Wednesday, June 28, 2006

May I Have A Side of Cardboard With That?

Although Amy and I work across the street from each other, we rarely lunch together. After all, we spend 90% of our free time together, so lunch together constantly would seem a bit like overkill. But today, I decided that I wanted to take little Ames out somewhere fun. So I grabbed the Tia's Tex-Mex coupon on the way out of the house this morning, figuring we could lunch together. Please keep in mind that I LOVE a coupon. I am not cheap by any means, but I get a huge kick out of getting, say, two entrees for the price of one. TWO entrees. ONE charge. Brilliant, isn't it?!?

I picked Amy up at work. We squabbled. Because what good is a lunch date, if you can't royally screw it up right off the bat with some good old-fashioned bickering? We got over ourselves. I mean, how pissy could I really be? I had that two for one coupon, remember?

Amy ordered a lunch burrito with chicken. I got a Su Casa Creation (cheesy. The name, not the food) with a beef crunchy taco and a chicken enchilada. I was hyped. I enjoy Tex-Mex. And, while Tia's is on the way home from work, we never really consider it as an option for dinner. Perhaps we were unwittingly wise.

My taco tasted like cardboard. Truly. I had to salt my taco for it to taste like anything. And then I had to dump salsa in it, because then it just it tasted like salty cardboard. My enchilada? Cardboard. Beans and rice? Cardboard? Check! Amy wasn't faring any better with her meal, so she asked if we could order some queso for her burrito that looked like it had been microwaved and then placed under a heat lamp. Queso makes everything better, right? Not when it tastes like cardboard! Folks, I swear to you that this stuff wasn't even Velveeta. It was liquid cardboard. Which they charged us $2.10 for.

It's okay, though. Apparently it wasn't a total wash. Amy said that her sweet tea was good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

When the Binkie Fairy Comes, Can I Have Another Binkie?

I am working today. No, no... not like I am AT work. I am actually DOING work. Sound the alarm; my brain may explode. I have written 3 sentences of a 15 page grant and, WHOOO!, am I spent.

In other news... Angie, Matthew, Amy and I went to Ballyhoo Grill for dinner last night. I find it a rather odd phenomenon that everytime we take Angie out to eat at a place we like, there is something wrong with her food. Last night, the salmon was overcooked. Granted, they did bring it out on a cedar plank that was still smoldering, but still... They get cool points for presentation, but no one wants to eat fish that resembles shoe leather.

Ames and I headed home after dinner and a quick trip to Borders, and I promptly crawled up on the couch with my blanket and pillow. Remember that PMS I mentioned yesterday? Yeah. Tired, lethargic and cranky... that's me! Want to come over and hang out?

Anyway, about 5 minutes after I had finished my Slim-A-Bear (I love a Slim-A-Bear... which I try to say as often as possible. You would be surprised how many times I can say Slim-A-Bear in one conversation. Go on. Say it. Slim-A-Bear. Now you want one, don't you?), I got up to grab some tostito chips. Amy shot me a sideways glance. You know the glance...the "do you REALY want to eat those?" glance.

To which I responded: Look Amy, just let it go... just think of them as a salty pacifier.

Besides, salty goodness aside, we were fresh out of Slim-A-Bears.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Sure Sign

It is a sure sign that I am PMSing when I go to Bennigan's and order this for lunch:

MONTE CRISTO
A delicious combination of ham and turkey, plus Swiss and American cheeses on wheat bread. Lightly battered and fried until golden. Dusted with powdered sugar and served with red raspberry preserves for dipping.

That's right folks... fried goodness the size of my head. Rockin'!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Summertime

There is something priceless about having a heartfelt, albeit intoxicated, conversation on the front porch at 1 a.m. on a school night with one of your closest friends. Something that makes you feel a little more carefree, a little less weighed down, a little ... younger. It is a phenomenal experience. I strongly suggest you try it soon.

It is definitely worth the morning-after hangover.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Uh, Can I Help You? Uh, PLEASE?

Jezebel and I have a rather special relationship. She was a Christmas present from my then-girlfriend. I had wanted a boxer for several years. Then, Christmas of 2000, one just waddled my way (out of our roommate's bedroom where she had been hidden). I have been in love with Jezebel (or Jedda, or Jed, or Jeddapoohpoohhead) ever since.

