Monday, November 26, 2007

Giving Thanks

As this year slowly but surely draws to a close, and as Thanksgiving itself was several days ago and I totally missed it, I want to give thanks for lots of things, in no particular order:

My big sweetie, Eric, who, despite being the biggest school-work procrastinator in the world, is all A's in my book. How lucky I am to have found a person who loves me for my idiosyncrasies, and tolerates my bad habits, like dirtying every dish in the cupboard while preparing a two-ingredient meal, making sure the laundry is folded right away but not feeling like putting it away for days, and being a big nag about finishing his math homework. Love him.

Trips away from Boston. We've been to so many places over the last couple years, from California and Idaho, to more familiar haunts of my past, to New Jersey, where I will never ever venture again. The longer I live here, the more thankful I am to get away whenever possible. Thank goodness for other places.

My job. Despite the never-ceasing drama that is the Board of Higher Education, and the incredible frustration I feel in knowing that the true leaders of this system are the people who are often overshadowed by politically appointed idiots, I do love my job. And that is the first time I've been able to say that in a long time. My boss is also pretty great--it's a good thing working for someone you respect. Again, I couldn't say that for a long time.

The Fam. My recent purchase of a cell phone has done wonders for my relationship with my family. It's weird, but the only time I want to talk on the phone is when I'm walking home from work. It's about a half-hour walk, and it's the perfect time to catch up. I've learned in many ways, including through interactions with other families, that mine is sane, rational, and loving. I've been very lucky to become friends with my parents as we've grown older--that is one of the best things about being an adult, I think.

My friends, particularly Katie and the Boston girls, and Joey and Jayson. Katie, of course, has been the first person I call when anything remotely exciting happens for about 10 years. The Boston girls, Ash and Abs, are just wonderful people who have made me feel more at home here than just about anyone else. Joey and Jayson... Ahhh, my boys. They're so cute. Joey was actually the first person I ever met at Franklin--we sat next to each other in the math placement test. It was lucky, because the second person I met was a big meanie. If not for Joey, Franklin probably would have been a very different experience.

Christmas is coming. When I was a kid, it was all about the feeling of Christmas morning, when Abby and I would wake up at like 5:00 and wait at the top of the stairs for three hours, because the rule was that we couldn't go downstairs till 8:00. We'd open presents and then head over to Grandma and Grampa Stuart's house, where my aunt, uncle and cousins would be there. We'd have dinner and be a big family... We don't really do that anymore, and Christmases are really small around our house, but I LOVE being home at the holidays.

Memories of really good people. Heard last night that my old friend Halley Hughes passed away a week or so ago. Halley was a friend of my grandparents and one of The Bandits, a group of old men who frequented the golf course I worked at during high school and college. What a great guy. I hadn't seen Halley in several years, but we always sent Christmas cards and kept each other updated. He was a special man who reminded me a lot of my grandparents. Once, my grandparents told me they were going to give me a big surprise. I got pretty excited--maybe they were going to get me a car or something (though that would have never happened in a million years). So they put me in the car, and drove out to the river, and we pulled into Halley and Mary-Louise's house. That was the surprise. They taught me how to play pinochle that night. It was an honor to have known Halley, and I will surely miss him.

This Blog: Profanity-laced commentary aside, I adore this blog and check it frequently hoping she's updated it. Hilarious. This girl, who must be around my age, is reading all of the BabySitter's Club books from her childhood, and then writing about them. I LOVED the BSC when I was a kid, and read every book I could get my hands on. Just reading these entries makes me remember wanting to wear that Famous Cities skirt that MaryAnne wore to her first dance with Logan....

Anyway, it's been a bit of a funky couple weeks. There's no doubt in my mind that my current level of hatred of Boston (19 out of 10) is due to the wonderful visit I had with the fam/Scottsburg folk back in Indiana a couple weeks ago. I do know that I have to just enjoy the here and now, and appreciate that I am where I am for the time being, but I am just currently finding little if anything redeeming AT ALL about this place.

That being said, I am looking forward to a holiday party we're attending in a couple weeks called Drink the Tree, which features thousands of nips on a Christmas tree. I got a new fancy cocktail dress, and Eric's wearing a matching tie. Whoooo!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


And right now, I'm kind of hating Boston a little... But that's just because I haven't encountered any strangers who have been nice to me, or any friendly cows or horses, or charming old barns. And it's mostly because we had such a great weekend that coming back couldn't have been anything other than a let down.

So, we got off the plane in Louisville, KY, and were immediately happy, for some reason. I think it was because it was a nice day, and because no one sneered at us as we got off the plane. We went to the rental car station, where the clerk engaged us in pleasant conversation, and he led us to the rental car lot, which was right outside the terminal--no shuttles. That was great. We drove north to Columbus and saw about 10,000 bats flying across the dusky sky. Eric thought they were birds, because "there's not that many bats in Southern Indiana." Umm, clearly, he hasn't spent much time in Southern Indiana, because I think there are like a billion bats there.

We got to my Aunt Ro's house in Grammer, Indiana, and my whole family was there--mom and dad drove down from Michigan, and my cousins were there, and Corky the dog was there... My mom and aunt were about three glasses of wine deep into the evening, so that made things even more fun.

