The Boy and I came off the lake on Saturday night to enjoy Shaker Heights’ Summer Solstice festival.  We hoped and hoped that the ominous clouds we saw overhead weren’t bearers of bad news.

They were:

At least I got to ride the train.  You know how much I love the train.

Oh My God: Friday, Please?

I knew that I would be paying for my frivolity at work: I have been slammed this whole week with casework, to the point where I am about three cases behind where I need to be.  As such, I have been showing up early to/leaving late from work for the last two days.  On top of that, I am not sleeping very well (who needs more than two hours of sleep?  Pussies, I say.), and thus, not eating.  So, on top of freaking the fuck out that I’m behind on my work, I am exhausted, have constant stomach pain, and chills.  It’s been a weird week.

This is reminiscent of the time my father had to work on a project at his job and didn’t show up at home one night until 3 in the morning.  …That or he was having an affair.

…Just kidding.

The upside to not getting overtime, and having put all of these extra hours into work is that I’m leaving tomorrow at noon and spending the weekend in the sunshine: reading, jet skiing, laying out in the sun, sleeping on the boat, and drinking around the firepit.  …I think this is going to be the first time since the “summer season” started that I’m actually going to have a nice weekend away.

Because I’ve been freaking the fuck out at work this week, The Boy (who was on an errand on my side of town, anyway) took me out to lunch for sushi and ice cream (not together, there was a break in between).  He also presented me with this t-shirt (part of all of the prizes we give each other).  It’s pink, and now I sort of match him and his jet ski.  He also got me a pink bandana to match my life jacket and sunglasses.  Now, I need a pair of black shorts.

I’ll also be wearing this swimsuit (in red poppy and black trim) – but I promise you I don’t look nearly as hot as the model.  The Boy is happy because it matches his jet ski.  As of right now, Honda doesn’t make a jet ski in pink and gray.  …Maybe someday.

This weekend, I will be reading Where Rainbows End, by Cecelia Ahern.  This was recommended to me by a good friend, and I’m excited to actually get into it.  My mother-in-law and I are going to be the lame geese on the boats who read the whole afternoon.

Also?  I’m totally lusting after one of Janine King’s bags.

June 15, 2008

The Boy turned 27 on Friday. And despite his growing loathe of birthdays, his best friend of ten years and I decided to throw a party for him.

I’m finding more and more as I go along that I really like to plan events and parties. Perhaps it’s a little Clarissa Dalloway of me, but at least you won’t find me at the bottom of the river with rocks in my coat pockets.

While we figured everything else out about the party, I couldn’t figure out how to get The Boy off the lake. If the Boy ever had to choose between saving his jet ski or myself from a burning building, he would definitely have a serious crisis of conscience going on. I put The Pretty Twin and my father-in-law on the case. While I spent the entire day of the party getting prepped and shopping, I had to hedge The Boy’s calls as to coordinating our schedules for when I was going to come out to the cabin, and the Grand Plan was going into action.

To get The Boy off of the lake, my father-in-law plied him with information about a (non-existent) pontoon boat somewhere in the Burton area that was on sale for $4,200, and that the whole family was going to go look at it. So, The Pretty Twin and The Boy piled into his truck, any my in-laws piled into their car, headed out from the cabin and into Geauga county.

Along the way, there is a section of highway which, if you turn right, you go into Burton, if you turn left, you go into Newbury (where [Best Friend] lives). When the convoy turns left, The Boy is confused, but looks carefully along 4 miles of the highway, looking for a pontoon. As they pass Best Friend’s house, the following conversation ensues.

[Pretty Twin]: Dude, why don’t you just stop at [Best Friend]’s house and ask him where the pontoon place would be.

[The Boy]: No, it looks like he has company…

[Pretty Twin]: No, I really think that you need to stop at [Best Friend]’s house.

[The Boy]: No, dude, he’s got company!

[Pretty Twin]: Dude! The party’s for you! Way to ruin the surprise.

The Boy hates surprises (so do I), which is why his reaction was so hysterical to see his face when he pulled into the driveway and realized how many people knew when he didn’t. Once he got over the initial shock of the surprise, we all had fun.

