Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bittersweet Symphony

Today has some bittersweet things going on. It marks an anniversary and a final countdown (which I totally just sang in my head. If you've got it stuck in yours now, you're welcome.)

The bitter: This morning I woke up weepy. Like opened my eyes and there were tears. And I'm like "What the hell right now?!?" But my body is like a fricking alarm clock of emotion. I go to bed fine and when I wake up, boom, there it is. I haven't been sleeping well the past few weeks because I have a lot going on in my life right now. When I go to sleep, I have details running through my mind. **You know how when you go running or biking, those weird ass clouds of gnats that are just all of a sudden in your face and you can't avoid them because they're just there, flying around in a jumbled mess and they get all in your nose and eyes? The gnats are so teense individually that you can't even see them, but when they get together, and in your face, you get all flaily armed, like a cat playing with a laser beam.** I wake up at 4 a.m. with details flitting around like those damned gnats (But also to pee. Because that's what happens when you pound a glass of water right before you go to sleep. I should really rethink that aspect of my nightly routine...)

But anyway. I'm clearly stalling for time here because I know the closer I get to the subject at hand, the more likely I am to get weepy all over again. But if you know me, you know I'm a crier. We've all accepted it and we're moving on. This morning I woke up weepy. Like opened my eyes and there were tears. I told myself yesterday that today would just be another day in the life. Today is Gary's one year deathiversary. I wrote about it, but I'm not going to do it again. Where I was then is a very different place than where I am now and the way I figure it, I've been managing for the past year. Why wouldn't today be just another day? Rationally, that's where I am, but my heart clearly did not get that memo, hence the weepy wakeup. So today is for Gary. I'm gonna go for a bike ride. I'm going to have some greasy spoon diner breakfast. I'm gonna wear my hair big and crazy and curly. I need to do some stuff in Adobe. And I'm gonna sit around and shoot the shit with the people who mean the most to me and some Jack Daniels and it will be a good day.

This was a good day too. Gary and I road tripping from Ohio to California.

We like silhouettes and shadows :-)
The sweet: So, remember the aforementioned detail gnats that make my brain all flaily and wake me up in the middle of the night? They are all wedding details. *I still need to print menu cards*We have to redo the seating chart*Shit, can we afford this?*We have A LOT of stuff to take to the venue*Gotta get all the vendors on the same page*Mother Nature, I don't see rain in the forecast. Thanks. Let's keep it that way*Vows. Oh hell, I gotta write my vows* WHAT WERE WE THINKING? We live in Ohio and we have an outdoor venue without a tent*I'm gonna have to pee eventually. How do I manage that in my dress?!?*Veil. Oh hell, I have to make my veil*Is it gonna be too hot? Am I going to sweat to death in my dress?*Gotta remember to eat. Don't want to be hangry at my own wedding*I hope my hair doesn't choose that day to be ultra rebellious*I'm going to cry. I won't have pockets. I will need tissues. I hope I don't get raccoon eyes or a snotty face.*

You can see how these things might wake one up in the middle of the night. But it's okay. Because in one week, the end result is going to be that I get to marry the man of my dreams. The stress and the sleepless nights and the laughter and frustration and tears, it's all leading up to next Sunday. So we're on the final countdown of being a single lady (Oh, now you get to have both songs in your head. You're double welcome). So today is for me. I'm gonna go for a bike ride. I'm going to my favorite diner for breakfast where I can relax with a cup of coffee and read some Game of Thrones. I'm going to wear my hair big and crazy and curly because that's just what it likes to do. I'm going to reformat my menu cards and table numbers in Adobe so I can squash those mental gnats. And I'm gonna hang out with my mom and my sisters and Danny and Jack and it will be a good day.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tap Dancing Nekkid Down the Street

You ever have a moment when you're just frazzled? Like "Holy shit, I have to be someplace by 6:30, and I have to stop at the grocery store, and I have to load up the car, and I have to pick up my sister, and I have to be all the way on the other side of town by 6:30, and dammit, what possessed me to answer my phone at 5:02, as I was shutting down my computer? That always leads to at least a 10 minute conversation! Shit, I'm never gonna make it by 6:30!" (I was still a few minutes late, but such is my life. I was actually a lot close to being on time than I thought I would be!)

