Here is what I have decided about Halloween. I love it when I can make decisions on things.
What I have decided is that I love costumes. Love them. On other people. I feel like I want to love them for me, but I really actually don't love them for me though, which for a long time now I have been fighting with myself about. Costumes bring together many things that I love in my life: art, creativity, humor, spooky aesthetics! I should, in theory, be all over this holiday. But yet, every year I find myself doing something lame like wearing a regular everyday 60s-ish wrap-dress, slapping on a fake nametag and calling it a flight attendant costume. I go to costume parties dressed pretty much like myself but trying to call it something else. I am so that person. I don't know why, but coming up with a costume idea is torture for me, let alone dedicating time to getting something together.
My friends go all out for Halloween, and throw the type of parties that are not costume-optional. You wear a costume, mandatory. Bossy friends I have, I know, but thems the breaks. So this year, you know what I did? I stayed home. It was kind of sad that I missed the fun (omg can you believe I just tried to pull that? To make you feel sorry for me on that stupid crap?), but I just couldn't be Half-Ass Halloweener this year. Throw in the fact that getting Nordic Boy into a costume can only be described as an annual "being a good sport but honestly could so totally do without this shit" situation and really. What is the point.
So, this Saturday we eschewed all invites (and the count on Halloween parties was really high this year so we felt extra Scroogey) and stayed home and watched movies. GOD WE ARE OLD FOGEYS.
Other fun activities this weekend included attending a Diwali party, hanging out with Delium, helping our friend A move her furniture to her new digs, and spending lots of cozy time (it is getting to be a tit bit nippley outside, dudes, winter is coming) under a blanket on the couch with my dude.
Oh, and the highlight of it all was going to the Nordic Heritage Museum to see their Nordic Fashion Exhibit. I have many things I could say about this exhibit but I shall limit to three things. One: the clothes were awesome. Go Nordics! Two: there are other exhibits that are also awesome, having to do with Nordic immigration to this country. However, those exhibits had lots of mannequins in sort of diorama-type situations (is it still called a diorama if it is life-size?) which made me really really glad that I did not have to spend the night inside the museum Ben Stiller style because those dioramas coming to life? GAH. Creepfest. Three: we got there and the ticket lady told us we were more than welcome to take photos which made me grumpy that I hadn't brought my camera to play with, so here are some phone camera shots instead.
Here is what I have decided about Halloween. I love it when I can make decisions on things.
I had sort of let go of the idea of birthdayness this year, happily so. There were too many other more important things going on that needed attention, and cheerleading for my own birthday has gotten a little tiresome in the past few years (I try not to be annoyed by my own self, but it's hard). But even without me pushing the idea of overt birthdayness, it was a good month. Biogirl went all out for me, which was delightful, but she always goes all out for me. Overall, nothing was a big departure from non-birthday months, but that is totally the beauty of it. I felt loved this month, the same as I do other months. I'll stick with that plan over the long haul, if I'm lucky.
We can Peaches and Herb it, y'all! My camera and I were REUNITED on Thursday evening! It was at a restaurant I had been at a few days before. I still feel like a fecking eejit about it so let's just pretend it never happened, ok? That would be wunderbar.
Let's looky at some photos of the day that Alli, Map, Biogirl and I went to Whidbey Island. We saw sand, and dang it was windy, and there was pie, and we came upon a group of crazy-serious older gents who were way into their remote control toy sailboats. Oh my it was eventful.
Hey you guys, I figured out how to make my heart stop and my stomach feel barfy and horrible, just from stress! Want to hear about it?
I have many potential stressors in my life, as does everyone. Lucky for me, I don't have a stressy constitution, just naturally. The daily stuff like bad traffic or rude people or getting a bad night's sleep? Piece of cake. The things that cause me the most stress in my life are the Biggies. Like when I was pretty sure that I was going to get laid off last year. But the stress of that sort of thing was not a heart-pounding, barfy sort of stress. I think it was because that shit (waiting for the news) went on and on and on, for months. I just couldn't sustain barfy for that long. The stress was more an impending sense of doom in the back of my mind at all times. Still stressful and probably not healthy, but I never felt like I was going to pass out or anything. Same with family members going through Big Health stuff. Again, it goes on for months and sometimes years, so the stress gets stretched out.
