Friday, March 30, 2012

Adam's a Lumberjack

I thought i had written a post about laundry---but it seems it might have been a Facebook status update instead. The summary version is that at the end of January, a horrific accident occurred (washing in luke warm water) whereby I inadvertently shrunk what i have been affectionately calling Adam's lumberjack shirts.

These were jackets we got on clearance from Target that were fleecy on the inside and various patterns of plaid on the outside (blue, green, mixed, etc). For weeks, they were all Adam would wear, combined with a camouflage color anti Pebble mine hat and hiking boots.

When i shrunk them, I honestly thought i would be sleeping on the sofa for weeks. Which isn't a bad thing, because he snores, but the "sofa" is a loveseat that even i am too big to sleep comfortably on.

He was actually more ticked off than when the dog ate his favorite hiking boots. Damn you, Target, and your clearance lumberjack shirts.

As an emergency back-up plan, i scoured the internets (yes all of them) and ordered the shirts again, plus an extra one for good measure. Happy Ayyam-i-Ha, babe (Baha'i holiday at the end of Feb). May you long continue looking like a "woodsman," as you like to say. *cough*lumberjack*cough*

This morning, however, Adam arrived to work in his usual state of un-caffeinated confusion. He took his lunch into the break room, placed it in the fridge, and noticed a Paul Bunyan poster on the break room door. My innocent, sweet husband *cough*, decked out in formal attire for a deposition, didn't think about it again until he got to his office, where the same poster was lurking.  Thinking there may be some hi-jinx occuring, Adam trekked out to talk to the women who rule the office.

As they emerged one by one, every female staff member was wearing plaid lumberjack clothes in honor of Adam's usual Friday attire. For the record, I adore these ladies!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

dear housing gods....

Dear Housing Gods,

Clearly you want me to think back to when i lived with Anoika and Yunyses in Chile, remember their Santeria practices, and slaughter a chicken or leave out coins and rum for you. (Yes, i did actually live with people who practiced voodoo for a while---much more fascinating than i expected). I might consider doing that, but i'm a bit exasperated.

We are in a bit of a fight, you and me, and i am not sure what the lesson is i am meant to learn here. I think i've been demonstrating an incredible amount of patience and perseverance. I mean, i did manage to get our budget raised (thank you mortgage goddess), which opened up a world of things we might actually be able to like rather than just tolerate. The problem is this....every time we find something we really like, you seem to think it is a funny game for there to be another offer and for us to land in a bidding war. For the record, i don't think it is either fun or funny.

In fact, i have come to expect one of two things to happen when we put in an offer:

  1. There will have already been another offer we didn't know about and they are going with that one; or 
  2. Another offer will come in less than 24 hours after ours and a bidding war will ensue
Here's the deal, we terminated on the condo---simply because after seeing other options we couldn't imagine ourselves in that space.  There are several things we like out of which we are going through number 2 above with right now. Typical. Honestly, we weren't even sad or surprised, even though it had been on the market for all of 3 days.

So, here i am pleading with you to consider that we consulted really well about this decision, both feel good about it, and really want to get on with our lives. Please, oh god(dess) of housing, shine favorably upon your suppliants: mar, adam and neah (who just wants somewhere to pee that doesn't involve a leash).

As sincerely as i can get....mar

PS. For all the rest of you: Your prayers would be appreciated....and chicken slaughtering, ave marias, and or whatever.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

good byes....

This is one of those rare emotional posts....

we ate fro-yo at the Yogurtland in the airport to ease the transition. they had insisted on being there a full two hours early, not realizing that check-in took three minutes and there was no one in the security line. so we used the last 27 minutes of free parking to sit quietly, chat, and pretend it was just a normal evening. they took off their heavy jackets and placed them gently in a pile for me. strawberrys and chocolate gone, they pulled on backpacks and lifted computer bags onto their shoulders and we walked towards the security entrance.

i did my best to pretend i wasn't going to fall apart. i hugged and loved quickly, clutching their winter coats, watched them walk a few steps through the coveted special people security line and might as well have ran as fast as i could to the parking lot so no one would see this grown woman start to cry. i was hindered by my own need to keep looking back---but so far as i saw, they didn't turn around. a mercy for me really. at first it was just a single tear that streamed down and i made my way through the tunnel to the parking. i made the horrible mistake of burying my face in the jackets and inhaling the smell of love. my lip quivered. one at a time on the 4 mile drive home the tears came down.

walking into the apartment, still clutching the jackets like a life raft, i saw their boots. my whole body heaved with sobs. the dog curled up beside my crumpled body and waited me out. after what felt like an eternity, probably just a few minutes, i heaved myself up off the floor, washed my face and sent a loving text. i searched for some piece of them that might have been left behind and contemplated sleeping in their jackets with one of each of their boots on my feet.

they texted and told me they had just met an iditarod musher, headed home to Chicago for a shower. and so their adventure continues.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Last months' reading list

  1. Memories of my Melancholy Whores---Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  2. News of a Kidnapping -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  3. Peony in love--Lisa See
  4. Snowflower and the Secret fan--Lisa See
  5. Black Power--Richard Wright
  6. ColorBlind -- Tim Wise

Suggestions welcome, although the book stack is moderately out of control following a little spree this past weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

gratitude, disappointment, and tea...not in that order

It is 9:30am. I am sitting at my desk at work sipping a cup of orange tea, glaring at it and mulling over how pissed off i am to be eating and drinking again during the day. There is a magic number in my life. It is the first three digit number and when i stand on a scale and weigh less than that, I can't keep up the pretense that my body allows fasting without complications. This rule has been in place since one of my doctors laid down the law when i was 21. Some years are better than others. It seems trying to stay warm in cold climes requires a higher caloric intake than I have been managing for the last two weeks. Seriously though, i read the boxes--the brownies, fruit loops and mangoes are supposed to be high in calories.

