Friday, June 29, 2007

Fucking Steve Martin

I'm afraid of worms!.

It occurred to me today that words have gotten me into trouble in the past few months. Both my own and those written and spoken by others. As to the former, well, I learned a great lesson about context -- you can always reread them to mean something different or import a new meaning or fashion them into something they never were written to mean. As to the latter, well, they might not be as indicative as I once believed.

I just don't trust words anymore. People always say that actions speak louder than words. There is certainly truth in that, but I am not yet ready to give up on words just yet. They have carried me too far and too long, and I still believe that the right words - the honest right words - can solve anything.

Unfortunately, still don't have them, trust them, and still fear them. Fuck, I am scared to death of them sometimes. I cannot yet erase them, unfortunately.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Failed By Words

I am preoccupied with words. So much of my job is about assembling the right words to form the best sentence that expresses the better argument. Often, the editorial process in my office involves removing a single word, which can completely change the meaning or tone of a document.

I was a wordy kid. I read a lot and developed a love of the written word. If you read enough, you usually become a decent, if not great, writer. I became a decent writer. I wasn't blessed with the creativity to be a great writer, and certainly not the talent to be a novelist, playwright or even screenwriter. Nevertheless, it occurred to me today that I am, more or less, still paid to be a writer. That realization is both heartening and depressing.

I have placed a pretty high premium on the written word as a means of expression. For some reason, I have long considered written words more forceful and honest than spoken words. Perhaps it is because the words are presumably chosen and re-chosen, assembled then rearranged, edited and reconsidered. You mean what you write because you take the time and effort to do these tasks. On the other hand, spoken words are often used more emotionally - blurted without thinking, sometimes used as weapons more deadly than guns, occasionally used to manipulate through known weaknesses - and when I really consider it, spoken words are just as forceful and honest. Hell, there are few things more rewarding that winning a verbal argument or delivering the perfect zinger when the situation calls for it.

I don't just feel failed by words, although I definitely don't have any way of expressing myself at the moment. I actually feel betrayed by words, which is an entirely unfamiliar state of mind. For me, it is probably the loneliest and darkest place on the planet.

It may be that this little blog experiment is over, or at least suspended. It may be that, like anything else, it will evolve into something else. Perhaps nothing whatsoever will happen. I just know that, at the moment, I have nothing to say and no words to express why.

Zombies AND Turtles

There is absolutely no reason I should be laughing as hard as I am at this. I can't even do depression properly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Once Upon a Time

I am not sure, having not seen a doctor, but am pretty certain that most of me is broken. Sliced and diced. I haven't ever felt this way. I hope no one I know ever feels this way. It is almost inhumane.

I have some bizarro instinct, a basic instinct (with 180% less crotch shot), to just hunker down and deal. So here is my reminder to myself tomorrow morning, of the five things I need to accomplish tomorrow.

1) You are nutty busy at work and have enough shit on your plate to keep you occupied for the next month. Fucking run with it. You do your best work when your back is against the wall and you owe it to your clients who have hired you to help them to actually help them. Fuck your shit. Take satisfaction in helping others. Get that outline for that brief done tomorrow and don't think about anything else. You have to work all weekend on that other thing. Do the right thing by your client and stop thinking about yourself. You absolutely, positively, cannot renounce your other obligations because you don't want to get out of bed.

2) You got yourself here. Eyes wide open. This is entirely on you. Every time you start to feel bad about the past, remember that you own it all. Nothing happened to you, you just made choices. Also, this is a list of shit to do tomorrow. Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it to remember that you are responsible for the way you feel because of the actions you have taken. You are not an innocent bystander in your life.

3) Get your shit together for the 4th of July. You love the 4th and how much fun you can have with it. Make your shopping list, budget the time this weekend and get the fixings.

4) Have that conversation with B. You know the one. Do it tomorrow. Get it over with.

5) Put one foot in front of the other and just walk. Walk your dog, walk to work, walk wherever you need to go. No one got anywhere by feeling sorry for themselves or not being real. Fuck that noise as well. You can and will survive anything. You fucking rule and you need to remain the kind of person you would admire. That, inner self, is why you aren't a crazy internet person and why you are the kind of person that always, fucking always, takes the high road. You can make every mistake known to mankind and bounce back because you fucking own it and you are real. Believe that, self.

The Old Standby Still Works

Unhealthy relationship with this song.

That video pretty much exactly captures me at the moment.

Modest Mouse

I am currently digging on this local favorite.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Worlds Colliding

Am going to start this one early, as I am going to meet a friend from the internets.

And now, am back. Yet again, blown away by my great taste in internet people. I loves me some greenbeans. She is absolutely my kind of people.

She is drop dead gorgeous, too. Smart, funny, socially skilled and fun. I wish she lived here. Impossible fucking standards.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Morning Reviews, With 180% Less Drama

There has certainly been enough of all that anyway, which is probably why I have read so much in the past few days. We take our escape routes where we can find them, I guess. Went on something of a book bender again.

Books (3):

Ivy Briefs, by Martha Kimes. Kimes writes a popular blog that I found courtesy of another popular blog.

Ivy Briefs is one small town girl's experience at a big city, big league law school. I sailed through it rather quickly, and even though I was a worldly girl at a small town law school, I found myself laughing and nodding along during almost every chapter. The law school experience is just....the same, no matter where you go. The same cast of characters appears, including the Gunner (man, the one at my school was a walking testament to the justifiable use of torture), the Slacker, the law review brigade - all of it. I don't care if you were at a top 10 or bottom tier school, I am convinced that the promise of the practice of law draws certain personality types, and some are more memorable than others.

Like the author, I had a decent time in law school, all things considered. Made some lifelong friends, met some people I hope to permanently forget and studied and partied more than I should have. Law school also tends to attract that certain student that could whip out a term paper the night before and get an A, just because we know how to use the five dollar words that impressed our college professors. All of us were utterly humbled during that first year and your first B in law school. Grimes does a great job of explaining how a B - something you could almost brag about in college, given the effort you put into the class -- how it was the hallmark of failure in law school.

One of my favorite part of her tale was the description of the students post-final exam. There were these certain students - awful, wretched human beings - who wanted to dissect the entire exam and point out to you their brilliance and superiority in catching the most obscure issue in the whole four page fact pattern (N.B.: you didn't get an A for catching the obscure points. You got an A for gettign the big picture and actually writing it down). You only needed to engage in one of these conversations before you learned to get the fuck out of the building as soon as your ink was dry. I had a great friend in law school named Chris (who will be governor of Michigan some day. I met the future governors of Michigan and Indiana, but that is another story), who was a post-test talker. I loved Chris - he liked movies as much as me and thought nothing odd about a late night conversation about our unabashed love for most Julia Roberts movies (yes. I know. Sorry. In my defense, I didn't see Mary Reilley or Mona Lisa Smile). But Chris and I had exactly one of those post-exam conversations and we freaked each other out with our perceptions and discoveries. He scared the shit out of me and I rattled him.