So this morning I was getting ready for work, and all of a sudden I had this thought: where the mothereffer is my new camera? My gorgeous, lovely, brand new, super expensive very generous gift that I got not two weeks ago?
And I looked around, and didn't see it, and then the barfy feelings became SERIOUS, y'all. I mean, really. It was ACUTE PUKEY.
I asked Nordic Boy if he'd seen it. He said nope. Then we proceeded to tear our house apart. It was like a police raid up in there. I went outside in my pajamas and looked in the trunk of my car. We looked in every closet, every room, every shelf.
Here's the thing about my house. It's small. And we don't have very much stuff. Which means that it's kind of impossible to misplace things. If it's not pretty much immediately apparent, then it's just not there.
MY CAMERA IS JUST NOT THERE PEOPLE.
I retraced my steps. Tried to remember the last time I took it out. Tried not to think about the fact that Nordic Boy and my parents forked over a lot of scratch for something that I promptly lost in a matter of days.
Here is my recipe for panic: an extravagant item, bought by other people, for me, a bonafide cheapskate, and I misplace it. TORTURE.
I know I had it in my house on Saturday night. And I think I took it with me to a restaurant on Sunday. I'm calling the restaurant when it opens today and PLEASE BABY JEBUS make my camera be there. Because if I really truly lost that thing?
They came, we laughed, they left. Here are some highlights.
1. Alli was on some sort of nostalgic gum kick all weekend. She emerged from my neighborhood convenience store with a bag of Big League Chew, which is sort of disgusting, you guys, despite our memories to the contrary. And then she bought us Fruit Stripe gum. I don't know what was up with all the kiddie gum, but shee-yoot. Certain childhood foods? Are FOUL.
2. We got into a whole thing about bad euphemisms that are used in romance novels for man junk, and I brought up the one that was discovered in a book at a beach house I rented once: "man root." The hilarity that ensued for Map about this term was boundless. It was all "man root" this, and "man root" that for the rest of the trip. I am so glad I brought that joy into her life.
3. Somehow, the question of what one would most like to bathe in, if one had to bathe in a food or beverage, came up. As it does. We pretty much agreed that chocolate pudding is what you want in that sort of a scenario. Feel free to steal that idea if the situation is ever presented to you. Our think tank has done all the brain work on that. You're welcome.
4. Map's birthday is in September, mine is in October, and Alli's is in November. We called up Alli's sister Steph and ordered us up one of Steph's much touted birthday songs. I have been hearing about these improvised birthday songs for a long time, but have never been given the gift. Oh. My. I wish I had audio to share with you. Steph did a sultry jazz number on speaker phone for us that consisted of the words "Happy Buhth-day, choo shoo choo" that almost made me puke laughing. It went on for a few minutes, and as soon as it was over, Steph's foreign exchange student apparently came into the room to ask if she was ok. You know a song is freaking awesome if people think you are injured while it's happening.
5. Nordic Boy and the three of us got our major dance on playing Just Dance on the Wii. If I had an exchange student I am fairly sure they would have skipped asking us if we were ok and just called 911.
6. In the morning when I heard Alli and Map were awake, I would slip out of my bed and go crawl into theirs, and we would talk ourselves awake. There are three people in the world I have done that with consistently in my life, and they were all in my house this weekend.
7. We took the ferry to Whidbey for an afternoon with Biogirl, and having my three favorite ladies all together made me really, really happy.
8. I dropped them both off at the airport on Monday and pretty much cried all the way home. I grew up with them five minutes away, and the fact that they are so far away now? I don't think I will ever, ever get used to that.
I remember this night, when I was in high school, when I had a big paper due for English class the next day, and I hadn't even started it yet. This was totally and completely how I treated every assignment in high school so I don't know why I particularly remember this night. It was like 9 or 10pm, and my friend Map called me. I sat on my bedroom floor, looking at my notes as I talked to her. Let me try and recreate the very eloquent conversation we had.
Her: What are you doing?
Me: I have to do that fucking paper for tomorrow.
Her: Have you started it?
Her: I'm coming over.