So, i'm disappointed at the yummy tea, at the lost 5 pounds that make all the difference, at my inability to spell disappointed on the first try each time, and at what i feel is my own personal failure at being unable to rise above the test of being attached to the material world. I love the feeling of empty that fills you so that your soul gets to fly freely around, soaring and peaceful. My family likes to say that perhaps my test is the opposite. I am forced to acknowledge the physical requirements of my body and find a way to make them sync with the rest of my life. I end up writing about this every year, because clearly i don't learn lessons the first time and keep trying to make it through with the same ignorance of myself/my stomach that lands me here two weeks in every time.

i guess i haven't really got to the gratitude part of this. there are a lot of things i am thankful for. too many to list here really. but mostly i am grateful for the overwhelming amount of love and support from those in my life. i am grateful for honesty about struggles, fears, passions, and successes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mar's a big girl: adventures in home buying update

in sum: i know. you have all patiently waited for me to come up with some news that didn't involve a snide remark about a bank that will not be named (but who's first word rhymes with bells) and the extraordinary amount of time it is requiring for them to review our offer. Sadly, while i have jealously watched my friend sjona buy a lovely house, there has been little to no movement on our end.

quick recap: it is a 3 bed 1.5 bath condo with a yard. it is a short sale---we pay some and the sellers make up the difference (short). this little arrangement has to be approved by their bank, making for the oh so ironically named "short sale" because it is the longest of any kind of house sale. We started this process in.....early January i think? the upside for us is that we would achieve instant equity in the property, which would be wonderful. and this place is a full current apartment bigger than anywhere else we have seen that didn't look like a methlab.

the long version: after the request yesterday, from the "bells ergo" bank, that we resend some documents that were definitely in the massive initial packet, i've come to the conclusion that 1. someone lost all our stuff and has been recollecting it slowly, or 2. they are stalling for some reason i can't figure out, or 3. both. at any rate the result is that i threatened to figure out how to make a voodoo doll bank yesterday and decided NOT to thank God for this test in patience. clearly this was not the best idea--the not thanking God part, in my fasting delerium, not the fact that i can't make a voodoo bank--because then neah got on my dad's last nerve and mine which has no other logical explanation than bad karma for my stubborn screw-the-universe-ness. yeah? yeah. add to that the table next to us at teppanyaki had a actual baby chicken inside one of the eggs and i learned my lesson.

lesson learned: be grateful there aren't baby chickens in your eggs because coveting thy someone else's houses/processes/dinners will lead to grossness.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

my mom is five feet tall

that's why this picture is so great:

This is around the corner from our place and down the culdesac from the b&b that bob and lissa are camped out in.  As we drove up to pick them up one day, we found them wandering down the street. mind you, it is like 15 degrees and they are wearing every pair of long underwear they have. Adam looked at me and said "what on earth are your parents doing?" to which i replied, "uh walking out to meet us? i told you they don't stay put so good."

I thought i would mention the hidden beautiful dangers of snow melt:
See the crazy curved icicles??? Those suckers are deadly!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fasting, day 4.

It is that time of year, where i tell you all how much i hate you, your lattes, and your lunches. where i tell you how strange it feels to not have a caffeine-deprivation headache at 11am. where i talk about how much colder i am when there are no snacks in my tummy. where i try to remember the things i knew at some point in time during this blog. and where it tell you how calm and at peace my soul feels.

I'm going to recycle 2010 instead: 19 days where i will try to focus on something other than my incessant need for sugar and coffee. 19 days, where i will try to rise above. The rules are simple: focus on something other than physical needs, don't eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset, try to maintain a prayerful state. I've found most religions have a form of fasting. Ours looks most like Ramadan in its practice. It's a month i love--it always brings clarity, focus, and determination. I get to pour my stubborn will into something worthwhile. I think of it like exercise--feel the burn, know you are doing the work. Refocus, meditate, find time for my soul.

Fasting is not an easy endeavor for anyone. It is truly a mind over matter exercise that forces you to be more vigilant with your thoughts and to draw from the depths of your self-restraint and detachment. In my head i am still on the roof of the Mansion at Bahji. In my heart, i am there and here--with my family. God has been very gracious to me this year and Bob and Lissa are here for almost all of the fast to share it with me. 

So , i wish each of you well during this period of refreshing one's soul. I am eagerly awaiting the new year, new adventures, and hopefully lots of laughter.