Saturday, we went to my Book Signing, which I was expecting to just be a little reception where I would sign like three books. But I signed about 200 books! And it was great! The most wonderful thing about Scottsburg and the people is that they are so earnest and thoughtful and grateful. I loved writing this book for them, and we're already talking about The Scottsburg Story II. Here, I'm pictured with my favorite Scottsburgians, and Graham, who is in the pink shirt. He's just one of my favorite Hoosiers in general.

One of the big highlights of the weekend was that Joey's mom, dad, aunt, uncle and nephew showed up at the signing! I couldn't believe it--they drove up from Jeffersonville, and were on their way to the Rodeo. So great to meet them again, and see the charming little Camo, who apparently loved me just as much as I loved him. So cute. I wanted to put him in my bag and take him home with me.

Anyway, Sunday was filled with activities like going to Fazoli's for lunch, and to Steak and Shake for a shake for dessert, and hanging around reading for the entire afternoon... It was awesome, and I loved every minute I was there. But my pants are too tight.

So, anyway, I'm feeling pretty homesick right now. But it is nice to be back in my own bed. Eric is still recovering from his cold (the same cold I finished up about a week ago... Curious, no??) and is a snoring fool. About every third night I'm so tired I just sleep through it. The other nights, I'm up, periodically kicking or nudging him and resenting the hell out of him. Anyway, he snored like the dickens the whole time were there, and somehow, I've lost the ability to sleep wherever I want. What happened that I suddenly get a sore back from sleeping in an unfamiliar bed? Getting old.

This picture here is Eric cuddling with Corky, Ro and Shorty's old puppers. She was VERY happy to have us around and we spent some good quality time together. She especially loved Eric, but then, don't we all???

Monday, November 5, 2007

Eric vs. Pomegranite

One of my most favorite things about fall is pomegranites. I LOVE them, and would eat about 10 a day if it were financially or gastrointestinally wise. Seeing that it's neither, I do truly enjoy them when I get the chance. Like eating little rubies. YUM.

Eric, too, enjoys pomegranites, but finds them more difficult to consume than I do, probably because he eats everything like it's his last meal. Pomegranites become an ordeal--we require a towel and an old shirt (or no shirt during the summer). Take this evening... We had both, and he still managed to get juice on his shirt, the towel, a throw pillow, the couch, and the wall. Jeez. If he wasn't so darned cute, I'd be mad. :)

It's 3:30 and it's getting dark

No joke. Daylight Savings Time in Boston is ridiculous. By the middle of December, it will be like midnight at 4:00 in the afternoon.

To my thinking, this is just one more reason why we should move back to a state that doesn't participate in such nonsense... But I learned yesterday that Indiana does indeed now do Daylight Savings. I guess I will have to rely on my other ten million reasons why Indy is better than Boston to persuade Eric to move there...

If you haven't been reading the news or, like, me, care less than anything in the whole world about sports, it's still likely that you've heard about Boston's recent winnin' ways, what with the Sox taking the World Series, the Pats being the Colts yesterday (Booo!!!!!!), and the Celtics actually winning a couple games. Approximately 96% of all local news coverage in the last couple weeks has been devoted to sports, and I'm getting pretty sick of it. As soon as teachers start making as much as football players, I will start being a professional athletic supporter (hehe...). Till then, Tom Brady, you're cute, but MEH! I say to you! MEH!

However, my lovely hub-unit, the Big E (as my dad has taken to calling him), is beyond obsessed with sports. I'm not sure why, and I'm not ready to plumb the depths of his subconscious to figure out why--likely has something to do with fading aspirations and his father... But anyway, we spend a good deal of time watching sports, or talking about them (talking about them is me asking an obscure question, like "why is that guy putting his knee down on the ground after that other guy kicks the ball? and Eric saying, "That is a touchback, blah blah blah... etc.). We spent the afternoon yesterday at Joey and Jayson's house eating chili-based food (chili dip, vegan chili and meaty chili--all delish) and watching the Pats/Colts game, the outcome of which I've already discussed.

My point--we had a really nice time watching the game at Joey and Jayson's. It was great. Here is Jayson and Tico, our mascot.

It's days like these when I've spent too much time working on spreadsheets and not enough time interacting with other people that make me feel like I need to go outside and "blow off some steam," as my mom used to say when we were bugging her in the house.

The whole point of this blog... Jeez. I logged on to announce that today is my and Eric's 6 month anniversary! Wow!!! So, exactly 6 months ago right now, I was wigging out in our hotel room at the Jurys, drinking far too much champagne far too quickly. Ahh, time flies. It's been a great 6 months. Doesn't feel like that long, in some respects--we're definitely still in the schmoopy-schmoopy phase of marriage. In other ways, it feels like we've been married forever. Like when Eric leaves his socks on the floor. Every night. :)

And those are my thoughts of the day. What I'm looking forward to:
  • Trip to Indiana and cutest-town-in-the-world Scottsburg visit!
  • Night out at Heroes next Saturday--The Smiths, The Cure, and Depeche Mode just came on all in a row on my iPod. I fiercely feel like dancing.
  • Thanksgiving--long weekend HOLLA!
  • Christmas!!!! Baby shower for my friend Ann, Christmas Eve breakfast with old high school friends, and a whole week in Roscommon. Bliss. Keep your fingers crossed for snow.