About a month or two ago, I was feeling lonesome. I couldn't really put my finger on what I was lonesome for, since I have friends and peeps and lovelies all around. I happened to put on my Facebook page that I was feeling that way, like an ambiguous lonesome Bat signal. You know what happened? Within an hour, Alli and Map, all the way from Chicago and suburban Detroit, responded by saying, essentially: "We're coming over."
By the end of that day, a date was set, plane tickets were bought, and that was that. Vague sense of lonliness: over and out. I love those two. Love, love, love them.
Last weekend, when Nordic Boy had to hop on a plane in a hurry, I called up Alli and Palindrome and told them: Nordic Boy will be landing at O'Hare. He might need you. Get ready if he needs to come over.
Then Biogirl came over and took me to Portland. When I got back, I sat in my house and worried about Nordic Boy. Delium called me up and said: I'm coming over. While he was here, my friend M showed up at my door with a box of fancy macaroons to cheer me up and wish me a happy birthday, totally unexpected.
Look at all that I'm Coming Over-ness. It's kind of amazing.
This got me thinking about the whole idea of telling someone you're coming over. Completely uninvited, but so confident in the mutual love that you know that the other person would like nothing more than your barging in. I have a few people in my life that I do that with, and I know that I'm lucky about that. I have a few more that I wish I could do that with, but I'm not confident about that mutual love thing, so I don't. Maybe I should be braver, but it's hard.
Anyway. I'm going to pick up Alli and Map at the airport today. If you get a minute, think about your "I'm coming over" people. Aren't they awesome?
Many fabulous things happened on my birthday weekend. One, Nordic Boy and my parents chipped in to buy me a new, fancy (well, fancy to me) camera. I AM IN HOT SWEATY LOVE WITH IT.
Unfortunate downside is that I have become a person who only looks at other people or myself like this.
The whole thing was just delicious, I can't even tell you. Biogirl: birthday saver. As well as a mean catwalker herself.
So after the sad events I wrote about yesterday, I've been thinking, and I have to tell you guys something. I have a fear about my blog and it is this: I am afraid that the way I seem to react to Bad Stuff happening will make people think I am a horrible person. Like, remember last year on my birthday when my dad had to go to the hospital, and there really wasn't anything I could do about it, so after I talked to my family and we all agreed on that much, I went ahead and attended my birthday party anyway? When I told you guys about that, I was afraid that I sounded callous. Who goes to a party and has fun when their dad is in the hospital? I do. And I worry that people will think less of me for it. I know I am doing what feels right to me. But that still doesn't allay my fear that other people won't get that. Still being able to see my pals, go to work, genuinely smile soon after some serious shit has gone down? Who does that? A crazy person? A terrible person? Hopefully not. Hopefully it's just a person who's trying to cope.
Nordic Boy knew this kid named Joel when he was little. The two of them are related- cousins of some sort, but in a distant sort of way. I wouldn't call what they had a friendship, exactly. They were acquaintances, who knew the same people. They went to the same school for a while, but weren't in the same grade. Nordic Boy's sister was closer in age and knew this kid better. Nordic Boy remembers Joel as a nutty little rugrat who made people laugh. He also remembers that when he got to high school, he turned into a quieter, more serious person. After high school, Joel joined the Navy and ended up as a cook on a submarine. In recent years, he moved back to Wisconsin, got married, and now is a dad to nutty rugrats of his own. Nordic Boy hasn't seen him in many, many years.
Last night, Nordic Boy's mom called us to tell us that Joel hasn't been feeling well lately. He went to the doctor and seven tumors were found throughout his body, including in his brain and pressing onto his spine. Within the last week, his body has begun to shut down. His speech is intermittent and he can no longer walk. The doctor has give him three weeks to live, tops. Just like that. He had just gotten a new job, and his insurance hasn't kicked in yet. Hi wife and his kids are with him while he's spending his last weeks in the hospital.
Nordic Boy got off the phone, and told what happened. We didn't need to say much. I immediately knew what Nordic Boy was thinking, because I know what sort of person my Nordic Boy is.
Within an hour, he had booked a flight, and early this morning, he was on a plane to see Joel, and to help his family in any way that he can. My guy isn't a person who waits for a funeral to show up to honor someone.
