Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yeah, So That Happened

Sooooo, I live in Los Angeles now. Leaving San Diego was hard, really hard. I cried all the way to Del Mar, but that's a whole other post that I will write soon. For now, the move and its aftermath...

Tom has been living and working in L.A. for the past month or so, and while he helped as much as he could on the weekends, most of the packing was up to me. Except for CDs and guitars; I'm discouraged from touching those. So after a week of family fun in Vermont, I set about finishing the packing that I had started before we left.

This was my apartment the night before moving day. It was a sad, scary place.

Thankfully, when moving day arrived, my mom swooped in to the rescue. She's awesome like that. She helped me pack up all those last minute things, plus the whole drawer of kitchen utensils that I had overlooked. She vacuumed the whole apartment; she even cleaned all the ashes out of the fireplace. Cinderella ain't got nothin' on my mama. I really don't know how I would have done it without her. Saying goodbye sucked though. No other way to put it. And, yes, I realize that we're only two hours apart now...

As soon as the moving truck was loaded, the Prius and I headed north. And, as mentioned, the tears dried up around Del Mar, but that was largely because I had to stop for DayQuil and throat lozenges because, oh yeah, I got my first serious cold of the year on moving day. Then I hit a major traffic jam, so I was too annoyed to be weepy.

Tom met me at the new pad to give me the keys because, oh yeah, I had never been there. For reals. I demonstrated what I personally feel is an award-worthy level of wifely trust in my husband's judgment and agreed to move in sight unseen. Apparently, Tom also found me to be award-worthy because when I arrived, I found a beautiful, white orchid sitting on the mantel in an otherwise empty apartment.
{Spanky survived the trip!}
When the movers arrived, they were less than thrilled to learn that we were on the second floor, but they soldiered on. Things got really interesting when they realized that our couch wouldn't fit through the door. They took the door off; still no dice. In an incredible show of dedication, the three-man moving team moved everything else in and then proceeded to couch plan C. Off the clock. Seriously, these guys were awesome. Couch plan C, however, was scary. Josue, the team lead, hooked up some sort of rope/pulley system and proceeded to... Pull. The couch. Over. The balcony. At one point, he was standing on the edge of the balcony, the couch tied to one end of a rope that was wrapped around his waist, the two other guys holding the other end of the rope. I don't have a picture of that moment, because I literally had to leave the room.

Tom took the screen off of the window in the kitchen, and I offered moral support and photographic documentation.
After much grunting and cursing (I believe Josue's exact words were, "You're comin' in, motherf*er), the behemoth was in.

That night, I think there was pizza, and I know there was NyQuil. I went to bed at ten, slept until almost noon the next day, and woke feeling ready to tackle the settling in.

That was exactly one week ago. The apartment is not done yet, but it' starting to feel like home. I have decided to use this move as an opportunity to de-dormify our decor. We're thirty, and therefore several years past the time limit on dorm chic. In other words, it is time to replace the Ikea furniture that has served me well for the eight (!) years since I graduated from college. The first victim of my de-dormification is Tom's octopus lamp.

{Adios, Ursula}
The octopus lamp has been my nemesis since Tom and I merged our possessions. He has finally agreed to let it go, in part because it can no longer stand on its own, hence the need to delicately balance it on the edge of the bookshelf. This more grown-up, tripod style lamp is on its way to me now...

{Thanks, World Market!}
My redecoration plans aside, I'm just about done. I got rid of the last of the boxes today, and everything has found a home. Well, almost everything. Turns out, I have a ridiculous amount of scrapbooks.

{Where do you guys want to live?}
And when I said I got rid of the last of the boxes, that wasn't exactly true. I got rid of all the boxes that were sitting in the middle of the floor. I did not get rid of the boxes that are safely hidden in closets. I have a ton of stuff from my classroom that I don't know what to do with. Happily, we have plenty of closet space.
{Tom's Tetris-like packing skills in full effect}
{This one really scares me. In fact, I can't believe I'm sharing this...}
It's not all doom and gloom though...
{I anticipate that it will stay like this for at least four days.}
And the kitchen is just about finished.

One last thing - this apartment gets so much light! After six months in the nearly windowless tunnel that was our last apartment, natural light is a revelation. Lucky for me, trusting Tom to make the call on the apartment paid off, the place is cute and the neighborhood is amazing. Sunday sealed the deal when we stepped out the front gate, looked to our left, and saw this...

{Ok, it doesn't look that impressive here, but I'm talking about those blue tents...}
Then we walked to the end of the block and saw this...
Yup, an awesome farmer's market, right down the block, every Sunday. I think our consumption of local, organic produce is about to increase exponentially.

I'm headed to San Diego tomorrow for some quality time with my family, some puppy Prozac, and wedding dress shopping! More pictures soon...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Have Mercy

Keep in mind, there are about eleventy million boxes that you can't see scattered around my apartment. Tomorrow is, once again, moving day. More this weekend. If I survive. And if I can steal a wireless signal from one of my new neighbors. For now, deep breaths.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vermont - A Week in Pictures

I am currently sitting in a maze of half-packed moving boxes, feeling a little overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done in the next two days. More on that later.