After that, after every single exam during law school, Chris and I would walk wordlessly to his car, drive to the theater in silence and have a single conversation about which flick to watch. During the winter, we would sometimes go ice skating, which was some bizarro thing I loved to do, having grown up in the desert. The theory, which proved truthful in its application, was that after a movie or a session on the ice, we would be less inclined to rehash an exam that was already written and couldn't be improved upon.

In any event, I loved the book, loved her narrative style and would recommend it, not just to anyone who has ever been to law school, but also to anyone who is curious about the dynamics of future lawyers, especially the pre-burnout years. It should be noted that the author no longer practices law.

Rules for Saying Goodbye, by Katherine Taylor.

An unfortunate title for me, I found this book courtesy of Gawker, a truly entertaining and wry site about Manhattan, the media and everything else. The author had made a comment about how another (male) author's book was ridiculously simple, which probably wasn't intended to be the slight the male author perceived. In any event, I understood her point to be that almost any memoir-style novel penned by a female author is classified as "chick lit," while similar styled musings from male authors (Here's looking at you, Eggers, Burrows, Vachon, et al) are Important.New.Novels. That is kind of bullshit, and labeling something as "chick lit" immediately catapults its literary value into something approaching beach reading.

I am a proud consumer of what most literary types would consider chick lit. I like the female voice. I liked The Devil Wears Prada, A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, almost everything Jennifer Weiner has written, and Emily Griffin, whose latest book is the subject of my final review. I don't do romance novels or heaving breast or anything of that realm of fantasy. I read books without regard to the gender of the author, as it is the subject matter that attracts me. I have never been into science fiction or fantasy or historical novels. I seem to like the stories about the here and now, told with wit, clever and honesty.

As for the book, I thought it was really well written and poignant. What struck me the most, however, was how disconnected I felt from the protagonist. It wasn't that I didn't relate to her, as I most certainly did. But she didn't get under my skin or in my bones the way I usually find myself understanding a character. I think, but may be wrong, that this was intentional, but in any event, I closed the book with an appreciation for the writing style but no lasting connection with the protagonist.

Baby Proof, by Emily Griffin.

Griffin is yet another former lawyer turned author, but easily one of my favorites. She wrote two other books (Something Borrowed and Something Blue, which sounds much cheesier than it is. Griffin is a born story teller with a really sophisticated way with words, and I loved both of her previous books.

Baby Proof is about a woman who wants a life that rattles both sexes uncomfortable - one without kids. I know from experience how uncomfortable that makes people, especially parents and even more especially, other mothers. I find that dynamic utterly fascinating, even if it is rather simple on its face. Mothers - and I believe this is true of every mother I know - they are defined by that role, and in a very admirable and understandable way. Parenthood is the ultimate sacrifice and, most likely, the greatest reward, and parents know that. They know a secret that the childless among us don't, and, conversely, the childless among us know a secret they don't, either. One experience isn't necessarily better than the other, they are just different. I suspect that people have children for as many varied reasons as those chosen by those who don't, but the procreators are uncomfortable with the non-breeding types.

I don't know where I fall into this category. I wanted kids. I think I still do, but I don't long to be a mother the way some of my friends did. Part of it is that I don't know if I would be good at it, and not being good at it has a very real effect on the child at issue. Part of it is wanting to be defined by who I am and who I become as a person, which, if I understand the argument correctly, is what parenting types call "selfish." On the other hand, watching another person grow up, develop, build character, make mistakes and learn from them? And when that person has some of you in them? Yeah, I get that in my bones, too. I don't know a parent who regrets having children, even if the sacrifices for their kids has devoured a huge part of who they hoped to become or the life they always wanted. I am getting too old to be ambivalent about this, but have to believe that things will just work themselves out.

Egad. Weird tangent. Griffin has written a story that resonated with me, who can see the pros and the cons. Her central character married the love of her life, who shared her outlook on having children, but then changed his mind and it became a deal breaker. Her aftermath, the divorce, the longing, the work and extracurricular distractions -- all of this was told in such an engaging story that I want her to write another one. I know that plenty of high minded literary types would classify her stuff as chick lit, but that classification pretty much underscores the point made by Taylor. It isn't irrelevant or mindless or unimportant because it narrates the tale of a woman's struggle. Maybe her titles don't add to the equation, but I thought about this story long after I shut the book.


Mr. Brooks, starring Kevin Costner, William Hurt and Demi Moore.

I probably shouldn't even opine on the film, as my mind kept wandering out of the theater, despite the dizzying plot twists of the film. I found myself thinking, more than once, "Wow, Kevin Costner is knocking it out of the park. William Hurt is stealing the show. Fucking A, does Demi look amazing and it is great to see her."

It was entertaining and a great distraction for me, notwithstanding the wandering mind. I was truly surprised to learn, during the credits, that this wasn't based on a novel. That is how it felt - trying to stuff into a motion picture, all of the elements in a book. Nope. It was written by the director, and apparently, intended to be one of a three part series. They certainly set it up as that.

A good friend told me, very recently, that there aren't many bad Kevin Costner pictures, and he was right. Costner nailed this role and, if the writing can hold up, I hope he has a franchise on his hands. Thing is, they do need to get the writing tighter. Too many competing plots, too many twists, too much was going on to fully engage me, although I did have a more compelling plot line running through my brain. I couldn't figure out why they were trying to do so much and introduce so many competing plot lines. Less is almost always more, and sometimes? You need to keep it simple, stupid. I found myself, at the end of the movie, wondering how ugly the fights got in the edit room.

I will watch this movie again, probably on HBO, and again reiterate that Costner and Hurt stole the show. Demi looks great -- insanely and impossibly great -- but this was Costner and Hurt's movie and they rocked their performances.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sopranos Ending

If I were trying to be clever, I would claim that the last post in this asinine blog was a tribute to the Sopranos, ending mid thought. In truth, I didn't intend for it to post and it was clearly unfinished. I started it days ago and had a stream of consciousness moment. I'd delete it, but whatthefuckever.

I didn't review my books and movies this week, as I don't know that I saw a movie, but did read two books. I'll do those later.

I am utterly preoccupied and for reasons that I probably need to write down, but won't tonight. The short version is that the person I am in love with is in a world of chaos and there is nothing I can do. I don't exist in the chaos. Denial and extreme avoidance? Yes, please. I have done that so well it should be considered an art form. Am really done with that whole tactic. But I know and remember all too well the chaos part of it and was so flustered by it. I don't thrive on drama and chaos and am truly a nester at heart. I like routine. I like coming home every night to a known reality. I am so the far out of my comfort zone and am trying to remember the only truth I know.

I can only control me, my behavior, my actions, my acted-upon thoughts, and my own shit. That is it. Nothing else is in the side mirror of my control. I fully own every mistake, misstep, accomplishment, fuckup, victory, whatever -- as long as it is all mine. Hell, I have no fucking desire to control anyone's shit, as mine is more than enough for me. I have no interest or desire in knowing or controlling B's shit, but am strangely wired to care about this new man - my man -- and his state of mind. And he is struggling mightily.

