten pieces of.

So I want to blog again.

I haven't posted in over a year. Over a year! I feel like my life is so much the same, and so little has changed, but then I realized so many things have happened. It doesn't seem like it, when things change slowly. But then you really think about it, and there's too much to even talk about.

Here's an overview.

I went on a road trip to Canada, with stops in South Dakota and Wyoming. Our destination was Calgary Expo, my first ever comic con and the reunion of nine original cast members of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I met Harry Kim, and it was amazing.

I celebrated my one-year anniversary at my job, and my two-year even more recently. I still love it. My coworkers, my boss, my work, it's all fantastic.

I cut off lots of my hair. Every time I get a haircut, it gets shorter and shorter.

Aron and I celebrated a year together, which will now soon be two. I plan on celebrating many, many more; he's truly the best man for me and I'm so lucky that we finally figured out our timing.

I attended weddings, birthday parties, showers, bachelorette parties. (Why do Word and firefox never recognize bachelorette as a word? Seriously.) I drank a LOT of wine.

I moved out of Eagan and into an awesome apartment in Bloomington, where Aron, Mabel, and I spend lots of time being lazy. I mean awesome. (And lazy.)

I got a second job, and added a lot of new clothes to my wardrobe thanks to my new discount.

I had a mole on my nose removed. It sat under my glasses, and it was most of the reason I never wanted contacts. I always hated that mole, and it turns out I had a good reason; it was skin cancer. Basal cell: very common, very slow moving, very treatable. I had surgery to have it removed, and I had some wicked-looking stitches - my first ever. They've been stabbing at it with lasers in the months since the surgery, and the scar is light and faded now, like magic. Even if it were still red and puffy, I would prefer it over that damn mole. Anyway, now I am face-cancer-free! Hooray! Fuck cancer.

Aron and I watched every single episode of every season of Star Trek: Voyager together. It took almost the whole not-quite-two years we've been together! (And it was worth it.) Now we've moved on to Doctor Who.

I went to California with Aron and his family. I met his dad's side of the family, we went to a taping of the Price is Right (none of us got on as contestants, but if you have a quick pause finger, you can spot us in the audience!), we went to the beach and saw dolphins, we went to a magical Harry Potter / general nerd store called WhimsicAlley. We took a cheesy tourist bus ride through L.A., and we walked the walk of fame. I managed to get a lovely heat rash on my hands (it used to plague me yearly at the beginning of summer, but had been absent for some time), just in time to return to a snow storm back in Minnesota.

The most recent Thing that happened is the reason I returned to my blog. It didn't even happen to me, but it has changed my life rather drastically in recent weeks. My wonderful [/sarcasm] ex-fiance canceled his upcoming wedding. This led to many texts, emails, and late nights between me and his most recent ex, who I actually met years ago. We've discovered some very troubling things about him, about our relationships, about the lives we thought we had. But there are a couple of quite enormous silver linings. First, she is amazing, and she will be so much better off without him, in the long run. And second, she's amazing! I have found a wonderful new friend in her.

In fact, we're going to Valleyfair in the morning, along with Aron and another friend! I suppose that means it's time for me to head to bed.

Here's to you, blog. I hope we see a lot more of each other in the future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lacking in words.

I am not a dirty person, but I am messy. My apartment is decidedly NOT company ready at any given time. I'm a pack rat. My life, my shelves, my rooms are cluttered. And yet, despite this, I am something of a perfectionist.

I have started countless posts. I compose them in my head constantly, but I have finished none of them. They're not good enough, or the two things I want to talk about don't tie together well enough, but they're not random enough to be posted as tidbits. So I post nothing.

I mean, what right do I have to blog, anyway?

I don't have the words. I have a multitude of words to express my grief, my misery, my boredom. But to tell you of my happiness? To tell you how well everything is going? To tell you how much I love my job, my apartment, my boyfriend?

Apparently, I just don't have the words for that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Irrational fear #8: Conquered.

Tonight I had the opportunity to go to a reading/signing by Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches. An old friend of mine recommended it to me back in March, and I finally picked it up last week. I finished it on Monday, and then immediately had to look up when the sequel is due out (my birthday, as it turns out!). I also discovered that Harkness would be in Woodbury on Wednesday, January 18th.

Obviously, I needed to go to that.

We had an offsite work party today, to recognize another fantastic year in Creative. We went to Sergeant Pepper's Grille and Bar, where we ate a lot of food, won some prizes, and had some drinks. I won 2 hours off! (The fact that I currently have 3 hours to work off due to being sick this week is irrelevant...woo winning things!) It was a good time, and I was reminded again how much I truly like (most of) my coworkers.

As I was driving home, it started to snow. By the time I got home, I was so overcome with fear of driving in the snow at night that I decided I didn't want to go back out to go to the reading. Jess didn't really care either way, as she was only going because I was forcing her anyway, so she was fine with that.

Here I sat, on my computer on the couch, getting slightly crankier by the second. I stood up, and I said, No. Fuck it. Let's go. Get up, we're doing this, I want to go see Deborah Harkness!

