Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Also DONE!

We found a church.
We're penciled in.
*sigh of relief*
More later, as I am banning wedding talk on this blog except for Wednesdays.
Yup, Wedding Wednesdays ;) There are, I believe 54 left before the big day. But there might be 53. I dunno.
So. More tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Jamaal is done with his MBA today.

Excuse me while I do a little dance.


Also, I finally heard from the orthopedist. He says I have "really messed up shin splints"
Good right? Not really. They're the precursor to stress fractures (so great that I for once had the sense to go to a doctor), so it's good that I don't have a stress fracture, but bad in the sense that it may as well be one in terms of treatment and recovery. There is no treatment but not to run, I can try running if I take motrin beforehand (um yeah, I saw that aspirin/marathon runner episode of Grey's. Motrin isn't aspirin, but....uh NO) and after reading this article, I am very hesitant to medicate every time I run. Yikes, no thanks. Actually my coworker did that and ended up with a bleeding ulcer. Of course she was teeny tiny and probably overdosed on nsaids but still. I guess I'll be resting it for a while. Hopefully I can find some non-running activity in the meantime, gotta stay in shape for the wedding!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Freaking out

I am freaking out!
Today I found out that there is another wedding at the church I scoped out. You know, the church in the perfect location, non-denominational bring your own clergy perfect?
Yeah that one.

The thing is that it's not my church, so it's not that I'm sad about the location or freaking out because someone else is getting married in the place I've dreamed of walking down the aisle since I was a little kid. Oh hell no. The church, while lovely, was simply the symbolic structure we were looking for. And a roof over our heads in case of rain. What really mattered was getting the officiant we wanted, and we have.

So why is my tinsel in a tangle?

I have to scramble again....and totally rethink getting married at the reception site, getting married outside. etc. whole new can o' worms. I know someone is out there reading this saying "calm down" or "breathe" or some sh*t, but in this moment, I am freaking.

I do know what would make me feel a ton better though: shopping, mani/pedi.
I wasn't gonna do it, but tomorrow, that's where you'll find me, at the Pru buying makeup and spanx and the cheap nail place by 7/11 in Brigham Circle. Visualizing this helps. LOL.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Beauty of an Imagination

I totally stopped posting on that whole beauty thing...
I know, I was all about the NaBloPoMo theme, etc.
But then some stupid sh*t happened and I couldn't get OFF it. Seriously.
It had to do with getting an MRI and the MRI people not believing that I didn't have a metal coil in my heart.

I overreacted. I still think I had the right to be angry at them not believing me, but still, I overreacted.

Then I felt guilty. I thought of the fourth-world hospital I visited in Africa where the kids didn't even have bandages for their burns and felt selfish and awful. I was being pissy cause I couldn't get a MRI in what I considered a "timely" fashion.

I felt even more guilty in the waiting room yesterday, listening to the receptionist pre-screen a patient. "Have you ever had cancer?" she asks. Pause, scribbles, OK. "OK so tomorrow we're going to scan your brain." Eff. I'm hear for my effing no good foot. WTF is wrong with me, being so selfish? UGH.

Anyway, I finally got my MRI. The tunnel bit wasn't too bad. Of course I was only in up to my neck, and the scanning apparatus wasn't like, OVER MY FACE or anything creepy like that. I don't think I'm claustrophobic, but I hope I never have to be tested with an MRI.

During the scan I entertained myself by imagining my "lottery list," you know, all the stuff you'd do if you won the lottery. This is totally self-centered too, I know, but it made the 40 minutes of lying absolutely positively motionless fly.

Here's what I'd do if I won 221 million dollars:

First, eliminate my family's debt. My student loans and credit card debt, my sister's and cousin's loan debt, Jam's debt, my parent's mortgage. Yep. Debt-b-gone.

