But here's the logic - I fly down to Texas, where the parental units live and then drive to Wyoming, where my cousin is getting married. And then do the entire thing in reverse. Right.
So, my list of
Things I will do in the car whilst traveling to and from Wyoming
1) Take my freakin' Netflix movies with me and watch them in the car. Because my DVD player has died and it completely sucks and I just got this subscription to Netflix and now I can't even use it b/c I don't have the money right now to put towards a new DVD player. Nor do I have anything on which to play my CDs. Which is very sad. But the paternal unit has both a computer and a little travel DVD dealiemabobber. Yay!
2) Read. A lot. One of my co-workers loaded me up with what look like fun. Yay!
3) Sleep. It's a looooooong trip from Texas to Wyoming y'all.
4) Keep my father awake. He is pretty bad about getting sleepy on long trips while he is driving. I think my mom and I will have to take turns keeping him awake. He is also very stubborn about not giving up the wheel even though he is tired. Stupid men.
5) Miss you people out here in the blogospere.
See y'all in a few...
My biological brother turned 31 this week. We had spent his 30th birthday together along with our parents here in Chicago. We spent my dad's 60th birthday together just recently.
Yes, that is family. The Brother and Mom and Dad. The biological one. I love them. I do.
But in the past several years family has come to mean something different. Family - as in the people that take care of you. And the people for whom you help to provide care. These people are notnecessarilyy related to a person.
I think in the cities this is really apparent. Most of us have left our rural roots to come to the big city. We've left behind the parents and aunts and uncles and cousins. What used to be the support system. But now we pick up and move, we get replanted and usually put down roots in this crazy urban place. And, if not for the folks that help us do that, I think we could very easily get choked out by all the other plants.
I've heard this phenomenon referred to as the urban tribe. I know, it sounds a bit cheesy. But we do have tribes or larger family units that we belong to. And it's hard to switch from one to another or combine two or more. But think about the folks in your tribe. We all have jobs within the tribe, not necessarily hunting and gathering, but more like organizing and teaching. We provide some sort of service to others. We are fiercely loyal to the tribe. Sometimes very closed to new ideas or people. I am thankful that my tribe, which has evolved and gown over the years, is a balance of close-knit and welcoming. Otherwise I would not have either of my roommates who are great.
Why all this sappy sentimentality? What has stirred this emotion in me so?
Today I help part of my tribe, my adoptive family, move - assuming it has not already finished by the time I get off of work. These friends, right now a three person family, are moving to the neighborhood. Closer to the rest of us. They are also expecting - a child - in about 10 days. Baby E was planned. She was decided upon because her parents knew they had a supportive community in which to start this child's life.
My friend is a semester away from finishing up her MFA but took the spring semester off because of the pregnancy. I hope she does eventually finish her degree but I know her biological mother was pretty disappointed. She is one of the first, if not the only person in her family to get a college degree, much less a masters. Her mom, because of this, is telling her biological family that Baby E was a whoops. Unintentional. But she's not. It was a conscious decision of her parents because of the non-biological family the are now a part of.
My friends know that people will be around to not only provide meals for a week or two after she is born, but to babysit her and her big sister. They will help with the wash or just come and sit with them when mom and dad want some adult conversation. These people will change poopie diapers and read to the kids and discipline them when then get out of hand. They will be loved.
Because they are our family too.
I'll be back tomorrow with sore arms, legs and back.
- Cleaned the apartment? Yep
- Completely rearranged the furniture so that there is nothing to sit on in front of the television, the dining room table is in the living room, a sofa and matching chair in the dining room and no one that sees our apartment for the first time this weekend would have any idea what the layout normally is? Indeed
- Shopped for lots of food and alcohol? Including three bags (a dozen ea.) of avocados? Check
- Hung up lots of lights and lanterns and a very stylized representation of the Eiffel Tower? Done
- Prepared said food including guacamole - not enough - mini pierogies - also not enough - fruit kabobs - almost not enough - cheese and crackers. Also done
- Beer. Lots of it. In ice. Soda too. Done and done. But how did we end up with just as much or more of both after the party was over?
- Showered with hair fixed before the first guests arrived? Yes! - highly unusual for me.
- Love up on the people that come to hang out at our fabulous apartment? Accomplished.
Friends, thanks for making the party such a lovely time! I'm so glad to have such a sweet group of people around me to make life fun and keep me from falling off the deep end. Some pictures here.
So, for the five things this week are questions for You. What? I can't do all the work around here.
1) Did you know there is a blog dedicated solely to cats that look like Hitler? There is. It's a bit frightening. It's also rather amusing. Must admit, I noticed this on Dooce's site. And, as an update, there has been some outcome regarding the Clog War or 2006 - I don't think it's clear to most of us what that outcome is though.
2) Do you have any suggestions for good books to read this summer? Apparently I am in a reading phase and I need some other things to read. I prefer fiction. Not so hip on the sci-fi stuff - but trying to read one right now. I just finished She's Come Undone and enjoyed it.
3) Can I leave work early? Please??
To finish with, a couple questions regarding the fabulous house warming party the roomies and I are throwing tomorrow night. Starts at 7. Stop on by.