And, on the other side of the equation, I find myself wondering this. At no point in my life have I fully surrendered and said "hey, help me. I am struggling because I fucked up and don't know what to do." I think that takes more courage than I have exhibited in my short time on this planet. Usually, I develop a course of action and follow it - take the high road, don't indulge the crazy or misfit social types, be true and honest to yourself and things will work themselves out because That Is How The World Works. Thing is, it doesn't always work that way. It doesn't always work out with the proverbial happy ending and the gray area? Yeah, things aren't always so sunny.

No point, as always, to this random post. Just realizing, yet again, that I don't have all the answers and rarely have the perfect solution to a terrific problem.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hump Day Extraordinare

Closing in on a Wednesday and just got home after two really long days. This will probably post on Friday....

1) Chanel's tinted moisturizer is the shit. Spend the money. Utterly worth it.

2) I need a hobby that photographs well. I like rowing, but I don't look good doing it. No no one does. My hobbies are rowing, playing soccer and reading. Hardly sexy.

3)Stop it. Stop asking me to save B. Not my job. I resigned from that post.

4) Thanks. Seriously, I mean it. Thanks to all who want me to fight a battle I no longer care about. Thanks for the vote of confidence in all things social.

5) Stop with the drunk texts. Never.Going.To.Happen. Never. I don't miss you anymore, B. I don't. Unrelated: am not going to seduce you, just to watch you cheat again. I have no desire to sleep with you or prove any points. Am done. I don't want to revenge fuck you. It was never that interesting in the first instance. Quite frankly, you didn't inspire me, sexually.

6) Google seems nice. Am taking the second interview.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sister Act

Ed. Confidential Note: I started this post this morning and got sidetracked. I know you are going to think I wrote this after our conversation tonight. Only the last 2.5 paragraphs. Come Clean.

For someone who doesn't have kids, I have some strong opinions about child rearing and family. I may not ever have children of my own, so I probably won't ever understand how fully arrogant and misguided said opinions are, but alas, I am just plain opinionated, it would seem. I also have strong opinions about birth order and all that, but again, for another time.

Among those strong opinions is birth order and siblings. I am one of four kids in our family. Four seems like an awful lot of kids these days, especially given the cost of living here. My older sister (yet another K - we all start with K) and I were in the first litter with the first husband who made a somewhat graceful stage left exit. Older sister KK is 18 months older than me which, incidentally, I believe to be an ideal spacing between siblings. We were far apart in age enough to have separate lives, but close enough to have shared experiences.

KK is, in many ways, a typical first born child, as far as I can tell from the information on the internets. For 18 glorious months, she got all of the attention, and if you knew my older sister, you would understand how glorious that was for her. When I was born, KK wrote her name on all of her toys, and those markings endured. KK didn't just command attention, she demanded it. When her baby sister was born, she had the predictable reaction. She had once been the only child and was now the used model. From stories I have been told, this played itself out in a variety of interesting tales.

KK and I occupied different social roles growing up. Second kids typically have an easier time socially, most likely because they have someone to model. In our case, I truly believe that KK inherited a lot from my mother, personality-wise and I inherited much from my bio dad. My mother wasn't particularly comfortable in the junior-high, high school dynamic and neither was KK, even though both had and have a timeless beauty. I was socially comfortable, probably because I had an older sister and I had the bio dad genes that made me resistant to the self-doubting. It should be noted that bio dad was, himself, a second born.

In any event, this post is about my sister, who is the ultimate touchstone in my life. Her birthday is today and we are somewhat disconnected, which always creates an emptiness in me. I said in the maudlin Father's Day entry that my dad informed every aspect of who I am. I need to supplement that statement. My sister is my other half. At times, it feels like we are twins -- sometimes Siamese -- because she is my sole shared history. I cannot rewrite my past because she was there, right beside me, to remind me of how things really were. And she is so much more perceptive than me - she remembers things that I forgot long before high school.

I am a shitty sister to KK, and an even shittier aunt to her daughter (wait for it -- KK, Jr). If I were in a finger pointing mood, I would blame it on my marriage to B, but that isn't it. KK is very much about family and called me on every shitty thing I have done in and out of the name of family. For as much as I wanted to escape my family and forge a new one, KK kept me tethered to our shared history as best she could. She was fighting an uphill battle. It was entirely my fault. It still is. Every relationship - family, friend, husband, lover -- it all takes work, maintenance and effort. I have failed her in that. I have failed her and her daughter by only being available for random sound bites and occasional phone calls.

One of the many things I intend to do better in this next lifetime is treasure my sister and all of that shared history. Absolutely no one could know me better than my sister, even though we are so far apart now. There are so many funny stories I can tell. Mike Huggins? Best kisser ever? So many, but I will only tell one:

Singapore. Shit - 1989? 1990? Hard Rock Cafe. That guy who hated me initially. KK didn't want to be there, but alas, I was a sucker for a table full of military guys and Long Island Iced Teas. Having that guy profess his love for me at the end of the night. The taxi ride home and the barf bag that you handed to the cab driver. The elevator ride into the Twilight Zone. The cab ride the next morning with the chiming. The extra night in Singapore and the cash, courtesy of the airline. That will always be one of my favorite memories of us. The way that whole trip started was hysterical.

My sister will never know how much she influenced me or how much she shaped me into being who I am. KK is the only person in my life who can keep me grounded and real. Nothing in my life is real unless KK knows about it, even if she hates it or disagrees with it, or "has a bad feeling about it." I trust KK's opinion more than anyone else in my life. She is such a part of me and, quite frankly, a part I can't ever dismiss. She is, in many ways, the best part of me.

I don't dismiss only children by the following statement. Having a sister or brother? Having three of them? Yeah. Kind of golden. Having a sibling who is just months older than you and has similar yet different frames of reference? Yeah, really golden. Having a sister who, no matter what, feels like an appendage? Yeah, you are never alone. You always have your sister.

I treasure my sister more than she will ever know. Happy Birthday, KK. You are more a part of me than you will ever know. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is real until you get on board. I love you so much and am so sorry I suck as a sister.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

For whatever reason, Father's Day carries more import and significance than Mother's Day. It seems like less of a Hallmark Holiday than Mother's Day, probably because my own father expects nothing out of the occasion.

In retrospect, I was blessed. I don't remmeber my bio dad, as I was apparently at the desired age of divorce. I don't have early childhood memories of my bio dad and he was long gone during my childhood and teenage years. I vaguely remember a court proceeding when I was 5, asking me who I wanted to be me dad. How fucked up was that? I remember saying that I wanted my stepdad to be my dad, as, at that point, he was the one I saw every day. My bio dad (jazz piano player) was altogether willing to sign off on us, so no harm, no foul.