Next, buy the empty lot next to our cottage, and offer buyouts to the neighbors on either side of our cottage in NH. Not only will this give us a ton of space for our hopefully expanding families (I say hopefully because it appears that I will be the first-wed and first parent of the four grandchildren!) but we well have a compound-esque hold on this fantastical piece of property. I think I could buy it all for under a million....amazing considering the views at sunrise:
Dramatic Sky
and sunset:

I wouldn't even do anything particularly grandiose with any of them either. I'd probably keep the house next to us, knock down the one two houses to the west of us. The lot next door I'd keep empty, then the two houses next to that.....well I'd probably keep one up because it looks pretty sweet and maybe do some updating and rustication work on the one immediately to our east. Of course, there would be major updates to plumbing and electricity at all houses, maybe even a wind turbine built to generate our own electricity, definitely a graywater recycling system, and of course, a solution to the "toilet problem." All in all though, I would maintain our rustic feel:

Our Peaceful Cottage

Next up would be a hospital in Oloitokitok.

photo from here

I always said I would build one there were I to become a wealthy woman. This is the hospital to which I am referring when I talk about seeing kids without bandages and meeting a little girl who had the same birth defect as me who will die because she can't afford to go to Nairobi to have it fixed. Messed up. I would have to come up with a detailed plan and most likely require a lawyer, accountant, a pilot and overseer, but I figure if Oprah can pull off her Leadership Academy, I can figure out a hospital, since the only requirement to get in would be injury or illness LOL.
I would also find my friends, Mboya in particular, and make sure they could have a job at the hospital if they wanted....oh and the hospital would have to be 1. green and 2. would never turn away anyone because they could not pay and 3. be based on the ideals of Health in Harmony and Partners in Health. Cause they're soooooo so so soooo so one more time SOOOO brilliant.

Oh there would be so much more to do in Kenya. I can't even tell you...can't even...

Naturally I would have many other charitable things to do. There would be plenty of money for New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary, formerly Foster Parrots. Maybe some land for DU....Obviously if the cancer hospital ever needed something, especially to do with community health services, I would be there.

Then of course we'd have the superficial stuff that celebrates consumerism and the shameless love of material goods.

First up, Subaru Forester. I love my '02 - it's seen me through pretty much any terrain you can imagine, a thunder-snow blizzard that dropped about 2 feet on the ground, black ice, treks to NYC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine, NH. It rocks. BUT.....it's kind of dying on me. So sweet new Forester:

oohhhh how glorious....

Then a long vacation at the luxurious Governor's Camp Il Moran Camp:

Next up, this exact penthouse in the Customs House building. You know, while Jam and I are searching for our perfect house in JP/Concord/Lincoln/Carlisle/Wellesley/Duxbury/other town with good schools, lots of land, rustic yet accessible to Boston....

The Penthouse:

Our Peeps Still Cocktailing It


View from Floor 22

Now the super material junk:

Louboutins:Louis Vuitton tote (to haul my crap in style):

An IMAC for my multimedia needs (OMG so glorious)

A swank new ipod with lots of memory

A clarisonic so my pores become invisible

A mad Container Store shopping spree (for the penthouse and new house of course).

By the time I had finished imagining all this, the Sheryl Crow CD I had chosen to listen to during the MRI was skipping and because I had to remain motionless, I couldn't let anyone know....plus I didn't think skipping CD's warranted the use of the emergency button. Luckily by this point I only had one four-minute and one six-minute scan left, so it wasn't too bad. I kind of bounced off the table all happy with my ideas, LOL. Maybe because I didn't come up with an overwhelming list of "stuff" I'd really need. And definitely because I imagined myself as this charitable-donating fairy, building hospitals, saving birds. It kind of undid all that pissy-ness and rage I had had earlier.

Of course, this was a week ago....
And the doctor has yet to call me....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sometimes I wonder...

why I spend the loooonely niiiights...

ha ha j/k. As much as I love Nat King Cole and all (and "Stardust" in particular).

Sometimes I seriously wonder why I can't just be content with how life is going and why I sometimes obsess with what's going on with other people. Why do I care? Because I am generally happy. Yeah, I'm waiting for "things to start" like moving in with my love and starting life together and getting married and stuff.