We got up, we got Jess some tea and a cheeseburger, and away we went.

Fear #8: Crippling fear of driving in the snow at any time of day but particularly at night: Conquered.

For tonight, at least.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December again

I made it through Blogvember, but fell just short of my goal. I did not blog quite every day, but very nearly almost did. Anyway, I'm proud of what I accomplished, even if none of my entries were earth shattering. At least it got me writing again!

The She & Him Christmas CD is adorable. I don't like the version of Baby It's Cold Outside that's on it, though; she sang a cuter version in Elf.

For a day when I got out of bed too late to shower, I sure did get a lot of compliments on my hair today.

A 2-day work week is much, much too long after 5 days in Arizona. Never again will I get off a flight at 11pm and go to work the very next morning. There needs to be a day to recoup in there somewhere.

The view from Aron's and my hotel room:

You're in a desert. Go left.

All I need out of a vacation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grand Skywalkers

I'm not even sure I can put into words how awesome today was. We saw the Grand Canyon, we walked on the glass bridge, we saw and fed the fattest goat ever, I discovered I'm not a bad shot with a bow and arrow, I almost won a macbook, I sucked some more at bowling, I won and lost at video poker, I played black jack...

My grandpa said today that this has been his best birthday ever. I think this has been my best vacation ever, and I've had some pretty damn amazing vacations before.

I walked on the sky today.

Today's advice comes from my dear, sweet, amazingly active 80-year-old grandpa: Conserve water; shower with a friend.

Monday, November 28, 2011

California Dreaming

Today is my Grandpa's 80th birthday, the reason for our surprise trip down here. We went to Oatman, AZ, a town on Route 66 straight out of the gold rush era. There were wild burrows, a staged bank robbery and gun fight, crumbling old buildings, and about a thousand gift shops. There was a wild donkey tussle in which a man next to us was knocked very suddenly to the ground; that's when I stopped trusting donkeys, those jackasses. We stopped in Needles, CA for lunch, fresh jerky, and the ability to say we went to California on this trip, and then we proceeded to Lake Havasu.

In the spring, Lake Havasu is a hopping spring break destination, full of busy shops and restaurants and scantily clad young women. Today, it was full of closed, empty shops, and only a few other people besides the eight of us. But we saw what we went there to see: the original London Bridge, moved there in 1971. Pretty strange to see the British flag, old and very British lamp posts, and palm trees. We took a lot of pictures and then moved on the watch the sun set behind the mountains next to a small replica of Split Rock lighthouse.

We got Grandpa some birthday ice cream and now are trying to decide what to do for the remainder of the evening. I'd love to fall into bed after yet another full day, but I have a feeling I'm going to get outvoted on that one.

Tomorrow: the Grand Canyon!

The best vacation.

Bullhead City, Arizona, where my grandpa lives, is in a different time zone than Laughlin, Nevada, where my family and I are staying. This makes for very confusing itinerary arranging.

I love when hotels have everything. Ours, for instance, has a buffet, a 24-hour restaurant, various food court type places, a casino, a billion stores (where EVERYTHING is covered in bling...why is everything in old Vegas SO covered in bling??), a movie theater, some bars, a car museum/showroom, and a bowling alley. We went bowling tonight, and while I scraped a measley 69, my dad got got over 200 and had five strikes in a row. Five!!! Crazy awesome.

Shrimp cocktail is only good if the shrimp are nice and big and displayed in such a way that allows you to pick up one at a time. When there are 30 little shrimps in a sundae glass, covered and mixed with cocktail sauce, it doesn't take very long before I find them creepy and unappetizing instead of delicious.

So far I'm down money in gambling, but I'm definitely up on headbands.

Today's bit of sage wisdom comes from a lady in our elevator, on oxygen and driving a scooter: "Have a good evening and life."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Laughing in Laughlin

Today I got on a plane for the first time since December 6, 2010. Oh, how I've missed flying! Not flight attending, but flying and airplanes and mountains...oh my! Towards the end of our flight, I started telling Pam and Aron about the reasons behind the rules that people think are dumb - why seats and tray tables have to be up, why you have to wear a seatbelt, why you can't hold your purse in your lap, etc. It has a lot to do with how the plane acts in turbulence and during a crash. The surrounding passengers probably didn't like that too much. Oh well.

We got into Laughlin around 9:20. My grandpa knew my mom and dad were coming for a visit, but he didn't know that my aunt and her husband, Pam, me, and Aron were also coming. We surprised the hell out of him, for sure. It's his 80th birthday on Monday, and he's just thrilled that we all showed up.

So far we've gone to In N Out, napped, decided that Laughlin is like an old Las Vegas, watched a holiday boat parade, shopped, had Mexican food and margaritas, and taken a dip in the hot tub. Despite ridiculous amounts of wind, it has been a delightful, wonderful, awesome vacation so far.

I leave you for now with some advice my dad has given me today: "Get a room!" and "Eat less, drink more!"