Except, maybe, there was. My mother married a man from Texas, who had strong opinions about child rearing (except he had never done it) and was forceful in his implementation of said opinions. We were beaten, berated and bullied into submission. My step dad was close to 30 when he married a woman with two small kids. Hell, I am 36 and I can't imagine inheriting that, and I certainly wouldn't have been at 30.

Thing is, everything I am as a human being as attributable to my dad. Technically step, but fuck technically. He raised me in every sense of the word. He is, 180% my dad, and even my "daddy." He was the parent I called when I got my period, he was the parent I called when I first entertained the idea of getting married, and hell, he was the person B called when he proposed.

Girls have strong, strong relationships with their fathers. I am so acutely aware of that right now. My relationship with my father defined every relationship I have had with a man. Whatever flaws I perceived in him, I adored my father for his unconditional love and support. I remember a time when he and my mom were on the outs, and him saying to me, in no uncertain terms, "K, I want you to live with me." Mind you - step father, no blood relation, but had my folks broke up? Yes, would have gone to him, no question.

When we talked tonight, he wanted to ask me a hundred questions about my present personal life, but he and I have perfected a dance where I invite him to ask questions about me. I didn't. I asked him questions about his life, and perhaps most revealing, he told me that his job was kicking his ass professionally. My dad is in his late 50's, and he should be coasting. Except he isn't, because my dad has the work ethic and desire to be the best that has informed my entire life.

This is going to end as a love letter to my dad, and the fathers I so admire. I will compare every man I ever meet to my father, who is flawed and was awful and is now one of the men I most admire. Dad, thank you for setting the bar so fucking high and for making me feel like the most desirable woman on the planet. If I can see myself through your eyes at least once a day, I will strut accordingly. Thank you for teaching me that no man is an interesting as the woman he loves, and thank you for instilling in me a confidence that no one could ever take away from me. Thank you for teaching me that I determine my own worth, and that I had the skills, smarts and beauty to do whatever the fuck I wanted. Thank you for those many moments where I could see in your eyes that you were so proud of me and thank you for tonight, where I know you wanted to ask me questions about my personal life but restrained. I love you and love who you made me. You made me this way.

I also want to write this as a love letter to my bio dad, who died way too young. Bobby, I will miss you every day of my life, as you were my biological soul mate. We didn't grow up together, but you taught me so much about myself. You were the best friend a daughter could hope to have, even though I didn't really consider you my "dad." You were my roots, my biological father, and every day since you died, I miss you more than I could ever express in words. Thank you for everything -- for loving us, for sacrificing us to a two parent house, for opening up to me when I was old enough to get it, and for being one of my best friends on this planet. I have missed you terribly every day since you left us and would give my life for one hour to talk to you again. I love you and miss you and wish I could talk to you. I loved you so much, and seriously? Every day? I think about you and wish you were still here. I miss my close friend and biological soul mate. I miss you.

Being a father to a daughter is so much more than anyone could realize. I so appreciate that and tip my hat to the good men who love their daughters. You have no idea how long that lasts for us.

I know what it means to be a good father and am in love with one of those

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Crazy Internet People

I have mentioned before my discovery that there is a whole subspecies of folks who only exist on the internet. Their friends, their social and love lives, the whole thing. I am new to the internets, so this still fascinates me. For these folks? The internet is serious business. I mention this as a prelude to a story that has little to do with the internet, but recently, I have realized just how scary this phenomena is.

Can you imagine deriving your whole self worth from the internet? Validation, romance, friendship, etc? Can you imagine assessing your life by the comings and goings of others on the internet? So completely foreign to me, even though I know that there was a point in the past year where I was tethered to it. I like the real world so much better.

So onto the real world.....

I have a friend -- it is almost hard to call her that, as she and I aren't close. We were situational friends. Way back in the day, she married our "landlord" of the espresso cart days. D was the landlord and I'll be frank -- I never liked him. I met him under less than desirable circumstances, to be sure (he had just ended his engagement to H, who was managing his store, because he was fucking Z, a barely 20-something employee). B kind of admired D. I didn't - ever. I thought he had something, but that something wasn't anything I found interesting. D had said, on numerous occasions, that I was the only woman he couldn't win over. True that.

One of their first dates was at our wedding, or so they like to tell. They told us a few times about them having sex at our wedding. Lord knows, a lot of people got busy at our wedding. It was a good party. And, in the interest of full disclosure, when they got married? B and I had sex in the bathroom -- Columbia Tower. Anyone who lives in Seattle knows you pretty much have to have sex in those restrooms. Tallest building in Seattle, floor to ceiling windows. It is a rite of passage. So to recap, they fucked each other at our wedding, we repaid the honor at theirs.

In any event - flash forward. We lost contact with them over the years and hooked up with them probably seven years into our marriage. D&K now had a kid, M, who is adorable and sweet. I still don't like D, but I like K - she's my kind of woman. Blunt, direct, takes no prisoners. B, for whatever reason, is still in awe of D and tried to bring him into B's company. I strenuously argued against that and won. B is twice the leader than D is and I think, to this day, B still loved that assessment.

Okay - to present times. D and K split up once, about three years ago. It had a ripple effect, including one on B& Me. They were our history and if they could split up, anyone could. That is a subject for another post and I will let it slide for the time being. Thing is, they got back together (never should have) and eventually finally broke up. D now has a 23 year old girlfriend now and K has been trolling the internets for a new love. K really only wants to hook up with a rich guy so she can be in that state of "living well is the best revenge."

God, that was a long set up.

Okay, so, after a few false starts, K is trolling Yahoo personals (which, I have to believe, is the trailer park of the internets). She meets "Sam" - a wealthy executive who claims he is too high profile to post a pic. He sends them to her privately and turns out, he claims to be a 52 year old guy from the Washington coast who is an executive at a family run business that it crazy successful. Private jets, etc. Oh, she is my age -- I think she is 35 or so.

4 dates into it, he drops the bomb. He has liver cancer and is going to die quickly. Much hysteria ensues. Then he suggests that she hook up with his identical twin brother. I shit you not. K does in fact correspond with identical twin brother, who, I shit you not, Sam claimed they were raised by separate families and never knew about each other until a chance encounter on a Hawaiian beach 20 years ago led to their discovery of one another. Even better? After meeting each other on that chance encounter, they never introduced their families. I know. Jesus, I know. Infuckingsane.

Shut the fuck up, I know. Not only do I know, but I know a chick so fucking desperate after the demise of a relationship that she bought this story. Yes, have lost all respect for her. Every single ounce.

You can see how this ends. "Sam" dies, K hooks up with identical twin "Jim" (something I am ill equpped to judge, but seriously? My twins had......demonstrable differences). K starts sleeping with the "twin brother" who is married, but going to leave his wife. He takes her on private jets to Tahoe and talks of a future. Seriously - the most pathetic thing I have ever heard.

How do I get involved? K's best friend J -- who is the J familiar to my posts, calls me and knows that no matter how stupid I am on most things internet, I have some skillz that she doesn't. I tell her to give me a day, but within a few hours, I have disproved the existence of "Sam." Which, let's be honest, required no real legwork, as anybody with a fucking brain would have known.