So, as all these thoughts were swirling through the old noggin, I was walking into the grocery store (to get some snackums for a lovely ladies night of drinks, snacks, chubby baby cheeks, laughter and wedding craftiness. That's another post for another time ;-) and I'm relatively sure that I had a crinkly, intense look on my face and I am almost 100% certain that I was talking to myself. But in spite of my crazy lady persona, another woman was walking out the door and said a very simple sentence: "You look really pretty today!"

Now I had never met this woman before, and I'll most likely never see her again (or if I do, I won't recognize her, because I was so far into my frazzle that I couldn't pick her out if she went tap dancing nekkid down the street), but that one simple, unexpected compliment put me in a totally different headspace.

This morning I went to yoga and breakfast with my buddy Ru again (Apparently we have deep conversations. I guess that's what sunshiney yoga'll do to ya!) and we got to talking about how, as a society, we have stopped having connections with people. **This came about because we were sitting outside the North Market, where they have picnic tables that can easily seat 8 people. A guy walked by and seemed exasperated because there were people sitting at each table, but none of them were even close to full. Hell, he could have sat at our table. We were the only 2 sitting there, and while I know that we were two stone cold foxes in our workout gear, we clearly make awesome dining companions!

But when's the last time you actually spoke to a stranger? Do you text people for 2 hours to get the same information that could have been ferreted out with a 3 minute phone convo? When you're by yourself in public, do you bury yourself in the latest igaldroidberry gadget and have no clue what's going on around you, or even do it as a deterrent to keep strangers from talking to you? Guilty. Let's change that! The next time you see someone wearing a fly ass pair of shoes or you hear someone with a great laugh, tell them! You never know who you'll be breaking out of their frazzled brain cage :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pole Position

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of going to yoga and breakfast with my good good buddy Ru. We faced our dogs downward and let our eagles fly high and then we walked to get some brekkie before I had to go to work. It was nice to just chat and catch up with each other. One thing that we talked about was pole dancing. I've been taking pole dance classes since January and performed in a recital in May. Ru came to see the recital (Yup. I'm an adult in a dance recital. Don't be mad.), and I've been trying to talk her into taking classes too, but her schedule hasn't allowed it. We talked about how much stronger I've gotten, how much more comfortable I am with myself, the fact that I have new bruises every week (which I think is flippin awesome) and how being sexy is okay...nay a good thing.

First of all, no, I'm not a stripper. And if I was, so what? But I started taking these classes as a fitness option that I had never had before. And let me tell you, these classes are a doozy! When I first started, my upper body strength was just about to the point where I could bench press the bar. The. End. I can now climb a 12 foot pole and touch the ceiling. I can hold my entire body off the ground with just my hands and arms and pull myself into a pike or a tuck. I can invert myself and hold my body upside down, 2 feet off the ground using just my inner thighs. Um, what?

During the recital in May
When I first started, being intentionally sexy was weird. Because let's face it, we all have our body hang ups. But the nature of pole dancing is inherently sensual, and if it's something that you want to do, you just have to woman up and love that t-shirt! You learn to be comfortable with yourself and to be fully supportive of the other women in class, who cheer you on along the way as well. Right now, I'm the biggest person in my class, and I struggle with inversions. I mean, for real, have you seen this wagon that I'm draggin?? It's HARD to get all this ass over my head! But when I finally got it, those ladies cheered me over my hurdle and up the pole. (I may or may not have promptly fallen on my head, but I was over a mat, so who cares! I got upside down!)

The biggest thing that I have gotten out of my pole dance journey is a way to get out of my own head. As I mentioned before, I struggle with certain poses and moves, just because of how my body is shaped. But it's more than that. If I try something a few times and I can't get it, I won't get it because my mind is discouraged. But I keep trying and eventually it just happens. At some point, all of my muscles and joints get their shit together and make sense of what I was trying to do and actually do it, and I break through that mental barrier. Even if I don't get it the next time, I've already done it, so clearly I can do it again. At this point, it's just a setback, not a failure. I feel like Harry Potter when he makes a Patronus for the first time because he knew he had done it in the futurepast and it wasn't a mental block for him anymore.

