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.