Today is my birthday, and I couldn't feel better about the fact that my birthday plans are altered, and that I spent the morning rushing to the airport and saying goodbye to the person I would most like to spend the day with. I feel like my present is that I am reminded, yet again, of how amazing people can be. One person in particular.
It would be totally fair to say that I live in a cushy environment compared to the majority of the planet. I am not super wealthy, but I have all that a person needs. I have education, and am healthy, and get vacation time, and can buy Funyons whenever I want to, really. (When I was little, my parents didn't buy us junk food, unless it was like, our birthday or something. So I only got Funyons if I was throwing a party, which forever after makes me think of them as a Super Fancy Snack). I also have surrounded myself with hip friends and we all live our progressive lives with our do-gooder activities and our artistic pursuits and our sophisticated opinions. However, I just have to tell you this. Some racist shit happens to me on a daily basis. A DAILY BASIS. Not exaggerating. I know you probably know this stuff happens all the time to the melanin-blessed. But there is always a part of me that wonders if those who don't experience this really, really know this. Sometimes it is all I can do to not live my whole life starting conversations with the words: "You are not going to BELIEVE the shit that just went down five minutes ago!" And then regaling everyone with the details. Because I know that that is boring. And would get old fast.
But I just have to tell you this one. Because it's awful, but funny.
I was going down an escalator and the up escalator was directly adjacent. So as the people on the down escalator make their way down, they almost brush shoulders with the people who are going up. So on this trip down, this white dude is traveling towards me. And just as we pass each other, side by side, him facing up and me facing down, he turns his head toward my ear and whispers the following.
And I keep heading down, not looking back, and he keeps heading up.
Come on, people. OUT OF BOUNDS.
Anyway, I told Biogirl about this, and she said: "You should have turned to him and whispered back: 'Pilgrim's Progress, babeeeeeee.'"
SERIOUSLY. I should have said that. That girl is a genius.
In the past few days, I keep having conversational trip-ups with semi-strangers. It's fun.
First of all, there's a guy that I see pretty much every day at the coffee shop near work. And you know what he says to me every day? "Alriiiight." Either that or "good, good." He says this when it makes sense:
Him: Hey, how's it going?
Me: Great, and you?
He also says it when it doesn't make sense:
Him: Hey, it's Friday! Do you have to work this weekend?
Me: Yes. How about you?
I have started to try to ask him all sorts of questions, to see if I can get him to answer with anything other than alriiiiight, or good, good. So far, he has not broken his streak.
I also walked into the salon the other day (ok fine it was the place where I get my waxing done but I didn't want to mention waxing and be disgusting), and the lady at the counter, who I thought sort of knows me, said "Hey Sigourney!" I thought she was talking to someone else, so I didn't say anything back. "Sigourney! Hi!" she persisted. I looked at her sort of blankly and so she says: "Oh my gosh, I am so embarrassed. Do you not pronounce the "g" in your name?"
First of all, people who are not Sigourney Weaver are actually named Sigourney? That is awesome. And second of all, there are people named Sigourney who do not pronounce the "g"? That's a thing? So what would it be? Si-hoorny? As in 2LiveCru Me So Hoorny?
Anyway. So I said "I'm sorry. You must have me mixed up with someone else."
Her: No I don't! Ha ha! You come here all the time! What do you mean?
Me: Um, well, that's not my name.
Her: But. Oh. But, you look just like her!
So hey gang. I have a doppleganger out there somewhere named Sihoorny.
Alriiiiiight. Good, good.
Oh Saturday, you were simple and sweet. 4 things was all it took.
1. Nordic Boy continues to make holes in our house.
Here is what I have learned. Home improvement revolves around one basic series of actions. Making holes and then covering them up. Almost any project, from installing a new dishwasher to rewiring electrical requires some sort of making/uncovering of a hole (in a wall, a floor, a ceiling), doing the bulk of the work, and then patching up the hole. I guess not everything (painting does not require hole making), but almost everything. It has gotten to the point where I ask Nordic Boy what he's doing and 9 times out of 10 he will answer by starting a sentence with "First, I am going to make a hole in..." I feel like my house is in a state of constant perforation. So Saturday morning, we started our day by patching up new holes (in new vents that work with our new furnace). Not a week goes by without some sort of hole work.
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