4) We're low on the ideas for Asian food and drink. Any suggestions? We were thinking Mai tais for the drink. And then discovered that there are about 20 ingredients in them. So, unless we get a mix, well, we're all about the easy. But we easily have all the ingredients for a Black Russian. Does a Black Russian count as an Asian drink?
5) I need some good dance music. Preferably merengue or salsa. But I'm open to anything that works. Any suggestions about a couple cds I can buy and be happy with?
Thanks for your help and have a great weekend.
He has experience. He also has language skills that make him an asset. While he is not old, probably mid-twenties, he is older than the people that are being sent over there currently. They do not have experience or the know how in this type of situation (war).
So here is a kid, more or less, that is going back to war, to spare another person having to go - even though the death count for American troops recently reached 2500 since the war on terror began. He realizes that we are sending young(er) kids over that shouldn't be there.
This past weekend there was a going away party for a girl that has been in and out of my housegroup since hurricane Katrina. She has joined up and leaves for basic training soon and then heads to CA for language training. We've had another group member do the same and heard from him last Tuesday night. The various recruiting tactics employed make me queasy. Assurances that they won't see combat - but no guarantee. Assurances that they will get to learn one language and now are learning another.
These are all rational, sane people. At least I think they are. Yet to me, pacifist that I am, this whole situation is quite near to the border of insane.
Other things I am not fond of. This morning having to walk 2.5 blocks to my car. Or having a cop car follow me for several blocks outside of the township where this cop is supposed to work. I don't think I did anything illegal but it still makes me nervous.
I am not fond of my parents using me to get information on my almost 31-year-old brother. Yes, he went through and is still going through a rough breakup. But, hey, he's doing much better now. He just may not want to answer your phone calls when you call him before noon on a Saturday. Or he may be out of town on a real vacation with his friends. Can you respect the fact that he might not tell you all the details of his personal life?
I am fond of my friends. Last night I got to hang out with some of the girls and actually drove with my roommate (2 times in 2 weeks. I think it's a new record!) One of them lives in this courtyard building where you can look out the window and watch someone else's tv. I was amused by the creativity of this person. It's amazing to me the contraptions that people come up with to keep their window unit air conditioners from falling out of third floor windows. Usually it involves bricks and pieces of wood. I think I might have chosen more than one jar of Jiffy. But that's just me. I haven't even installed my a/c yet despite the oppressive humidity and searing heat this weekend. I just know that once I get it all set up I'll have it on constantly. So I put it off and put it off.
I am also fond of my cats. (Shut up Jen) They are probably not fond of me right now - because I have not yet provided them with a/c. They have to deal with the heat and their fur coats. But they survive. And puke on my bed to let me know they are unhappy. Ah, the sweet kitties. Another picture from last night of a friend with her cat Layla (or is it Leila?)
Also, Dave sent me his newest t-shirt. The shirt design is best seen at the April 20th entry. And it totally kicks ass. I had to wear it to work on Friday I love it so much, even though it doesn't quite fit in with the office dress code. But I've got tons of other Fridays to comply with the dress code at work. Right?
I have wanted poppies in my yard forever. Well, since I was sort of grown up. Imagine my giddiness when I happened upon a few plants growing in the side yard that looked suspiciously like poppy plants I had seen from afar. But, I thought, that would be too good to be true. Iris, peonies, and poppies? I mean, they look all prickly and stuff. Maybe someone has a thing for those thistles that grow in Colorado. Also prickly. And, never having really had poppies, wasn't competely sure what they looked like.
And then they bloomed!
And I was so happy! Because they're Beautiful!
|Your Political Profile:|
|Overall: 20% Conservative, 80% Liberal|
|Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal|
|Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal|
|Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal|
|Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal|
|Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal|
Umm, if you know me, you shouldn't be surprised. However some of the questions are a little too cut and dry for my mind and how it works. Ah well...
Happy Monday folks. It's gogeous here in Chicago with dazzling blue skies and nary a cloud to be seen. And I'm stuck inside. Boo!
It's FRIDAY! Because the week hasn't been hectic enough.
But hey, I don't have to spend hours in the car each day so that's a good thing, right?
I don't think I've posted my five things in a while, mostly because I haven't had access to a computer on Fridays to make that happen. But today I can!
Today, five things from Rhode Island:
That would be the reason we all went to Rhode Island in the first place - the Brother. Hi Brother! There he is looking all solitary out on the rocky projection. Perhaps a metaphor for his life at the moment. Angst is good for artists though I suppose.
Boats and Water - how much more Rhode Island can one get? It's a view from a bridge in Pawtucket I think. Or maybe Pawtuxet. I think there are both.
Sign from the National Museum of American Illustration. Next time we'll go in. It's in Newport. Among all the big houses.
Just some local prettiness.
Mmm... Ocean. Taken at a safe distance out the car window.
Oh, and I'll even throw in a bonus. Because I'm giving like that.
Sunday, after being completely exhausted from the wedding festivities, I flew out to visit the family. Brother lives in RI and Mom and Dad flew up there to celebrate Dad's birthday all together.