For now, I'm going to do a picture-heavy, word-light recap of our trip to Vermont for my brother's wedding. Cameras were out in full force, and many of the credit for many of these shots goes to my sisters Maureen and Meghan, Maureen's fiancé Buckley, and my always-reliable sous photog, Tom. Warning: it's a long one, and the pictures quality varies wildly, but hopefully these pictures will provide some idea of the awesomeness that is a Vermont summer. The past week really was full of all the best parts of a family vacation and a wedding weekend.

We displayed our patriotic pride. By this, I mean we wore red, white, and blue; grilled things; and lit other things on fire.

{As my sister pointed out, late afternoon light filtered through the leaves of of maple trees is eminently flattering.}
{a rare straight face from Buckley}

{There are no words.}

We ate.

{an awesome farm-to-table restaurant in Burlington}
{The local foods thing is old news in Vermont - probably because it's common sense and that is something that Vermonters have in spades.}
{Vermont cheese board}
{Pizza from Cucina Antica, Meghan's old employer - the Camel's Hump was the best pizza I have had in a while.}
{rehearsal dinner menu}
{Profiteroles - rest assured they tasted about a hundred times better than they photograph.}

We drank.
{Magic Hat Brewery}
{Drinking isn't always all fun and games -sometimes it gets real.}
We danced.
{Love shack, baby love shack!}
{You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;/You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas}
{People always told me - be careful what you do/Don't go around breaking young girls' hearts}
{Heeeeey Macarena!}
{No music necessary. Mario can dance any place, any time.}
{No idea, I wasn't there, but these moves kill.}

We made toasts.

We played games, both intellectual and drinking. But mostly drinking.
{Apologies - a dimly lit garage and multiple games of Beruit do not make for high quality photos.}
We participated in assorted shenanigans. Did I mention that there was drinking?
{Midgey does her first keg-stand. At a family barbecue.}
{This was the kitty that would go to the winner of a bet on whether or not Michael would cry during the ceremony - it included baggage claim tickets, Lactaid, some Icebreakers, and whatever other detritus people had in their pockets and purses. I don't was hilarious at the time.}
{Turns out that Mo and I were not as slick as we thought we were in planning our water balloon attack, and were met with ambush.}
{All we wanted to do was get a "Just Married" and a few ribbons on the newlyweds' car... Then someone showed up with three rolls of toilet paper and things went downhill from there. Let the photographic record reflect that I am not armed with the cotton candy that would have to be scrubbed from the car the next morning.}

We soaked up the scenery.
{Lake Champlain}
{Lake Champlain from Shelburne Farms}
{View from the Sunset Ballroom - styled by Maureen}
We relaxed.
{I'm pretty sure that I would be quite happy doing exactly this every, single day.}
{Mo, Meghan, Buckley, Mario, and my mom joined Tom and I at his grandparents' pool one afternoon. I think Pop and Grandma enjoyed seeing the pool get used.}
{Tom's grandparents, Tom and Shirley, will celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary in August or September; they can't remember exactly when!}
{chatting with Lauren}
{Tom found the Red Ryder BB gun from his youth under a bed in his grandparent's guest room.}
{Pop claimed that his eyes weren't good enough for target practice anymore, but he nailed the empty can time after time.}
{earning my relaxation}
We communed with nature.
{Ok, so maybe this doesn't exactly qualify as communing with nature, but I had to share this picture of the tiny frog that Tom rescued from the pool.}
{Mt. Hunger}
{Mt. Hunger}
{Tom and I skipped the Mt. Hunger hike to hang out with his grandmother on her 85th birthday. She celebrated by eating string beans fresh from the vine.}
We posed. A lot.

{Sadly, I forgot my fashion glasses.}
{My sisters have some explaining to do as they allowed me to purchase this dress which makes me look about five months pregnant. It's a good thing I was rarely without a glass of wine that night, or I would certainly have faced some very awkward questions.}

{father of the bride and father of the groom obligingly holding their wives' bouquets}

Now, as much as I would like to forget what I am about to share with you, a recap of this past week would not be complete without this story.

Allow me to set the scene. It's Thursday, the afternoon before the rehearsal dinner, as in the day before the wedding. I am happily settled on my raft, floating around the pool, chatting with everyone. Somehow the conversation turned to what my mom was wearing the next day; I believe I asked about her shoes... At that moment, the conversation triggered an alarm in my brain and my heart felt like it flipped out of my chest and sank to the bottom of the deep end.

"Where's my dress?! Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!! I don't think I brought my dress!"

Before I could even finish my sentence, Tom was running inside to check the suitcase, but I already knew it wasn't in there.

That's right folks, I am the worst bridesmaid ever.  I left my bridesmaid dress at home. In California. To refresh, the wedding was to be held in Vermont. In about 24 hours.

Thankfully, Tom jumped into white knight mode and crafted a plan. He got busy calling our apartment manager to see if she would go let someone in to get the dress (she wouldn't - boo, Christy!), I got on to see if I could order another dress (I could, but it would arrive August 8th). Several panicked phone calls (on Tom's part) and bouts of hysteria (on my part) followed until finally we had a plan involving a locksmith, Tom's friend Melly, and Fed-Ex. Thanks to Tom, Melly, and the miracle of overnight shipping, the dress arrived at 10 o'clock on the morning of the wedding, the day was saved, and the bride was none the wiser until I broke it to her after the wedding.

My dad is now trying to get the nickname Fed-Ex to catch on. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, so I'm pretty sure it won't catch on...
{Please ignore the puffy face and squinty eyes. I had spent the previous night managing my anxiety with red wine.}