Now, I am not saying our relationship has been without its problems. There was that 6 month spell where I went NUTS after said girlfriend and I split up. Jed seems to have forgiven me for it, though (as have most of my friends). And it wasn't easy on Jed when Amy and I started dating: Uh, Mom, WHY can't I sleep on your head anymore? Yes, there was a lot of sighing from Jed when Amy and I got together (she is prone to sighing... um, Jed not Amy). But she has warmly embraced Amy as her Second Mom since then.

But I digress (but you couldn't even TELL I was digressing, could you?!?). Jed and I have a favorite game. I hide under the comforter and talk to her. She promptly loses her mind and paws at my head, trying to dig me out (at least I know if I fell in a well and then there was an avalanche, she would know what to do). It is a fun, albeit rather painful, game. Except that now, every time I duck my head for any reason she finds it necessary to paw at my head. Not so fun all the time.

Last night I put Jed and Milo outside, so that I could do some stretches. As soon as Jed saw me stretch out toward my feet and put my head down... pawing at the door. Like a maniac. Head down: (Paw. Paw. Paw.) Wait! I have to rescue my mom! She's...
Head up:
Oh yeah, uh she's okay now. I was wor...
Head down:
(Paw. Paw. Paw.) Wait! Uh, apparently my mom needs me! Uh, hello?!?

And so it went for quite some time. And you know what? It was funny EVERY TIME. It's the small things in life folks, the small things.

Poor Jedda.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

By the Way...

I really haven't lost my mind (in case the post below frightened you a bit). I just want something meaningful to do with my life, something where I can really help people. I am just in the process of deciding how to best achieve that goal.

Worrywarts.

Today...

I am spending some time thinking what I might like to be when I grow up. Right now, I am fixated on being a nutritionist. Unfortunately, I picked a career path to fixate upon that is not offered in Bachelor's Degree form at USF. Of course.

I would really like to study holistic health. Do folks still think holistic health practitioners are quacks? And how do you know if a program for holistic health is ... well... non-quacky?

Just some thoughts to ease you into your Wednesday morning...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lessons?

Apparently, I am being taught to be VERY grateful for my health. And to take better care of myself.

Sunday and Monday marked the second time in a month that I have been horribly ill. Not like the times that I call in sick to work because I have a headache. Or because I sneezed once. No, those are marks of loathing my job and wanting to be anywhere except work. THIS, this was nasty.

Estelle and Jean were kind enough to share Charlie with us on Saturday. Much fun was had by all. We watched Finding Nemo together (I finally got to see the end! And Amy got to see the movie for the 412th time!). I danced with Charlie. And flew him around the living room like a plane. The girls gave us some necessary information/materials for our future endeavors to have a child. All was well. Good times. Good friends.

And, then, on Sunday Amy and I both contracted the Illness of Doom: Puke Fest 2006. DISGUSTING. I think I promised God I would become a nun if I would just NOT THROW UP AGAIN. Geez, I hope I didn't really promise that nun thing. Does God have a 30 day return policy on promises made under duress?

No matter how bad I felt, Amy had it worse. I have never seen anything like that. I was getting really frightened for her last night. She just couldn't keep ANYTHING down. Poor little thing.

Today found me feeling MUCH better. I woke up to the Today Show (I have been sleeping on the couch since the Illness of Doom). I actually ate a piece of toast with Brummel and Brown (I heart Brummel and Brown). And now I am sipping (ever so gingerly) on a cup of coffee.

I wish I could say the same for my girl. She even sounds green over gmail chat. Poor little booger.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Nuh uh... For REAL?

Amy made me coffee this morning. And she woke me up with a kiss on the forehead.

Who IS this woman, and what has she done with Amy?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Do I Know You, Little Girl?

I always swore I wouldn't get caught up in the mundane, soul-sucking minutiae that makes up middle class existence. Oh no! Not I! I would remain unflagging in my quest to make the world a more egalitarian place, with fair trade coffee at every meeting! I would take to the streets for each and every injustice heaped upon the less fortunate. I would boycott products made by companies that showed a blatant disregard for the environment. Hell, I would make my own tampons if I had to! Power to the People!