Mom flew into Providence around Thursday, partly to make sure she was able to visit the art museums in Boston. And partly to help Brother get ready to move - that weekend. He hadn't packed much. Now, I understand the tough situation of a bad breakup and the whole "woe is me" aspect of that. But really, must you wait for your mother to get there to help you pack and move? You are 30. At any rate, he moved most of Saturday and Sunday. Then I got there Sunday night and it was just him picking me up. Hello? Parents? Nope. Sitting in the hotel room after sending him off to pick up the sister and some snacks.
I spent Sunday night at Brother's new place with his incredibly ample cat, Pollock. He names his cats after dead artists that he likes. Usually people that died young.
As a side note, I have to admit, I don't understand how people get fat cats. I mean, I pretty much leave dried food out for mine all day and they don't seem to gain much weight. So what's the trick? Canned food? My cats could probably stand to gain a little weight. But the canned food is just asking for disaster as one cat always pukes after eating the stuff.
OK. Pollock, the brother and I hanging out at his new place. With boxes and clothing and paintings all over the place, because he just moved. Have I mentioed that Brother is an artist?
Monday we decided to visit Newport. Along with the rest of the tri-state area. Newport is lovely and it has the ginormous mansions like The Breakers. And the ocean. And there's this picturesque little college along the coast that I think I would move out there to work at those days when I've had enough of Chicago. But then I get over it.
Tuesday was was Father's birthday. We had also visited Brown the day before and my dad thinks it very clever to wear Brown t-shirts. Not because he went there, but because he is Brown. So, Brown t-shirts for the birthday. And steak. And, because Mom never did make it to the art museums in Boston, we walk through the Northeastern campus to get to the art museum. They had a nice exhibit up which we enjoyed for a while. There were several good pieces but some of the most interesting that showed process - I liked this one from Picasso quite a bit. And back to the hotel to watch the basketball game. Because that was Important.
The next day. Well, the next day Dad left early. He had another flight to catch that evening to somewhere else in the country. He's doing some traveling these days. But Mom and I went to Brother's old apartment to help clean the kitchen and move the final things. Things like plants and the food from the fridge. After the whole go-go-go weekend I just about lost it. In fact, I might have yelled at my mom. Regarding the cleaning of the stove. That is the state of where I was at that point in time. Right about then I decided I needed a break and went outside. And saw these. And this. It was much better.
As promised, pictures and narrative from "Vacation" time I took over Memorial Day weekend. OK. So no pictures b/c Blogger is being difficult. I can't get any pictures included in my posts these days. Don't know what that's all about. Sigh. But they're at Flickr so check them out. =)
Thursday I did not make it up to the church to help decorate. I'm trying to not beat myself up about that too much. Truthfully, I didn't have the directions to the church so it would have been silly to try at that point. But made it up there in time to pick up my dress and have dinner with the Bride's family and the other bridesmaids. Dinner was lovely. B's mom is a great cook. B opened her gift from her maternal grandparents - silverware. She picked the pattern out when she was 10 or 12. I think she did a pretty good job.
Up late working on prototypes for the flowers until I had something I was happy with.
Up early Friday to show people how to make boutonnieres and corsages. Then we made them.
Somewhere in there was a tea for the ladies - All the ladies involved, related, etc. Which was lovely. From the tea to the rehearsal, after a quick wardrobe change. Somewhere in there I criticized the singing of someone I hadn't ever met before. Bad Hannah. Bad. But he wasn't blending. Ah well.
Back to the condo to do more flowers. Flowers until late again.
Up early to do centerpieces for the reception. With the help of many hands. I was surprised at the end of the whole process by a dear friend from university. Yay! Much love and loud exclamations of happiness. Really what I needed at that point being exhausted out of my gourd.
Ran off to get a mani. I've never had a real manicure before. I often think of it as a frivolous expense, and honestly, I can do the same damn job on my couch and be happy with the results. So I don't see the point when there are hungry people a few blocks away. But I didn't pay and I needed some pampering after destroying my nails doing flowers.
Hair, dressing, pictures. At some point I was informed that I would not be allowed to wear lotion because it ruins the dress. Have you ever heard such a thing? Well, I complied. But was much less sparkly that I would have liked to have been. And really, I should not have been wandering the halls of the church in my slip. But it was fun doing it. Hee.
Then there was wedding. =) And B was gorgeous. Seriously people. She needed to be in one of those bridal magazines or something she looked so stunning.
More pictures. Then a reception. Easily the best wedding food I'd ever had. And this really crazy mix of cultures represented. Because hummus and mashed potatoes and Swedish meatballs and kabobs are all very fun. And some dancing and some chatting with old friends and it was lovely to be able to leave it all to the family to clean up. Was that mean of me? I had been up until 2:30 the past two nights.
Up early, to church, help with food pantry stuff, home to pack for RI, fly to RI.
But, so NOT a vacation. Because I was happy (HAPPY, y'all) to be back at work because it was less stressful that being with my family.
Ah well, maybe next time I'll actually get a vacation in. But I have pretty pictures so I hope to post those soon.
Happy June! On with the madness!