So here is where I am -- knee deep in another person's drama and I? Am utterly ambivalent, aside from knowing whatever "I lost my fucking mind on the internet" is completely eclipsed. I have, in the past, lied on the internet and invented scenarios to replace the disintegration of my life in meatspace. But holy shit, I haven't concocted an identical twin, separated at birth, that no one knows about, just to get laid. I can't imagine trying to construct that kind of alternate universe for the sole purpose of getting laid. Fuck, batteries are cheap and the fallout is much less.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday Morning Review

Ed. Note: I started this entry on Monday and it will probably post as such. I had so much to say this week, but time got the better of me.

I had planned on making this a review of Ocean's 13, but I have to start with the Sopranos finale. I have watched it and rewatched it. Twice. I have concluded that it was brilliant. It was, in many ways, the perfect ending for that particular show.

Sopranos Finale

For those of us that watched the Sopranos, well, we were invested. You have to be invested to wait years between seasons, to say nothing of watching a show about the mob - something completely foreign to me. I remember when we first started watching it, the Greeks and B would consider it a dull episode if no one got whacked. The show did have that kind of audience as well, but I think those of us who liked the ending appreciated it for more than the carnal acts of violence and revenge.

My favorite season had very little violence and dealt primarily with the marriage of Tony and Carmela. For me, that relationship was pretty much the draw of the whole program. Her willful blindness, the negative space between them - it was both familiar and fascinating. The ordinariness of their lives - the problems with the kids, the need for therapy, the self-doubt, the marital conflict -- these were the things I could relate to. Tony Soprano as a character was an utter sociopath, but he was humanized by great writing. Even weirder? This actor - Gandolfini - he is overweight, balding, had a tragic Jersey accent and was more neurotic than anyone on Desperate Housewives and yet. And yet, the audience not only liked him, but they were attracted to him. Men secretly fantasized about being him and women wanted to fuck him (and the men wanted to be him for that reason).

In any event - yes, it was just a television show, but it was more if you let it be. I was more invested in Six Feet Under, but I find myself, days later, thinking about the totality of the program more than I did with SFU. The two shows couldn't be more different, but because I watched them both from start to finish, there is a natural need for comparison. SFU was the quintessential series finale -- it wrapped everything up and in a most surprising and emotional way. The Sopranos left it to the imagination of its audience, which, as I mentioned earlier, was pretty varied. I know a lot of people were pissed off that there wasn't more bloodshed. For me, at least, the ending was loyal to the show as a whole - it let the audience choose its own adventure, so to speak, and didn't need to wrap it all up in a bloody bow.

Ocean's Thirteen

In a word? A complete mess. Don't get me wrong - I laughed my ass off, chuckled quite a bit and had a great time. But I don't understand why the movie got some critical acclaim. It was truly a mess of dizzying plots, ridiculous suspensions of belief, and throwaway acting performances by pretty much everyone. It has the same snappy dialogue of the two previous, but the disconnect with a tight plot line made it ring a little hollow. I, for one, appreciated some quality Clooney time onscreen, but in the end, it felt phoned in.

Oddly, I liked Ocean's Twelve better than this. This is not the summer for sequels.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

End of an Era

Tonight is the series finale of the Sopranos and, of course, I am headed over to the Ps for the event.

P and I have been doing this for almost three years - the Sunday night ritual of a big dinner and HBO viewing. In truth, however, the tradition began during the second season of the Sopranos. B and I would head over to our friends, the Greeks, and we would have a big, family style meal with them. The Greeks are two brothers who own a restaurant. Their mother and father were often there, as were assorted hangers on. You never really knew who was going to be there, but the drill was for each of us to switch off every week on the food preparations. As we all got into Sopranos, it became largely an Italian meal.

Also, at the time, I could only cook spaghetti, but goddamn if it isn't a kickass spaghetti. Especially if you like it meaty.

We did Sundays at the Greeks for years and it became one of the highlights of my week. We would all sit around a big table, passing around plate after plate, sharing stories of the week and generally relishing our extended family status. The Greeks are among our oldest friends and being with them really felt like being with family. Thinking about it, I am ashamed at how many unreturned phone calls I have from their mother, who, like everyone else in meatspace, I ignored during the course of our separation. It was heartbreaking to think of spending time with her, as she was part of the history that was being erased. She reached out to me so many times and I ignored her each and every time.

Am such an asshole. I will make in my only goal this week to call her and arrange to see her. Enough time has passed that I don't think we need to have the "what went wrong with B&K" discussion.

At some point after the separation, P and I started our own ritual. We didn't vary it by much - usually, either steak or salmon. If it is steak (me- ribeye, P- New York), it is steak, caprese salad, asparagus with lemon aioli. If it is salmon, it is king salmon, asparagus with lemon aioli and often a sweet potato or sweet corn. We always have a "little something" for dessert and always two bottles of wine - white to start, red with dinner.

See, e.g.:


As for the show itself, well, we've seen a few come and go. I don't suspect tonight's finale will rival the best of all time (Six Feet Under), but for sentimental reasons, the end of the show is personal to me. When I first fell in love with the characters, I was in an entirely different life. Although I miss elements of it, I am pretty secure in the one I have now.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Surreal Life

Am writing this out for the sole purpose of reminding myself what a weird day I had. What an odd day altogether.

Got home after 2am last night - first time in years. Took a dear friend out who was utterly under the bus and had a kickass night. I was the designated driver, so it wasn't a boozy night, but we had a great time. We came thisclose to hitting 13 Coins at 2am, which would have really sealed the deal in terms of old school, but we decided to just go home.

Had one of the best conversations of my life upon my return, but that isn't the point of this story.

Today - no meaningful sleep, hit the row club at 7am, then the P and I had a date with the Clooney. More on the movie later, but suffice to say, I had a great time at the movies with Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Cheadle et al.

Come home and had another great conversation. So good, in fact, that when I hung up, I decided to make a few calls I had been avoiding, including one to my mother. She was glad to hear from me, not that pissed off that it took me a week to call her, etc. What struck me was how quickly she asked about my personal life. Holy shit. Wanted to know about "the guy" - and in far more detailed questions than she ever dared ask about B. My family - we are different from most others. No topic is off limits, and I am the absolute worst offender at that. You have to come to our house prepared to discuss anything and everything. Still, I was stunned. I have historically been the inquisitor and no one dared ask me anything personal. Either I have gone soft, or my family has a newfound sense of daring. It was, however, incredibly touching to hear the boys' opinion of the man in my life, and they barely know him.

The whole conversation was utterly nuts. And probably the longest conversation I have ever had with my mother.

But the day got weirder. I had a wild hair for Thai food and walked the 10 minute jaunt to Fremont. I had a host of errands to run up there, so Thai food was the last on my list. We (Darbs and I) crossed the bridge and even over the tunes in my ipod, I heard a whistle and a "HEY K! catcall. I looked up and saw a guy I hadn't seen since I got my masters at UW. He pulled up on the sidewalk (Fremont Bridge) and got out and hugged me. We had a brief catch up and promised to call each other and all that and I went about my way. I hit the grocery store, the pet store (for food) and was heading to my favorite takeout place to pick up my dinner.

