Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lessons I Apparently Haven't Learned Yet

  • Eating a bunch of candy right before bed is a stupid thing to do, especially if I expect to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.
  • If, while running, part of my body begins to hurt and then continues to hurt, with ever-increasing intensity of pain, I NEED TO STOP RUNNING.
  • The house will be clean, and the house will be dirty. And when the house is dirty, it is possible to change that by action. It is not possible to change that by freaking out about how fucking dirty the house is.
  • I don't always need to know what I'm doing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not much.

There hasn't been much for me to say this past week or so. I feel like both Aa and I have been just ridiculously busy lately. I'm getting a little stressed about how to deal with Christmas, but this is nothing unusual. Aa made some beautiful homemade pizza for dinner tonight. I am concerned about all the things I need to get done this week.

Currently, we're watching a deeply stupid movie called The Contract. It's the second John Cusack vehicle we've tried to watch tonight - the first was War, Inc. I want to know what the eff happened to John Cusack actually. Say Anything? Grosse Pointe Blank? These were awesome movies. He was awesome in them. I don't think he's done anything good since Grosse Pointe Blank. Wait, I guess High Fidelity was in there, which seemed to be a well-liked movie. But that film just made me uncomfortable. The arc of "man-child pulls his head out of his ass a teeny, tiny bit" was just not interesting. It was both interesting and weird to see many of my old stomping grounds in Chicago featured in the movie. And now I can appreciate some things about it, but overall? There are still moments in that movie that make me feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. Oh John Cusack, you have broken my heart.

Alright. Time to go to bed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Six entirely unrelated things

1. I need more sleep. Right now I'm watching the end of Victor, Victoria, a movie I've seen approximately 15 bajillion times, and I'm tearing up.

2. Our friend Lynn told me this great story about the post-wedding ceremony dinner. The food was coming out, and all of the different salad dressings were in plastic containers. One was white and had a B on the cover. Lynn was standing near my Uncle Jim and said, "oh, that must be blue cheese". And my Uncle Jim, totally deadpan, said, "no, B is for bacteria". This has made me laugh every time I think about it.

3. I pretty much destroyed my kitchen making a ton of stir-fried carrot and cabbage salad and roasted veggies for an enchilada sauce. There's just a bunch of stuff I need to clean up. All my stupid dog is doing is sleeping next to me on the couch, looking all cute. I have tried time and time again to train him to at least load the effing dishwasher. All he does is stare at me.

3a. All the veggies in the carrot salad and roasted veggie sauce came either from our farmer's market or our backyard. Except the garlic - that came from Garrick's farm.

4. I can eat way more donuts in a week than I thought I could, especially if I tell myself that because they're vegan they're somehow good for me.

5. I had a crazy dream about Omar from the wire and the Catholic church / school I went to as a kid. I'll get into that later.

6. I am tired, tired, tired.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

More wedding photos

You can view the full set here. Michael, our friend and photographer, did a fantastic job. Yay!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I just found out that a friend of mine from college was killed in Afghanistan Monday. It was, I think, his third tour over there. I just heard from him like two weeks ago. He wrote to congratulate me on the wedding and asked me to post pictures he could look at afterward. I asked him to send me a mailing address. I was so glad to hear from him I wanted to make sure we stayed in touch. And I really wanted to bake him some cookies and send them to him. Wanting to bake cookies and then send them to Afghanistan seems incredibly naive right now. Like he was in summer camp in Michigan or something.

I remember when my friend Gina told me he'd joined the army in the first place. He'd just been divorced. And when I saw him, he told me the army was a great place to channel his anger over the breakup. But he also discovered he was good at being a soldier. He liked the structure and the challenge. He knew he could become an officer too. When I last saw him, we were at Gina's mom's wake. He was dressed in his formal uniform. He looked wonderful, and I was so glad to see him. He was still pretty much the same guy I knew in college - funny, sarcastic, sharp as hell, but really sweet and generous. I still felt like I'd achieved something notable when I made him laugh hard, which was probably one of my favorite feelings in college too. I say all this because I remember not being able to understand the commitment he'd made to the army in the first place. It seemed like a thoroughly alien decision to me. I remember thinking he must just be going through a phase of some kind, not a career or lifestyle choice. But this was years ago. Clearly the army was not a phase.

Over the past few years, I have read a lot about the US involvement in Afghanistan, and talked to countless reporters and policy wonks about it. Definitely a lot of that was for work. But it was also in some ways because of him. I was both terrified for him and grateful to him - that this awesome guy I remember from college was one of the people in Afghanistan. He was not fucking that country up. He was making it better. I know that sounds super naive too. But he was a good, reasonable guy. Even when he sometimes made crazy arguments when we talked politics, I thought he was a reasonable guy. He always thought about things. He rarely just reacted.

I'll never understand why he joined the army. But the army must have done something for him. It must have been good for him. And for that, I'm glad. I want to believe in what he was doing because he clearly believed in it. But I'm awfully angry that he's gone. I'm so pissed I never got to send him those stupid cookies. I'm so pissed I won't ever get to try and make him laugh again. I just feel really heavy and foggy. But I am also really happy I got to know him at all. He was funny and weird and a good person to argue with. And I missed him before and I miss him now.

Fallen GI loved life in military

Soldier from Highland killed by blast in Afghanistan

Officially Weddinged

Here's one of the many pictures our amazing friend / photographer Michael took the day of the wedding. It all turned out to be really, really fun...more fun and way less stress than I'd expected. The ceremony felt exactly right (not too fussy, really authentic, and short!). My Aunt Lois called to tell me my Grandma Yandel keeps talking about how much fun she had, which was HUGE for me. I was so nervous that traveling to central IL from Chicago and being carried up and down stairs in her wheelchair would just be too much for her, and she wouldn't enjoy herself. I loved the whole thing. I only wish time travel had been invented so Post Wedding Jeannie could have visited Pre Wedding Jeannie to tell her to calm the eff down because everything was going to be awesome.

The Chicago party was also fantastic - I kind of don't have words to describe how truly touching and excellent it was to have so many people from so many parts of our lives come together on Saturday night. Everywhere I turned, there was someone I wanted to hug and talk to. And I could look across the room and see Aa doing the same thing - hugging people, laughing, catching up. Friends from Seattle made a point of meeting my family, which I particularly loved. Paul and Liz brought amazing cookies that basically fueled me the whole night. I know both my sister and my Uncle Terry took a bunch of cookies home. I think Amanda (the amazing, generous friend who made my wedding dress) did too.

Aa and I decided to get weddinged in the first place so we could see and spend time with the people we love. It's why we chose to have the wedding and party in Illinois. And looking around on Thursday night after the wedding and Saturday night mid-party, I realized we got exactly what we wanted. We spent days surrounded by people we love and don't ever get to spend enough time with - that definitely includes our Seattle friends. Everything was perfect. I've never felt so lucky in my life.