Right.

I finally pulled my head out of my own ass the other day to discuss with my wife (is that what I am supposed to call her? I hate that. Partner? Is that better? Companion? Soul-mate? My bitch? Just kidding! I was just checking to see if you were still reading) what it is that I want to do with my life.

I mean, I know I want to get married. Check! And I want to have children. Planning stage: check! But, beyond that, what is going to make me happy? My dream job would be teaching First Year Writing at USF or HCC. Cool. If I want to eat peanut butter and bread, sell our house and ride to work on a moped. Otherwise, adjuncting cannot be my primary occupation. But what steps am I going to take so that, ultimately, I can teach at the college level? These are the questions I have begun to grapple with. Why, you ask? Because there is no more wedding to plan. Because today is the first day of the rest of my life. Because I don't want the only things in my life to be my partner and my (future) child. Methinks that would make me quite the dull partner and mother.

Also... I haven't been writing. Don't think I have been neglecting my adoring fans in the computer in favor of the old standby: the journal. Oh no. The journal has been shunned, too. Why? Because I feel as though I have nothing to say. I sit here and stare at the computer and realize that my job is eating my brain. Dull! I have become dull!

Amy and I discussed art the other night, while we were pondering the meaning of the universe. I don't write creatively. I am not particularly good at it. Hell, at this point I wonder if I am good at writing at all. I read my blog heroes (Dooce and Finslippy) and wonder why I blog at all. I have less than a fraction of their wit, charm and style. But I also obviously am not trying very hard. One post a week certainly doesn't equate to honing one's writing skills.

But I digress... my art form (and MANY will argue that it is not an art form at all) is the analysis of literary works. I love it. Thrive on it. NEED it. I miss the hours of research, the dissection of theory, the moment a connection clicks and you have to celebrate with two cups of coffee and 4 cigarettes because it is THAT exciting (and it is 4 a.m. and the paper is due at 9 a.m. and there are 25 pages left to be written). I miss the intellectual stimulation.

So, what is to be done regarding this conundrum that your heroine faces?
  1. I will participate in the Scheherazade Project. Even though I am scared. Even though I don't DO creative writing. At least this will ensure that my brain doesn't completely die. And it will give the other participants a reason to feel better about themselves.
  2. I will figure out the most logical and practical way to get my foot in the door as an adjunct (without testing the limits of my sanity). I may not be able to count on adjuncting as my primary income, but I can't give up that easily (that was my other realization: I give up WAY too easily).
  3. I will begin a paper in the next 2 months, which I will send to a literary journal upon completion. I am currently searching for the novels that I might want to use. And I am almost completely sold on diving back into gender theory for this project. Almost.
I will not sit by and allow my brain to atrophy! I will not lose my soul to middle class existence! Tequila shots for all! Oops, where did that come from...?

Anyone up for happy hour?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Smidge Damp, But No Worse for the Wear

Rain. Lots of rain. This brush with a tropical storm was primarily a rain event with a smidge of wind. Sounded pretty much like every other summer storm that rolls through the Tampa Bay area. Even the dogs didn't get all riled up. Nope. They slept right through it.

In other news, I am actively pursuing a teaching job with Hillsborough County Schools. I have sent in my cover letter/resume to five middle schools. The high schools will go out tomorrow. Unfortunately, if you teach high school English, folks also seem to think you should coach softball or teach t.v. production or something. Uh.... no. There are only three high school positions in the county that don't require that I do a side circus act in order to teach English. Good lord. I thought there was a teacher shortage?

I have sent in my application to Hillsborough Community College and USF to adjunct as an English instructor. Unfortunately, unless I want to teach about 8 classes (which would have to be spread out between several institutes of higher learning) I would only make about $300 every two weeks. Huh. Yeah. Unless my mortgage is going to pay itself, I don't see adjuncting being my primary source of income... And there is that little bit about health insurance. If I adjunct, I don't get health insurance. So, I would have to self insure at a rate of about $230/month. Oops! There goes one paycheck right there! So, teaching at the college level will have to remain a side gig... for the time being, at least.

That's the scoop on the job front...

