Thursday, June 30, 2005

This is the first day of my life

I've had that Bright Eyes song running through my head all morning, probably because I'm coming up on a full week of waking up next to my Husband. I don't think capitalizing the "h" really conveys the significance of what took place last Friday, but I'm not sure what would.

When we left the reception on our slow-as-molasses carriage ride (a GOOD thing -- nothing but silence, the steady clop of draft horse hooves, and the wide open fields before us), I experienced a jumble of emotions in rapid succession that went something like this:

"Wait a minute. What just happened? I think I just married my husband...Oh my god, has my dress been this dirty all day? I hope no one noticed...Holy sh--, I just married my husband! Tell me this frantic washing machine sensation in my stomach is normal! ... I can't believe who caught the bouquet -- I'd love it if she actually married next...wait a minute, there's a ring on my hand...why don't I remember having it placed on my finger?? Who is this guy next to me, and what is he going to look like 50 years from now? What am I going to look like? Augh!!!"

Fortunately, we arrived at our cabin 20 minutes later, and my internal roaring subsided as we leaned on the deck overlooking the valley, watching hummingbirds swoop between top-heavy stalks of honeysuckle.

There's so much to write and so many things to say, but all I can come back to now is the unwavering sense of bliss I've felt since I finally let reality settle in. My name may not have changed, but my life did. I think I was born right in that doorway, waiting my turn to step out into the grass where friends and family stood together. Nothing in my life has ever felt so right.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

And now, another brilliant stratagem by your elected officials

"If you ignore it, it might go away."

The G8 meeting promises to be another dismal nadir in American foreign policy. Recent leaks to the media suggest that our government isn't happy with a document on climate change. Among the phrases to which they object: "Our world is warming."

Yeah. 'Cause that's so frickin' controversial -- oh wait, unless you live ANYWHERE besides the United States! Why don't we ask Kenya what they think, since Mt. Kilimanjaro's glacier has turned into slush? Or maybe Tuvalu would like to weigh in, if they're not too busy with the relocation of their entire country to New Zealand?

Methinks Greenpeace, a group with whom I do not always agree, sums it up best: "[the document is] a mush of warm words carefully crafted by civil servants to make sure no one is committed to anything."

It's just embarrassing. Our own oil companies recognize the need to shift away from oil and to rely on cleaner fossil fuel technologies. Heck, our Republican governor of California is pushing for strict emissions controls! But none of that shall sway the impenetrable fortress of GeorgeTown!

If we want to tackle global warming before it's too late (and the hour is nigh), we should probably start with the hot air coming out of the White House.

Take your apathy and shove it

Following in the tradition of great Huskies, two UW students have convinced our school to do something about the genocide in Darfur. (You see that, Mr. President? I can use the word genocide without equivocating about it! You should try it sometime!)

The UW is invested in several companies who operate in or do business with Sudan; now, regents have authorized its shareholders to pressure the corporations into pulling out of the region. Harvard and Stanford have employed similar tactics, although they elected to forego shareholder action, instead cutting ties with companies altogether.

It's about time for big-league universities to use their muscle for social justice. Let's hope other schools follow suit. C'mon, Ducks and Cougars: how about a rivalry over a good cause? :)

Runaway train...

I'm not someone who "feels" things on a deep level. I tend to have quick flashes of intensity -- happiness or anger, angst or sorrow -- but nothing really lingers for more than a little while.

That's why this whole wedding/best friend going to Kansas/moving out of the country extravaganza has thrown me for a loop. I've never experienced so many consecutive extreme highs and dramatic lows in the space of a few months. The right song will make me burst into tears; the right movie make me laugh like I've just discovered how to enjoy life. I might be driving home from an incredible night out with a friend and find myself in tears, knowing this could be the last time I see her again. It's not mania: it's finally allowing all of these changes to register internally, opening myself up to all of the joy and pain that accompany life-changing moments.

It's terrible.

It's amazing.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Girl's Guide to Debauchery

Here's the post-best friend getaway report, straight from the now-sober fingers of a co-conspirator.

Kelli (my maid of honor) and I took a much-needed break last weekend by escaping to the Oregon coast. We'd planned three and a half days in Seaside, but one look at the stripmalls and hotels convinced us to make a beeline for Cannon Beach. Our room at a not-to-be-named hotel? The size of a closet, complete with large, noisy ceiling fan and window looking onto the hallway. After making 15 minutes of frantic phone calls in Kelli's car (at 9:30 pm - very late for beach towns), we managed to find one room left at a Cannon Beach inn. We limped down the coast, exhausted and starving, but relieved that we wouldn't have to spend the night in our cars on the shoulder of Highway 101.

Upon arrival, it was clear we made the right choice. Our ginormous inn had a pool, a jacuzzi big enough for a small hippo, a massage parlour, beachfront property...the list goes on, but the best part is that we didn't have to sell our belongings to stay there.

We spend the weekend waking up very, very late; cruising into town for fat-saturated breakfasts and window shopping; strolling miles of soft, sandy beaches and scoping out tidepools; eating ridiculously large dinners, followed by decadent desserts; and staying up late with movies, drinks, and long conversations. I discovered that I can still hold my own in small-town bars. We both discovered that overcast days and fair, Irish skin do not mix well. I may pop a seam in my wedding dress, but it was worth every damn bite of that chocolate souffle.

