Friday, October 31, 2008

The best marriage advice I've ever heard:
"If you're not always getting what you need, don't worry; your time will come."
I need to keep these pearls of wisdom in a book that I can peruse now and again for a good refresher on how to make a marriage happy, healthy and lengthy.
By the way: Joanna Goddard's blog at Smitten is a worthy and fun read.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The funnies

From my favorite web comic xkcd, this particular piece is simply titled, "Frustration."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A couple of pictures

It's another two weeks before my wedding pictures are posted online, so I'm getting desperate to see some photos. Really anything from the wedding elicits oohs and aahs from me at this point, because I've only seen a few quick snapshots.

So when Greg pulled these pictures up from the blog of my new cousin, I was too excited for words. I just want to be able to relive that day over and over again... it was too perfect for words.

Greg's parents. If you're thinking, "Man, they look like really cool people"... well, you're right. They ARE really cool people.
Greg and I at the rehearsal dinner. It was at a beautiful restaurant in T-Town, in their wine cellar. The whole event was perfect, and I felt gorgeous that evening.

Of all the 10 pictures I've seen so far of Greg and I on the wedding day, this is by far the best. You can just see how happy he is. He's still smiling, even as he's going in for the kiss. He didn't stop smiling for about three days after that.

A Little Whine with my Cheese

So Greg decided he’s going to do NaNoWriMo as well. We’re going to have mini-write-ins together. We’ll sit at the kitchen table, both pounding away on our respective stories, each desperate to get in our 1667 words for the day. It’ll be unbearably cute, I can already tell. Okay, cute and really nerdy.

Today is my 1-year anniversary at work. I’ve been doing this job for a year now, which is a little weird; it feels like a lot longer than that. Not because I’m especially good at what I do, but more because each day seems like at least two. I know I whine about my job a lot, especially to Greg, but the truth is I’m just not doing what I want to be doing, and it drives me up a wall. It drives me even more up the wall when I read other blogs from those who are incredibly satisfied with their jobs, those people who are truly doing what they love. Even Greg, who hates a lot about his work situation, gets excited about the things he’s asked to do, like design billboards and take pictures of baby otters.
It can be pretty frustrating to spend day in and day out doing something that fails to utilize my skills. The only challenge I experience is a challenge of my patience.

So, in honor of my 1-year anniversary, I will give you a list of things that – if I’m ever a supervisor again – I will not do:

1. I vow never to call out my assistant’s name from my office, not respond when she asks what I need, expect her to come running in and then look at her and say, “Oh, never mind.”

2. I vow never to blame my assistant for “double-booking me” in front of a group of people, when I know full well my calendar was clear and I merely didn’t want to attend the meeting she had accepted for me.

3. I promise to delegate like a sonuvabitch, so that my day isn’t crammed with meetings that are unnecessary for me to attend, putting me three weeks behind in completing very necessary paperwork.

4. I swear I will maintain an organized office, inasmuch as I possibly can, so my assistant will not be required to spend hours digging through paperwork to find the invoice I claim she “never gave to me,” so I can sign it.

5. I promise not to ask my employees questions that I am fully aware they have no answer to or have no reason to track, such as “What did Mr. X say when he and I had that private meeting about the top-secret stuff?” or “What time did I tie my left shoelace this morning?”

6. I will never promise others same-day meetings before looking at my schedule and verifying I have time for a meeting, so my assistant will not have to rearrange my entire day to fit in a non-essential 30-minute meeting about the color of the carpets in the new wing of the building.

7. I vow that I will not become a total whiner when I realize how much work I have to do, especially when I willingly accepted a very ambitious promotion to a position I may not have been quite ready for.

8. I promise to recognize the potential in my employees and not let that potential go to waste on pointless tasks. That’s what interns are for.

I know it sounds like I hate my bosses, my job and everything about it, but truly I don’t. I hate my job, that much is true. At the same time, my bosses are about 85% wonderful, the place I work is incredible, and about 19 out of 20 people I work with are absolutely the kindest people you’d ever meet.

I plan on having a short conversation with one of my three bosses today to tell her about my educational opportunity and prepare her for the fact that a second anniversary is only somewhat likely, and that a third anniversary here is akin to unicorns and leprechauns – fun for people to think about, but purely fantasy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A NaNo Update - And not of the Mork and Mindy Variety

I’ve been doing a bit of prewriting for NaNoWriMo (which I found out is totally allowed on the NaNoWriMo website.)