Right in front of El Camino, I see B. Now, I got Fremont in the divorce, so I was unprepared to see him in my neck of the woods, especially while rocking the sports bra-tank top-shorts and baseball hat look. He seemed stunned to see me, too, and when I saw him, I didn't really slow down (or even turn off the ipod) and just nodded "hey, B." Of course, he wanted to talk, but I just said "hey, listen, I have to run. Have a great night. Talk soon" and kept going. I was really polite, though.

Literally five steps later, this guy asks me if he can pet Darby. I stopped and let him rub down the girl and he....well, he was kind of nuts. He laid down on the sidewalk, which was beyond bizarre, and played with Darby. He was a great looking guy, but entirely too short for my tastes. Shaved head, piercing eyes, but short. I would have bet a c-note that he was gay, but then he unequivocally hit on me. It was surreal - telling me how beautiful he thought I was (NB: aforementioned attire), asking if I had a boyfriend or was married, what was I doing later -- entirely surreal. Although I didn't turn around, I am guessing B witnessed the whole thing. The weird little man handed me his card, hugged me, kissed me on the cheek and I went about my way. Absofuckinglutely nuts.

Finally got my takeout and headed home. Right after I crossed the bridge, I hear a horn honking incessantly. It is an old law school buddy of mine, heading to Fremont for a night on the town. He was yelling out the window at me, telling me to call him. I waved and nodded, and then my phone started blowing up with his calls. He just got engaged and was having a boys' night to celebrate and begged me to be there. I told him I would try, and, as it is now 10:30pm and I got little sleep last night, I am thinking I won't make it. I'm thinking he will get over it. I have had enough of Fremont for the night.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It

B has still not signed the property settlement, which, for whatever reason, makes him believe we are still married. You would think a man who was married to an attorney might defer to her certainty of their marital status, but you would be wrong in your assessment. It doesn't really affect me in any meaningful sense, but today, I found myself thinking about all of the stuff we had to divide and what I really got out of the marriage.

Yes, I got all the material stuff. All of it. I wasn't a bitch about it whatsoever and, in the 2.5 years we were separated, told him many times that he could have whatever he wanted. I admit there was a period where I didn't want to give him anything, as I believed he had bailed on the relationship and was therefore not entitled to recover anything from our home. As the anger subsided, I realized it was just stuff and I was attached to very little of it (with some exceptions). It is coming up on three years and he still hasn't demanded anything.

Thing is, I would trade him all of it for what he got in the settlement - our history and life together. In the aftermath of the separation and my misguided attempt at the high road (to say nothing of the very misguided anticipation of a grand gesture on his part), I bailed out of our life. Friends, family, etc. I think I just didn't want to talk about it with anyone who knew us both and was terrified at getting caught off guard and (gasp) getting emotional about it in public if that had happened (which it did, once or twice). B and I resolved early not to discuss our private life with our friends and I don't think he ever really did. If anything, he probably shouldered all of the blame and defended my honor.

Nevertheless, I disappeared. Poof. I was polite if I ran across our mutual friends and sported a winning smile, but I retreated. B does not retreat. Hell, I don't think, until I just typed those words, that I fully realized what I did, but retreat it was. B is not that kind of person whatsoever and I never thought I was, either. B stayed in the picture, continued socializing with our friends, and eventually, my absence became expected - the status quo. B continued with our life without me and therefore got our former life in the divorce.

That is one of many of my regrets, as there are many days that I just miss my former life. I know that I can rebuild it and all that and I will, in one form or another. But I feel like I lost a 14 year history that has simply been erased. That is not his fault whatsoever - that one was all me. It is amazing how I can rationalize decisions at the time, but with the hindsight of clarity, it is stunning how bad of a choice it was.

I thought of this for a variety of reasons, some of which included other things that I miss, including traits of B. God knows, he is flawed, as am I, of course. But with the benefit of hindsight and some distance, I can remember most of what I was attracted to when I met him. He was definitely an "outside the box" kind of thinker, whereas I was more prone to drawing within the lines. He brought me pretty far outside my comfort zone when it came to the "safe route." I don't think we ever took one in the 14 years we were together. That probably sounds more exciting than it was.

What I was utterly enamored with was his decisiveness and willingness to just fucking jump in and do it.

Buy a boat and live on it?

K: No way, how will we make the payments, we don't have the income, what if something goes wrong and it requires a ton of cash or it will sink and then we will be homeless?

B: We'll figure it out. We do our best work when our backs are against the wall. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Stop with the worrying and let's go for it.

Let's open a deli!

K: OMG, you have to be kidding me. Do you know how much cash it takes to open a restaurant? Lease obligations? Insurance? Failure rate of new business? This neighborhood can't take another eatery.

B: Nobody got anywhere without taking some risks. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. You handle the lease negotiations and the licenses. I'll handle the renovations and together, we'll build the business because we fucking know everyone in this neighborhood.

Go to law school wherever you want.

K:OMG, no way, I'm staying here and going to UW. Georgetown is too far away, USC is in California and therefore off limits. Notre Dame is in the middle of nowhere.

B: We'll figure it out. We'll see each other every 6-8 weeks, I won't be in your hair, keeping you from studying, ND is a kickass school and you have a full ride - w00t to no debt

When we were in premarital counseling, I made some asinine comment about him being the bird, me being the rock. As soon as it came out of my mouth, I realized the banality of the statement. That statement became a running joke in our marriage, but part of it was utterly true. I will say that in the settlement of our collective property, I got some of that fearlessness from him. I am still the rock, to be sure, but I no longer draw within the lines.

At times, that has created more problems than it solved, but I much prefer living this way and not so goddamn afraid to rock the proverbial boat. I am a better problem solver and risk manager, and I guess that isn't the worst thing to take from our settlement.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Poop Bell

When I first got Darby, I put a small bell around the front door, with the understanding that she would use it to inform me when she needed to go out. It serves that purpose well, although she and I have different understandings about need vs. want. In any event, she has never gone in the house when I am here and will ring that goddamn bell to get my attention whenever she needs or wants to go out.

But I rarely left her at home until recently. I took her to doggie day care nearly every day and that solved the problem of what she would do if I wasn't here. That was also ridiculously expensive ($500 a month. I know!) and just recently, I started leaving her at home two days a week.

Now that she has Giardia (Ed. Note: Doesn't that remind you of a certain Food Channel chef? No? Just me?), she is dogma non grata at day care, even though SHE FUCKING CONTRACTED IT THERE. She has to stay at home - everyday - for at least the next two weeks. We are about to test the very limits of the Poop Bell. In a way, however, this is a great way to segue back into our old routine.