Monday, June 12, 2006

And The Trees Were RIPPED from Their Roots...

Growing up in Florida, you realize early on that hurricanes are a staple for local media personalities. They THRIVE on hurricanes. The drama. The humanity. The sheer horror of it all. It is incredibly difficult to gauge how serious the threat actually is, when there is the constant barrage of "hunker down" and "state of emergency" banter being tossed about.

Now, a mere 11 days after the beginning of the 2006 hurricane season, Tampa Bay is under a Hurricane Watch as Tropical Storm Alberto approaches. Didn't we just FINISH a hurricane season? Yes, it is part of living in Florida. Yes, I am incredibly grateful that we were spared any significant weather event last season. But... ALREADY?

Sure does make November 30th seem like a long, long time from now....

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Post! Oh My!

When originally envisioned, this post was going to be a narrative about our commitment ceremony. But... I mean... you've seen the pictures, right? I could ramble on and on about it, but I wouldn't really be telling you anything you haven't already seen for yourself.

So, in the interest of presenting you with new information, I am including the readings from the ceremony. Because you may be wondering WHAT exactly happens at a lesbian commitment ceremony. And I would hate to withhold that kind of information from my readership.

Without further ado, I present: The Union of Amy & Kendra!

Music starts. (Mozart Concerto #21 Andante)
Wedding party enter stage, single file.
Amy & Kendra enter holding hands.


Brian (our lovely Master of Ceremonies) begins the reading.
Excerpt from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

(Then we move right into the candle lighting/vows/ring exchange)

Brian: The light of the candles represent the separate families and pasts from which Amy and Kendra come today to be joined. (And no, neither the tapers nor the unity candle would stay lit. Which got some laughs from those in attendance)

Brian: Above you, below you, forever surrounding you shall be the pledge you make unto each other today. It is the pledge of the truth and purity of your every breath. The constant friendship of your hearts. The passion and fire of your spirits and the deepest love your souls have to give. It is the pledge of all that is within you. The only true pledge that one heart can offer to another. You are now offering yourselves, and all that has come to pass, to each other, toward the creation of your future, and to all that is yet to come. The light that remains is the light of love, the light in which you shall be forever as one.

Brian: Now Kendra & Amy each have a few words for each other.

(vows)
Kendra: Amy, with deepest joy I receive you into my life that together we may be one. I promise you my love, my devotion, my most tender care. I pledge to you my life, my faithfulness and my love.

Amy: I take you to be my lifetime partner, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, and my one true love.

Kendra: This ring is a token of my love. I commit myself to you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am.

Amy: This ring is a token of my love. I commit myself to you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am.

Brian (Apache Blessing): Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling, to enter into the days of your life together, and may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Amy and Kendra exit the stage and walk to the back for their much deserved glasses of wine. The wedding attendents and Brian exit the stage.

------- ### --------

And there you have it folks! Two important things to note: 1) the candles refused to stay lit. refused. petulant little candles, and 2) we kind of bungled the passing of rings. We didn't put them on each other's fingers. We just passed them to each other. Maybe we should have practiced that part?

All in all, it was exactly what I had always wanted. I could not be more grateful to Amy's parents (my -gasp!- in-laws!) for making this happen for us. And to my parents for loving and respecting us enough to attend (Hi, Mom!).

And thank you to all of the people who attended the ceremony (especially my beautiful, long-suffering bridesmaids!) And to those who wanted to attend but live in UTAH (Trista) or are living in Nowheresville, Indiana being a NUN (Steph). It really was the best day of my life.

And, yes, somehow I feel different now. More connected to Amy. I think I may love her MORE than before (and I had no idea that was possible).

I am a very lucky girl.

**Oooh, oooh, ooh.... and the Chuzzle was at our ceremony. And he brought his moms!

Friday, June 02, 2006

A-CHOO!

Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever... That's me!

Thankfully, I waited until after the ceremony and most of our trip to St. Pete Beach to become all germified. But, WHOA, did it hit me hard. *sniff sniff* A-choo!

So, you will have to wait until next week to hear more about the cermony. But there are pictures at The Squirrel!

Thanks for all of your well-wishes! They meant a lot.

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