I’m going to be honest here: I’ve already begun this novel. I have 3,000 words written, but they’re 3,000 words I’m not in love with. So, instead of bending the rules (as I had initially planned) and just adding 50,000 words to a story that’s already begun, I will put that 3,000 words away for a rainy day and begin from scratch. Same outline, same plot development, same characters, but a fresh start. A 50,000 word re-write of my 3,000 words of pointlessness.

I’ve been imagining this story in my head for about a year now, and even went so far as to read a couple of books at the library for reference, and buy a book that details the exact subject matter. And that subject matter is, you ask? Well, call me paranoid, but I’m keeping that to myself for a while. Exactly why, I’m not sure. I think maybe there’s a little tiny mustard seed of faith in the depths of my bowels that believes I might actually have a publishable story on my hands. If I do, I want it to be my story. Original. Untainted by the comments of others.

When I was a kid, I had an inability to keep my writing a secret. I told everyone everything about what I wrote. I let people read half-finished poems and ill-conceived short stories that were never quite done. I still have this insatiable desire to let people read my writing (as evidenced by my blog addiction), but I’m forcing some regulations on myself. If I swear that no one will read this novel until it is ready to be sent to a publishing company for certain rejection, maybe – just maybe – I will finally finish something I started.

The only person other than me who knows the concept of this novel is Greg, and he could hardly help knowing. He’s been watching me read books about the subject, and that certainly gives a little bit away. Plus, well, I’m too much of a loudmouth to keep anything to myself.

I'm going to get back to outlining - er - I mean work now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Decision and Some News

I've had an idea for a novel knocking around my computer for about a year now. I've even written about 3000 words of it. I've done some research, read parts of a book about the chosen subject matter, made plans to include the information in a longer, fictionalized story.

And those 3000 words have sat on a thumb drive for that year, not doing much more than collecting virtual dust.

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo to the veterans, and after wanting to participate for the last two years, I think I finally will. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a single month. That equates to about 1700 words a day. This is hard, but not impossible, especially if one has a very boring month at work, as I am wont to do.

So, I'm going to do it. I'm going to take my idea and finally turn it into something more. To make it into 53,000 words (because I'm not going to cheat and only write 47,000; the goal is 50,000 words in a month, and that's what I will do). So, as of November 1, I will begin my task. I only hope I'm not so hungover on the day after Halloween that I miss out on the first day of my task.

In other news, I was accepted to the graduate program I applied for. Starting in January, I will begin my studies in Library and Information Science, and be on my way to a career as a librarian. It's comforting, knowing I have a direction. That in just a couple of years, I will have a master's degree, which is something I've wanted since my sophomore year in college. Masters' degrees are like the new bachelors' degrees.

Cara Barer does amazing things with books. Things I only wish I could do.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Say Hello to the Mrs.

We’re back.

Not in the “Oh I’m so glad we’re home!” way, but more in the “Do I really have to start work again?” way. I’ve spent all morning going through my 157 new emails, tagging things and trying to figure out what’s been done on each. As if being on vacation weren’t exhausting enough in itself, I returned to have to figure out what happened while I was gone.

So, here I suppose I must give the ubiquitous wedding update. Although, at this point, I am still happy to do so. I haven’t had much of chance to talk about it yet.

The wedding. Was. Perfect. It was everything I wanted it to be. All the people I love were there. And I cried. I – the woman who hardly ever sheds a tear in happiness – was practically ready to bawl as I walked down the aisle. I was glad to know that there was indeed a heart in my hollow tin chest.

The day began much too early, as evidenced by my post on the morning of. However, thanks to mimosas, my mother’s breakfast casserole, the antics of my bridesmaids and two very talented ladies who styled me, it was a very pleasant morning. I was shell-shocked for most of the day, eyes wide and feeling overwhelmed by everything happening. By 12:00, I had holed myself up in the bridal suite sunroom (did I mention how wonderful the location was?), and wrote a final note to my love before we married while I looked out on the Tulsa skyline and the Arkansas River. Moments later, Greg’s gift to me – a journal very similar to the one I was about to give to him – arrived in my room.

In a whirlwind, I was dressed, bedazzled, and whisked this way and that for pictures of varying importance. My niece, the 18-month old flower girl, was terrified of my huge white dress. My 7-year old nephew thought I was more beautiful than anyone, and kept clicking away pictures on his disposable camera.