When Darbs was a wee pup, I took her for an hour walk every morning and an hour at night, rain or shine. You wouldn't think this little puff of a dog had it in her, but she kept up. Hell, she got used to my weird interval training (walk a mile, sprint half a mile, jog a mile, walk a mile, lather, rinse repeat). If I got lazy, she would pick up the pace and pull me along. However, in this the winter of my discontent, I got lazy and hence the doggie day care. Then I got injured and long distance walk/runs were out.

Starting tomorrow, we're on the 7 mile morning run/walk around Lake Union. If we leave by 6:30 at the latest, we're back by 8 and she'll be spent. That gives me enough time to shower and get to work, hopefully by bus or by foot, by 9. I am usually home by 7:30, so that gives her 12 hours alone. She'll be dying to get out by then, so we can do another hour walk when I get home. I think that will nearly eliminate my gym time, which sucks, but I think that as we settle back into a routine, I'll send her back to day care twice a week and use those days (and the weekend) to get my weight training, yoga, crew, soccer, rollerblading and kickboxing back in play.

I have to remind myself to ease my way back into full on active lifestyle. I got hurt the last time I overdid it after a period of injury. I just miss that feeling of walking into the house, drenched in sweat and utterly high on endorphins. I am going to use the month of June to redevelop a routine, which will most likely be firmly in place when I decide to make some major life changes.

In the meantime, I need to figure out how to invest the foregone doggie day care and parking funds. I blew some savings as of late, so I am thinking it will go to replenish those funds. I am also planning a no-holds barred, week long trip to NYC in September, although that destination may change if the Euro keeps on keeping on. Having never been to Ireland, I am thinking a fall excursion may be in order.

It is all about looking forward at this point.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I Like Lists

It felt like we were gone a lot longer than we were and I had only missed four days of work. But damn is it a PITA to get things back to normal. Let's review, shall we?

1. When I picked up Darby, I was advised she had had bloody stools that morning. Bloody stools? She was eating her regular food and hasn't been anywhere near a dog park, where Giardia festers like herpes in Paris. She just got a (heh) clean fecal two weeks ago. This morning, I took her for a walk and I saw the symptoms myself. Fucking fantastic. Collected said output and called the vet. Diagnosis? Yep, Giardia.

2. I have a iron stomach and don't get sick overseas. Was fine the entire time in Mexico. But yesterday, I experienced some.....intestinal issues. The hell? Montezuma's revenge? Yep, I have it and can't seem to hold anything down today. I went to the doctor, scored some Zithromax (or however it is spelled). I am going to order my favorite pizza in a few and hope for the best. I haven't eaten since Copper River salmon last night at our weekly Sopranos get together at the Ps.

3. Clients. Oh sweet hell, am I behind on basic communications. Tomorrow will be a long day.

4. Personal stuff. Been circling around a decision in my head and I think I am really close to doing what needs to be done. Timing is everything and my timing sucks out loud these days. Don't you hate it when you discover exactly what you want at precisely the wrong time?

5. B. As I alluded to in an earlier post, for whatever reason - and alcohol was not a factor - I sent him a text message while in Mexico. I apologized for my role in the demise of our marriage and related thoughts. His response (I read it the next morning) absolutely floored me. B very, very rarely said the right thing at the right time, but he nailed it. I was stunned to tears. We exchanged a few quality text messages and I think (and hope) I obtained whatever closure I still needed. We haven't spoken since I have been back home and it is probably too raw to do that yet. We can't be friends anytime soon, but there are a few fundamental truths about us that remain.

6. Change. I need it. I have been in limbo for entirely too long and the inertia is stifling at this point. Having moved every two years for most of my childhood and a good part of adulthood, combined with the events of the past three years, I am overdue for some big, overhaul changes in my life. Career, home, personal, everything.

7. Physical activity. Have been back at the plan for a while, but am bored and need something else. I signed up today for a soccer team and registered for a weekly rowing club. God, I love summer in Seattle.

8. Further to #6, it is time for some overdue spring cleaning. I need to clean out my closets (literally and figuratively) and get rid of what I don't need. Also need to get B his remaining personal effects. I also am embarking on a plan of redecoration, to make this place my own. Right now, it is a graveyard of a dead relationship and a life that no longer exists. I am going to take it in baby steps, as it is likely that I might not live here for too much longer.

9. Catch up. I can't believe what I have blown off in the past six months. So unlike me in the context of my 36 years. I have friends I have ignored, obligations I just shunned and a shit ton of things I need to do. I think I just got overwhelmed and checked out for the early part of this year. It is sort of amazing how I can mentally check out when I need to.

10. Family. I want to see my brothers more and now my mother is here. The latter is more of a PITA than anything else, but I am going to try to readjust my attitude and not see it that way. I don't know my mother well at all and what I do know usually irritates the shit out of me. My summer goal is to get to know her better (and vice versa) and spend some quality time with her.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Monday Morning Review

I write on this blog largely for my own, no-charge therapy and to serve as a written record of where I've been, so it makes absolutely no sense to add a weekly review of movies or books. If nothing else, it will serve to remind me how much time I spend reading or watching other people's creativity. I'm guessing I'll keep this up for a month, tops. Until then, Sundays are my reviews of what I read or watched in the previous week.

As chronicled in the last post, I was in Mexico this past week. The weather was hot, humid and rainy, so the P and I spent a good deal of time indoors. I was also on planes and I read on planes, so my inaugural post will be much longer than usual.


The Good Life, by Jay McIerney

Having read a few of McIerney's books, I was somewhat ambivalent about this book, but the NYT Book Review prompted the purchase. In short, I loved this book. It haunted me and as soon as I read the last word, I started over. It is a story about Manhattan's upper echelon post-9-11, and while I don't relate to most of that scene, the stories of the characters were haunting, if not startlingly, familiar. This is probably too personal of a review to do, but suffice to say, it captured my imagination for more than a few days. I can't stop thinking about it.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

This is the book on which the Showtime series is based. Having watched the show religiously, the book had few surprises, and, of course, the series gave me a complete visualization of the characters. I wish I had read it (and its progeny) first, although there is another book coming out this summer.

Elements of Style: A Novel , by Wendy Wasserstein

A little more meaty than most chick lit books, this one is also about NYC's upper echelon and their fucked up relationships. The characters are better written than most and the story more engaging than I had anticipated. It was hard to relate to the social climbing aspirations of some of the characters, to say nothing of their lifestyle, but, as always, the trials and tribulations of complicated relationships makes for an entertaining read. The author is a playright and it shows - Janet Maslin of the NYTBR called it "chick lit with a pedigree".


Knocked Up

From the director of the 40 Year Old Virgin, this was an entertaining romantic comedy that was really well written. Lots of laughs, snappy dialogue, interesting characters. I do think the lead actress (the chick from Grey's Anatomy) was miscast and her big, white teeth were a little distracting. I didn't think she and the male lead had any palpable chemistry and certainly nothing in common (aside from impending parenthood). I also detected the slightest suggestion that women are inherently irrational, at least during pregnancy, and that you shouldn't judge a (male) book by its cover.

