Happy birthday to my bestie!

He turned 31 today.

[this is good]

We spent almost the entire day together, which was pretty awesome, despite the fact that half of it was a result of me being totally sick for the last 5 days.  We had a nice lunch at Jolly Pumpkin, took a long nap, and just got back from drinks at Ashley’s – he also got in some wrenching while I worked-while-sick, then scored free fried ice cream with friends at Taco Tuesday while I taught my class.  I also think I excelled in the present-giving department this year: a long-desired Hario Buono kettle and a screen-printed moped polo.

Tomorrow I’m off for a long weekend in Illinois with my friends – but for now I’m just loving the fact that I’ve gotten so much good time with SB the last few days – and that I have the extraordinary good luck of being married to my best friend.

Exit Strategy

SB’s going-away thing was Friday night, and after the chaos of trying to wrangle friends in the middle of a busy, crowded bar, I decided that I definitely did NOT want to do that for my departure. I would much, much rather spend quality time with a few people at a time over the next few weeks – lunches, dinners, drinks after work, other small outings. Consider this my notice that I’m going to make every effort to see lots of people before I go, despite my weird schedule, and if you haven’t heard from me, please bug me until we get together.

I told SB last night that I feel like I’m only looking forward at this point – to my move, my new job (whatever it will be), and my life together with SB. There are a lot of things for me here, and I’ll be really sad when I do leave, but I’m ready to move forward.

I wish I was one of those girls who can cry prettily – you know, quiet tears delicately streaming down soft pink cheeks. Good god, that’s not me. I’m more the sobbing, snuffling, red-eyed, blotchy-cheeked, red-faced, can soak a pillow in five minutes kind of crier. I’ve had some practice.

SB left for Virginia today. We loaded up his car this morning, packed the cats in their carriers, and said our goodbyes. He texted me I believe before he had even made it to the freeway. If we’re lucky, I’ll see him in about two weeks. If we’re not, it’ll be a little more than three. Three weeks is not a terribly long time in the grand scheme of things, but it feels like a very, very long time when one has to come home to a nearly empty and quite lonely apartment after a very busy, stressful, and emotional week.

I said to Keem this morning that I think that ultimately the next few weeks will be a good thing for me as they will give me a chance to consider the alternatives and remember why I made the choice that I did.

I’m still sad, though.

SB is off at his second interview in 7 days. He gets home Thursday night, and then I leave on Tuesday for another interview. We both have been going constantly for months now with very little down time, and I’m so tired of it. I’m really ready to be done with this part of our life so that we can move on to the next chapter together. That’s what teams do, right?

MASTERS OF SCIENCE

graduation day

Yesterday was commencement, and now we are both officially masters of science, even though we both actually finished our degrees in December. Shane’s family was here all weekend, and mine came down for the ceremony and brunch yesterday. It was an exhausting but lovely day, and I’m glad we were both able to participate.

Many congrats to my many friends who celebrated achievements this weekend!

thoughts on stuff

A handful of things I’ve been meaning to post about:

  • The HPV vaccine: I’m pissed that I can’t get it. I’m encouraging my sister to get it. Illinois, among other states, is considering making the vaccine mandatory for school-aged girls. If you’re under 26 and your insurance will cover it, get it. If you’re under 26 and you don’t have insurance, public aid will cover it in some places. HPV (a group of virii, not just one virus) is the leading cause of cervical cancer, but it can also cause all kinds of gross things, like warts and lesions that have to be frozen off. The only sure fire way to avoid HPV is by never having sex with anyone. Aside from that, well, the vaccine certainly can’t hurt.
  • Lent: Last year I gave up chocolate. This year I decided to use the 40 days to take better care of myself. That was the plan, anyway, but I got into another bike accident a few hours ago, and am pretty banged up. On the bright side, I already have an arm brace!
  • Food: On a somewhat related note, a woman in the UK is giving up supermarkets for Lent. I think it’s a really interesting idea. I just finished reading Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, which is full of information about the food industry, as well as recommendations (and meals) for things you can do to make your own habits more sustainable. This week we made mofongo with wild mushroom sauce, along with rosemary-chile mashed potatoes, using as many organic products as possible. It was good, but mainly made me long for the farmers’ market, where we’ll be able to get organic AND locally-grown things every week.
  • Plans: SB and I decided to renew our lease today. An online friend and her partner take each end-of-lease time as an opportunity to reevaluate their relationship, deciding whether to stay together while they decide whether to stay in their apartment in Brooklyn. (They renewed for two years, by the way.) I think that’s a reasonable, if not entirely romantic, way to approach relationships – as a work in process, an ongoing evaluation. It’s scary to think about what’s going to happen in the next few months – graduation, selling my/our car(s), new jobs and potential moves – but it’s good to know that we’re facing these challenges together!

Now, off to ice my arm. UHgain.

So the big news of the day – or, rather, the big news of five days ago, except I was too busy to find out – is that my house sold. Unfortunately it sold at foreclosure, not through a realtor, but the point is that it is gone. This is such a blessing for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that despite the discrepancy (mostly interest and fees) between the payoff amount and the sale amount, the bank doesn’t intend to pursue this debt. My credit is pretty messed up, but the good news is that it can only get better from this point. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Today was the first day of class for me, and I’m hoping this will be a better semester. I certainly hope so, at least. In my introduction in one of my classes, I laid out pretty much all of my insecurities, explaining that I wasn’t sure that I’m in the right place, but I’m trying to learn what I can to apply back to the work I’m really passionate about. I said that I’ve thought about quitting more times that I’d actually like to admit – and the professor was unfazed. So, I’ve got that going for me.

Between bouts of stressing out, I had a couple of nice conversations with friends, and I spent the evening on the couch with a beer and Julie and Julia, which I enjoyed. SB and I had a quiet weekend, but this week we’re back to opposite schedules, with him working late and then reading later, and me up early for work. I hope we can work out a schedule for the semester that will allow time for work and exercise and homework and meals and that will put us in bed at the same time on occasion. We’ve been living together for the better part of six months, and I’m afraid I’m terribly spoiled.

I woke up last New Years Day with a boy who until a few hours previously had just been a friend. After a night of dancing and champagne and kissing, he slept over, though we both spent more time tossing and turning and talking than actually sleeping. I was resolutely single at the time, and he was just out of a long term relationship, so I thought it was just going to be one of those things, and we’d go back to being friends.

I was wrong.

Much to my great surprise, it wasn’t just one of those things. The last year has been full of surprises and happiness and growth and kittens and excellent meals and love. I’m very happy, and very grateful for this man.

Happy first year, baby.