In case I haven't mentioned it, Kelli is the kind of friend every girl dreams of meeting. I've never been good at making friends, let alone best friends, but it all comes easily with her. We understand each other in an uncanny and occasionally frightening way; our lives tend to run on parallel tracks and always have. Moving away from her is causing me more heartache than anything else at this point, even though I know we'll be commiserating over e-mail and online telephones. Instead of focusing on that, I'm trying to be grateful for the countless memories and misadventures we've had, and to look forward to years more when we both come back to the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes, you meet people and you know your souls have met in the past, somewhere or somewhen. I shouldn't be so upset, because these are the people you never lose. I just have to have faith in that connection and in an old, irreplaceable friendship.

Someone stop the madness!

We are seven days away from the wedding *insert SHRIEEEEK of sheer, unabated terror here*. Let me try that again without the shriek.


That didn't improve things.

Yesterday, we moved into the house we'll be watching for an old professor until August 1st. We're back in Seattle, which makes me incredibly happy. Things which do not make me incredibly happy: trying to make my own music playlist for the reception. At this point, guests had better appreciate the blood and sweat that went into our efforts to balance mellow with lively, eating music with dancing tunes, and sweet with sexy -- or else I will kill them with my own bare hands and the heels of my tango shoes.

Maybe not kill. But at least terrorize them until they dance like they were born to shake their groove thangs.

Anyway, the house is amazing. It's a bungalow-style home with hardwood floors in every room (perfect for sliding into the refrigerator at full speed when I forget the perils of wearing socks on polished pine). We have more than one floor for the first time in six years!!! We even have a real yard, complete with real, outdoor plants. It's enough to make FH and I hope that the professor permanently relocates to Firenze instead of coming home. If we barricade the doors with all of their lovely furniture, they might give up and leave.

Speaking of, there isn't a single piece of furniture in this house that one can find in an Ikea catalog. I can feel the shackles of poor studentdom slipping off my wrists. The kitchen boasts an honest-to-god gas convection oven; suddenly I'm overcome with domestic urges to whip out the baking pans and go to work. I walked to the hardware store, the drug store and a bridal shop today without breaking a sweat. Who knew heaven could be found in temporary home ownership? It makes me long for a place of our own, which we are determined to obtain despite the exorbitant prices in Seattle. I'd settle for a hovel with a hole in the room if it had a small yard and a street of shops nearby. Sigh...someday.

Hallmarks of Felinity

For anyone who "owns" a cat, or who has ever been graced by one's presence, I highly recommend checking out this website. It encapsulates the episodes of Solange, a neurotic Siamese who frequently skitters across Brooke McEldowney's "Chickweed Lane."

Friday, June 10, 2005

These are NOT childbearing hips

One day after I have a conversation with a good friend about children, I find myself trapped in a women's restroom stall at University Village while a horde of shrieking, uniformed schoolgirls try to kick in my door. I finally muster my dignity, finish my business and stalk out, casting an evil eye that makes a few of the blond hellions shrink inside their blue plaid dresses. The matron in charge -- if you call "in charge" making quiet, mousy requests to "wait your turn" -- does not appreciate my death glare. I retaliate with an icy stare that could freeze molten lava, then turn on my heel and storm out the door.

Oh yes. I am NOT ready for children.

It's weird even to think that I am at childbearing age -- this was the topic of discussion last night, when my friend and I realized that people would readily accept a pregnant me or Hannah now. In my warped mind, I still envision parents and friends gasping in horror -- but they'd probably just smile and start knitting itty-bitty jerseys. I'd be the only horrified one, particularly since I would rather have a thoroughbred rescue than a child right now.

At the same time, I am only 24, and I don't really like having people ask me when I'm planning to have kids. There is more to life, at least at this stage...and I can name a million reasons why I'm not ready yet, including: 1.) I don't know if I feel comfortable bringing a child into this unstable world; 2.) there are enough orphans out there for me to adopt; 3) the average American child sucks a million times more resources out of the planet than other kids; 4) dogs, cats and horses are far more cuddly and don't scream as much.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Impure and unchaste thoughts

So, um...*looks sheepishly at keyboard*...the wedding is three weeks away, and...*slouches in embarrassment*...I'm in that phase where I just keeping thinking about how this is the End of Dating.

I don't even like dating, or any of the politics that accompany it, but it's just...weird. I'm never going to kiss another boy again. Unless, of course, my dream comes true and fellow-writer-far-more-successful-than-I, Zach Braff, really becomes our roommate after grad school. Then I'd probably have to on principle, just like my fiancee would have to kiss Tina Fey if she showed up anytime before the birth of her's one of those mutual understanding things.

I have no idea why I suddenly care; you would think that 3.5 years of being an emphatically single college student would get it out of my system. (For my Seattle U readers, we do not count the Canada incident in those 3.5 years. Thank you for erasing it from your memories.) I do not harbor burning desires to kiss anyone other than my fiancee, and yet I obsess. Someone please tell me that this is a normal stage in the Bride Panic Process.

On a lighter note, the programs are done! Hurrah! They didn't even require ice-pick poking! I even mustered enough courage to make two trips to craft stores in a single week for much-needed wedding supplies. After getting lost in a field of faux flowers, I snatched up whatever looked good and ran for my life, thereby confirming that I would rather bike 20 miles in a downpour than learn how to navigate Ben Franklin.