I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout: I love to hang out with The Brothers and with Best Friend, and really all of The Boy’s family. We don’t get to get together very often (Officer D lives down in Lebanon, and doesn’t get to come up very often), so having a party was a fantastic way to get everyone together. There was a lot of good food, good beer, and cornhole. The party lasted into the wee hours, slowing down in the most perfect way, my favorite way: us sitting around the fire: drinking, smoking, talking and laughing.

All in all, the party was a total smash.

Happy Birthday, Monster. Thanks for being such a good sport. I love you.

June 15, 2008

I may look more like my mother, but I am more like my father in my mannerisms. Though I did inherit his almond-shaped eyes, I also inherited his sensitivity, creativity, over-active brain, and his nerdiness. He and I can both take the grinding pain of surgery with stride and with grace, but neither us are able to shake the perhaps-unintended slight.

This is a man who spent the first five years of his life living in a post-war-torn Germany with his mother. This is a man who spent the next five years after that living in an orphanage in Pennsylvania while his mother worked at a nursing home in the hopes of a better life. This is a man who survived a difficult family situation and left home at 17 to work 40 jobs by the time he was 30. This is a man who was drafted to serve his adopted country in the Vietnam war.

This is a man who wanted better for his two children than he had for himself, and worked hard to be slow to anger but quick to teach. This is a man who loves to create with his hands. This is a man who loves nothing more than to walk out in the country with the sun on his face and the wind at his back.

This is a man I almost lost to cancer in 2006. This is a man who bravely went to chemotherapy for six weeks, and never openly complained, even as he lost weight and his hair. This is a man who will have been in remission for two years in October. This is a man for whom I will always walk for to raise awareness for the disease.

This is a man who took me to three years of father/daughter dances at Beaumont. This is a man who helped me work on grade-school science projects (usually at the zero-hour); helped me work on art projects in college; taught me how to use a table-saw, a bandsaw, a belt-sander, a drill, taught me how to plumb, how to do electrical wiring, how to lay laminate flooring, and hang tile. This is a man that I will dance with at my wedding.

And though it hasn’t always been easy to live with him, and have had some pretty terrible fights, I will always be proud of him, and I will always know how lucky I am to have him.

This man is my father.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

Not a Disclaimer, but an Ownership

When writing a blog, it’s easy to forget that these words are forever. When you set them loose on the Internet, that’s it: they are out there, in cyberspace, interminably.

I sent this blog address to someone, comfortable at first with the things that I’ve written here. Then, as I was reading over some of the older entries, I had doubts about what I had said. Was I really ready to own the things that I have said in the past, knowing that I’m not necessarily the same person that wrote those words before?

The reality is that people change. That some words that have been said in the past aren’t necessarily true anymore. That having put these words out for the whole world to see means that I have to own them for what they are. Some of the words that I have said do not apply to me anymore. And some of those words I wish that I had never said, and some of those words I wish I could take back.

I had taken down all of the posts that I transfered from the old blog to this one. And then, I got called out on it by the person who I’d sent the link to, and the words were, “I am going to read all the articles on your page, but please tell me where I have to look for the [odious] things you [wrote]. Do you believe it will change my mind about you?”

That statement stuck me more than anything else: I worry that some of the things I have written might be deal-breakers regarding some of my friendships.

I have always advertised myself as an open book. I’ve said that there are few things that I regret in this world. But the reality of the situation is that because I am not that person anymore, and I am not necessarily proud of the person that wrote previous words, I still have to admit that I once was that person.

And so, I put the posts back up.

My hope is that the people who know me, and want to know me, will understand that I have grown profoundly in the last two years. And the people who know me now like me, warts and all. I hope that they can still love me, perhaps more so because they know more of the truth about me.

So I must own those posts as part of my past. Though some of the words I’ve said aren’t quite true anymore, some of the other ones are. And if I’m ever asked to verify which ones are still true, I will answer honestly.

I am me: I have been through some traumas in my life, but I have also overcome a lot of them. I’m still a process, as I believe I always will be. But who isn’t in the process of becoming who they are?

But I have learned a lesson: words, once written, have to be owned. I must be careful of the things I say. This does not mean that I will not be honest about what I write, but it does mean that the things I say will be tempered with reason. Only then can I look back on some of the things I have written and not cringe. Sure, some words will be like the mutton-sleeved 80’s prom dress, but at least they won’t be words that I am ashamed to have written.