By 2:55, I stood with my father waiting for our cue to walk down the aisle. Several people reminded me to breathe in those last five minutes, and I did – all the while making sure my knees were unlocked. My dad watched the processional and gave a running commentary – “Okay, here are the bridesmaids. Okay, here comes Greg’s mom.”

“Greg’s mom? What is she doing coming down after the bridesmaids?!” I panicked, then heard the mantra in my head – Breathe. It’s okay. It’ll be fine.

“Here comes your niece with the flowers,” my dad continued. “Okay, good, she’s throwing them down. Well, kind of hard, but at least she’s throwing them… Okay, now she’s picking them back up. Boy, my grandson is having a hard time pulling her down the aisle…”

Then, a moment later, I heard the swell of music that would begin my processional song. I had my father wait for just a moment, so the exact moment I stepped out onto the balcony to descend the stairs to the ceremony, the lyrics to the song began.

“At last… my love has come along….”

I looked down to my right, where Greg was standing. Instant tears. And his smile could have powered an entire city for a year. Or two.

From there, the wedding became a blur. I made it down the stairs without falling – a real victory for me in a dress the size of several small countries. The judge mixed up the order of the ceremony, but I ceased to care what happened when I was standing there, in front of Greg, hold his hand and knowing that soon our lives would really be joined forever.

He smiled through the entire thing.

I danced down the aisle.

My niece ran away from me on several occasions, still terrified of my big dress.

I successfully surprised Greg with his groom’s cake. We finished everything in under 3 hours, and zipped off in my dad’s fire-red jeep. That night, we met everyone at an Irish pub for some Guinness and good times, and I wore my dress there, too. I think it developed its own gravity at some point, because people surrounded me in orbit on various occasions. I let my dress drag on the barroom floor, and I loved looking at it when I returned, black and smudged, because it reminded me that the reason you keep it so pristine before the wedding, is so you can dirty it up as much as you want that day.

It was all over before I had much time to realize it began, but I did everything I could do to remember the way my father looked at me while we danced. To remember the way Greg held me during our first kiss. To laugh at the way my friend offered up her pashmina for me to lay in my lap while I ate voraciously in an abandoned corner of the food room. To cherish the way my niece finally hugged me like she knew me, and placed a tiny little kiss on my cheek. To smell the way the fall lingered on the horizon, but waited in the wings while we enjoyed perfect 75-degree weather at my outdoor wedding.

All-in-all, it was perfect. Exactly what I wanted. Too fast without enough time to sit down with every guest and let them know how perfect it was that they were there.

And now I am a Mrs. to the best Mr. I know.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ah, honeymoon

I am that girl who goes to the bookstore and buys yet another journal she doesn't need. I have this ache to just purchase these books full of blankness so I can concieve a reason to fill them. I have a dream journal, a "boy" journal, a daily journal, and a travel journal. I find great joy in locating just the right book, which lays flat as I write, and has delicately lined pages.

And this girl who has about a thousand empty journals at home? Didn't bring one on this trip.

I am sans paper and pen, sans anything to chronicle this trip. I tried finding a notebook in a local shop, but anything with paper is outrageously expensive because of the picture of a frog and the spunky declaration that it's from "Costa Rica!!" on the cover.

So, to satisfy my need to write things down, here I am, sitting in an un-airconditioned room, typing on a European keyboard which does not actually use the European lettering. Finding any symbols is an act of pure memory, as there is a question mark on the button which actually turns out to be the dash.