Layout in May. I'm WAAAAAAAY stronger now!
I've found a hobby that I am truly passionate about. Not only do I see a physical transformation, but I can tell there's been a mental transformation as well. I look stronger and I feel stronger and I have the strength to mentally push through anything that's blocking me (because, let's be honest, if I can convince myself that my abs and biceps are strong enough to lift this junk in the trunk 5 feet in the air, what the hell CAN'T I do?!?). I have been sick, come to pole class. Driven like a bat out of hell from Philly to make it to pole class. I've fallen on my head, mashed the tops of my feet up so that they are purple and swollen, gotten all sorts of bruises in really strange places, banged up my ankles, cracked the shit out of my knees and tailbone, achieved some gnarly pole burn and worked so hard that my fingers wouldn't bend all the way and my arms were like overcooked noodles. But I love it. I can't imagine going a week without it. Pole dancing has made me a better person, and every time I have a new bruise, I show off that war wound with pride!

So lady friends, yoga is lovely for getting into a good mental place, but if you are looking for something a little more...sassy, try out pole dancing. Anyone can do it, regardless of why you *think* you can't. "I'm not sexy!" Bullshit. You're a tiger, ready to pounce. "I'm too big!" Cockamamie. It's about the mental just as much as the physical and you will be amazed at what you can do when you tell yourself that you can. "I'm not in good enough shape to wear short shorts and a sports bra in class!" Preposterous. You gotta start somewhere, right? Otherwise why work out? Also, after a few months, you'll be strutting around, guns ablazin' like this gal. "I'm not strong enough to climb the pole!" Well shit, NO ONE is strong enough to climb the pole when they first start. You can be fucking He-Man, but you gotta start from the bottom to make it to the top. You use muscles that you didn't even know existed. Your skin starts to act like those rubber jar openers that stick to the metal to give you a grip. You will eventually hang in a beautiful pose using only your ARMPIT AND THE SKIN UNDER YOUR RIBS. That shit don't come easily.

Any more excuses? I didn't think so. If you're in Columbus, my vote is to check out Studio Rouge, but hey, I'm biased ;-)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Things Have Been a Little...Hectic, Shall We Say?

Well friends, it's been a while. Like, a long while. And I'm sorry for that, but I'll be better, promise :-) So, here's the happs...
I got a promotion at work. I'm now the wedding specialist for the hotel. Except for the fact that we are so incredibly short staffed that I can't really focus on selling weddings because I have to deal with everything else coming into the office.
Had an awesome (mostly) ladies road trip to Savannah for my cousin's college graduation (Hold the phone. College? What?)
I've eaten a ton of delicious num nums at new places around town.
Oh, and I'm getting married. Next month. In 24 days, to be exact. Um. So that's cool.

There's a lot of DIYness going on. For example, our sweet-ass save the dates and invites. Centerpieces being made by my future mother in law. All the flowers, except my bouquet, will be made by yours truly and bridal party. Name cards and table placement, this guy. My veil, I'm all over it. Our altar/chuppah/non-denominational ceremony backdrop (Whatever you want to call it, we're building it. The boy tore apart a barn to get the materials. Not even shitting you.) The menu for dinner was developed by the boy (Sodexho, we don't need your damn preconceived notions of what we should eat at our wedding. We do what we want.). Wedding website. I did it. You should check it out.

There will be various other fun deets that are just kind of out of the ordinary and I could not be more excited, but I want some things to be a surprise for the guests, so there shan't be any pictures until later. So, Adventures in Domesticating is truly becoming houseWIFEy.'s gonna take a while to get used to that, but I'm totally up for the challenge. ;-)

Here's my wedding/event tip of the day...when you send out invitations, number your RSVP cards. The boy could not understand why the hell I was writing tiny numbers on the back of the cards and corresponding them with my Excel master list of names, addresses, meals, gifts, table numbers, what-have-yous. Let me tell you why. I'm still waiting on 20 RSVP cards (even though the due date was a week ago, but I'm not letting it stress me out...yet. But please believe I will be badgering people in the next week. Honey badger don't give a shit.). Of the cards that I have received, I'd say a good 20 didn't have names written in. So, in order to save yourself a crazy frenzy of trying to figure out who you need to chuck a plate of beef at during, just number them shits.

TTFN lovelies! It's bedtime and I get one last night of bed all to myself while the boy is off getting his man card stamped in Vegas for his bachelor party. And don't worry, it won't be 7 months until we chat again :-)