The Dead Girl

Interesting storytelling, to say the least. I can't say much without giving away entire plotlines, but it is basically just the story of the death of one girl and its effects on several people around her. Some really good casting on some levels, but at the end of the whole thing, I found myself thinking "well, that was weird."

Breaking and Entering

An Anthony Minghella film, this one has very well written characters and explores the familiar themes of trust, love, desire and the need for intimacy. It is remarkably well cast, with Jude Law, Robin Wright Penn, who rocks quite an accent, and an amazing performance by Juliette Binoche. Pretty heavy on the dialogue, which is my kind of flick, and some interesting twists that keep the story engaging. The gist is that Jude Law's environmental landscaping business keeps getting robbed of its high tech gadgets and when he discovers who it is, he becomes involved with the thief's mother (Juliette Binoche). His wife (Robin Penn) has a precocious but troubled daughter from a prior relationship and she keeps them both emotionally estranged from him. At its core, the movie is about Jude Law looking for an intimate relationship with someone -- anyone -- and eventually realizing that what you don't say is almost always more interesting than what you do say. I call that negative space and I find it fascinating.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Blog, Mexico Style

So the story of the wedding, as told by my eyes....

Saturday, May 27th, 8am:

Am at work. Have huge, HUGE case going on while I am gone and I don't want to make my boss or anyone else feel like I am phoning it in. Begin work early, plan to stay all day.

We all get fake tans. Yes, we drop trou and get airbrushed with perfect tans. By 10 that night, we look like we had just returned from Mexico, not about to go. This is what women do to avoid the sun -- we pay money to look like we are in it, because none of us fair-skinned women can afford the aftermath of skin damage.

2pm until 11pm:

I work.

Sunday, May 28th:

I work from 8am-11pm

11pm: Call P, ask her to make sure she calls me to wake up for our 7am flight. Call often and regularly. Call other person who is three hours ahead and make same request. Am loopy from no sleep and need to pack and get something approximating sleep.

Monday, May 29th:

5am: 14 phone calls unanswered, P shows up at my place at 5am, dragging my sorry ass out of bed. Had been up most of the night working and sending emails. Take world's quickest shower and we head to airport. Really haphazard packing job.

6:15am: Realize (at airport) that I have somehow left my wallet in P's car. Cab back to parking lot, grab wallet, hope this is the worst.

5pm (Cancun time): P's luggage doesn't arrive. Rental car place requires energy. Not so much vacation.

8pm: Where are J&K? The tequila bar, of course. We rally, hang out with them. Unpleasantness ensues between the two of them, most likely owing to nerves. We temporarily wonder if we are going to be kicked out of this fine resort, owing to late night altercations.

Tuesday, May 30:

9 am: Great breakfast. Weather sucks. Humid and rainy, most of the time. We decide to just read and drink, except for when I have to work

11am-4pm: I work. Bothersome to everyone. Also, I check Blackberry constantly.

5pm: Fuck it, work sucks. Let's drink

5pm-??? Earlier plan rules the day. We drink, laugh and have fun. Make new friends with cool wedding party. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.

Wednesday, May 31:

9am: Breakfast? Hell yes, they get that right.

11am: Go to Talum. Let's blow this popsicle stand. P and I head out for a day away. Check out Mayan ruins, people watch, etc.

11am-5pm: Afternoon at our leisure. We see the ruins, stroll Playa de Carmen, have kickass lunch on the beach, resolve to come back to Playa on Friday

6:45 pm: I show up at rehearsal dinner scheduled for 6:30. NB: Seattle folks should never, ever order salmon unless in a proper west coast city. I read my blackberry, talk to my colleague about the days' events that I missed and berated the Carribean salmon.

8:00 pm: Dinner is over, have sudden, inexplicable need to apologize to B for the demise in our marriage. Send said text message. Get increasingly drunk.

11pm: Fall and hit my head. Am mercifully and sufficently intoxicated that I apparently jumped up and apologized for the distraction. P walks me back to the room and I do the honorable act of passing out.

Thursday, May 31: Day of Wedding

7am: Wake up with huge goose egg on my scalp. Can't quite remember how I got back to the room, so I assume the bump indicated I had a good night. P comes out and explains how worried everyone was the night before, as apparently, I can take a beating to the head whilst under the influence of tequila. Am over it.

10 am: Eveyone we know asking if I am okay. I assure them that I am, and if I start seeing double, I will go to town. Also? Huzzah to me, having hit the hell out of my head and being no worse for the wear. But holy fuck, my head hurt.

3pm: Beginning of the wedding preps. I dried K's hair painstakingly, as the hairdresser failed to show. Until one hour before the wedding. In which case, K's hair having been "done" -- she did mine. And big ass hair ensued.

5:30: Holy fuck, how are we running so late

5:55: Them: is time for all of you to leave the room and get going to the whole ceremony thing. Us: Not so much.

6pm: We leave the room. 15 seconds later, K realizes her written vows are in the room. We get security, fresh keys, etc. Crisis avoided.

6:04: Did I mention the beachfront wedding was redirected to the hotel lobby on account of crazythefuck rains? It was nutty - the weather the whole time was nutty -- but right before 6pm, it was dumping. Unfortunately, this made it more slippery for us and K nearly took a header on her way to the altar. I will NEVER forget the look on her face when she steeled herself after a near miss. Am carrying, at this point? Two vows, two rings and my maid of honor bouquet.

6:05pm: I suppress my laughter at how she almost bit it. Judge me all you want, but people falling down --including my near-certain concussion the night before -- is just funny. On top of the impending hurricane, the forgotten but recovered vows -- it was all funny. K looked amazing, by the way, as did Natalie.

6:15pm: We're all in place. Here we go

6:20pm: Holy fuck, is that a tear? I don't tear up at weddings. Must be the humidity.

6:25pm: Nope. Am actively tearing up. Thank bob no one is taking pictures, except for her goddamn wedding photographer and everyone else watching. I know people with mad Photoshop skillz that can 'shop me right out.

6:20-6:45pm: Great wedding. Honest, real, pure and raw. You had to be there. You really had to be there. Fanfuckingtastic wedding.

6:50pm-7:30: Photographers ask the least camera-friendly folks to pose. You can probably imagine how that works out.

7:30-???: Reception. Great times. All good. Hopefully none caught on camera, except all anyone seemed to be doing was taking pictures or reviewing the ones they just took. I made friends with the wedding crashers. Suffice to say, the donkey really was a great uniter.

11pm: Done.

Friday, June 1

9am: Breakfast, relaxation, swim in the beach.

5pm: Head to Playa del Carmen

6pm: Drink margaritas, eat our weight in guacamole and live it up. Great night.

11pm: Nightcap in Puerto Morales. We bond with a dog. We are clearly missing home at this point.

Saturday, June 2:

7am: Rise and shine for breakfast and final packing. The Seattle contingent gets home at 7pm.

10:00pm: I blog this whole story. So much more to come.