So some highlights, as I don't want to spend much time in here away from my husband and all the fun we're having:
  • Rain. That's what I will remember from this trip. Apparently October in Costa Rica? Peak of the rainy season. It has rained all but about 12 hours of our first three days here. Still, I can't think of a better reason to cuddle up in our room, watching HBO and Cinemax, the only two English stations on our TV.
  • We took a canapy tour today. This involves donning a safety harness which has been through dozens of rains, ill-storage and are of questionable integrity. Still, the tour was great. No one died, and we spent a lot of time zip-lining through the trees with three other honeymooning couples.
  • Food. I have been being such a good girl for the last few months, that I'm really letting loose on this trip. Beer in the middle of the day, eating things with white sauce, scarfing chips when we're in the hotel room. I deserve it, so no judging.
  • And speaking of our hotel - how perfect is it? We're alone here, from what I can tell, and it's absolutely marvelous. Quiet, with the occasional bark from the watch dog. The owners know us by name and know precisely when we come and go, so that our room is magically cleaned without us ever seeing the housekeeping.
  • Ah, the roads. They are mostly dirt around here, so think torrential downpour + land sloping toward the sea + dirt roads, and you get waterfalls where there should not be waterfalls. It's like off-roading on the actual road. Fun, too, when your husband has to drive a stick, which he's only done precious few times in his life. No one said I wasn't adventurous.
  • Listening to Greg speak spanish has been one of the highlights of the trip. Greg, who has been fluent ever since he spent a year in Spain, never uses his spanish in Oklahoma. He feels awkward trying to communicate with waiters in spanish, and even when given the opportunity, he shies away. Here, though? He has shown me just how awesome he is. Already, I'm sure, he's saved us from being swindled. It's harder to swindle someone who can understand your language.

I'm sure I'll write more later, with pictures included, but I wanted to make sure there was at least a tiny bit of information on my honeymoon. Otherwise, it will vanish into the abyss like so many other trips I've taken in my life. Because this forgetting a journal thing is kind of a habit. Did I not mention that?

P.S. The wedding was perfect. There will be blogging about it later, but right now, I want it to stay the dream that it was. Perfect, beautiful, and completely appropriate for the kind of people Greg and I are.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today I am trying not to hold my breath.

Today I am trying to take a moment to bring myself back out of the clouds.

Today, I get married.

I woke up this morning at 6:30, despite a bedtime at almost 1:00 last night. I'm going to feel that later, I know. The coffee is brewing in the kitchen, making that lovely gurgling sound that lets you know soon you will be infused with caffeine and feel less like a lump and more like a superhero.

The wedding is at 3:00. My hair dresser arrives in half an hour. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I excited? Yes, but my nerves win out. I woke up with my stomach already in knots. Not because of what I'm about to do, but because of everything that could go wrong or I could forget.

So, today I just wanted to make a little post in my quiet time, to look back and understand how I felt the morning of my wedding. I feel ready, but my stomach is turning backflips like they're going out of style. My heart is filled up with the lovely toast that my non-mushy father gave last night, which made everyone with any heart at all cry like a baby. He asked me for just one more tea party, and suddenly I realize how much I will miss him, even if I'm not really going anywhere.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I feel kind of blank today. I should be working on the thousands of pages of minutes I have yet to revise, retype and put into the proper format. I should be worrying about those last-minute wedding details everyone talks so much about. I should be doing something. But I’m not. Instead, I’m staring into space, mostly, and wondering why October 12 won’t hurry up and get here.

It’s not so much a thrill to be married as it is a thrill to get away with my Greg and delve into each other. To spend our first few days discovering what marriage will mean in our situation. Finally seeing what it’s like to be grown-ups on a very grown-up vacation. To take some time to be in love, without the worry of bills, cleaning, laundry or (oh God) more meeting minutes.
I have this overwhelming feeling that my life is beginning, and I’ve got to catch up and open my eyes and really take it all in. I want to be able to look back at this time in 20 or 30 years and be able to tell everyone just the way Greg’s eyes looked as we walked down the aisle together, suddenly joined together with that invisible web of matrimony. I want to be able to smell the fall each year and have a sudden recollection of the way Greg held me during our first dance. And every time I have to get up at 4:00 a.m. for something, I want to recall how annoyed I will be the day after the wedding that this was the ONLY time we could get out of Tulsa to our (unknown to me) honeymoon destination.
Everything I’ve heard from others tells me that I remember being tired, hungry, not able to breathe, and feeling a little woozy for most of the day. It will be over before I have a chance to enjoy it, and I’ll never get those moments back, no matter how many re-dedication ceremonies I try to have. It’s a bleak outlook for such an amazing event, but it seems to be the general consensus among the marrieds I know. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll be the one woman who floats through her wedding, taking in every detail, with the colors brighter, the feelings deeper, and everything more intense than I could have imagined.
So, I have a feeling that – at least for the next few days – I’ll just feel blank. Staring at those minutes, and hoping they’ll rewrite themselves. And staring at the future, wondering what it’s going to be.
I tried to ask Annie Liebovitz to be my wedding photographer, but she was busy. Darn it all.