Why do I let the outside world/other people and their expectations/opinions of what I should be doing get to me? WHY?

That's so not me. It isn't. I like to think that I march to the beat of my own drum but...maybe I don't. And it wouldn't be such a big deal if I didn't totally hate myself for letting this outside junk influence me and make me FEEL bad about myself and THINK negative thoughts. Ugh. Boo.

Sometimes I wish I could step outside my body, take myself by the shoulders, shake myself and say "for the love of GOD and sunny Jesus you have SO MUCH just be HAPPY for a change."

It's a challenge. Maybe I should work on it this year. Gotta fill that place that gets all emptyangrydarkjealousspiteful with something good.
Yes. That sounds like a plan.

Can we PAUSE

for just a second in the midst of all this happy warm fuzzy beautiful junk an ponder


Gah. Unbelievable. Thank goodness Beyonce was raised with class.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Am Watching "The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency"

finally on DVD.

It's wonderful,

but I'm realizing....

I have an Africa-shaped hole in my heart...


Maybe I almost need a Botswana honeymoon...

Thursday, September 03, 2009


There is a certain beauty in baking.

Julie in Julie and Julia says something to the effect of "when you have a bad day you know you can come home and mix egg yolks and sugar and chocolate and create something wonderful"

It is sooo true. At 10 o'clock tonight I realized I had forgotten (between two martinis, a hunk of cheese, a chicken dinner and two phone calls with two lovely people with whom I have not spoken in what seems like forever!) to make my cousin a little birthday gift - cookies, to send up to school.

While it was 10, and normally I would stress to undertake ANY task at that hour, the simplicity and measured goodness of baking outweighed my tiredness, my frustration about my still undiagnosed leg pain and the Patriots losing their last exhibition game of the season (they won in the end!) - baking is beautiful.

Forgive the crap cell phone pics!

I chose to make my cousin some m&m cookies based on my fail-proof chocolate chip cookie recipe.

It has brown sugar....and I just love squishing brown sugar down into a measuring cup:

I also love mixing the sugars with the butters, especially in this recipe that calls for melted and cooled butter. The ingredients come together to make a beautiful caramel-colored batter. Jamaal would probably say something mildly inappropriate for this bit, like "mixing is gooooooood" LOL.
The excitement as the raw materials enter the oven:Eighteen minutes later - VOILA!

The perfect, most beautiful m&m cookies I've ever seen (yeah I'm totally biased!)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Oh what a day that has just dragged on and on and on!

Finally it's 4:30 ish and I can think about leaving...oh wait, I have a meeting from 6:30 to 8. Boo.

Actually, it's not a total "boo" situation, because 1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes became available today and I have to pass many Starbucks to get to my meeting and 2. my meeting got moved and the new location is across the street from Sephora. Which is technically on my way home and all, but it's not always fun to get off the subway, run up 3 flights of steps to the Prudential Building, walk down, walk back, etc etc when you're trying to catch a train.

This way, I can buy my Fresh Soy Face Wash that I've been putting off for a bit. Why? Because it's 38 DOLLARSSSSS

But this is where our little beauty theme comes in. I am on a beauty regimen. Maybe for life. I am sooo addicted.

It all started when I received a gift certificate to a local aesthetician (think that's spelled right). She had just started her own business after years in a salon. My friend was going on about how great she did eyebrows, blah blah. I admittedly tossed the gift certificate aside for, I dunno, three or four months. Then I got a major allergic reaction to the wax at my usual waxing spot. Forehead and eyebrow hives, unsightly. I decided to give up my $10 monthly wax job to the hands of a professional.

The first time I met this lady I thought she was insane. Awesome, but INSANE. She was like "We are going to beauty boot camp you for your wedding!" This made me nervous. I pretty much take how I look as how I look and besides trying to buff up a little bit for a special occasion, there's no real changing the situation that's happening here, and I'm ok with that. What was she going to do to me? Yikes!

First I brought in my products. They basically got about a D+ OK foundation and powder and primer (ha ha like I ever wear them!) Crap night cream, ok spf day lotion, crap mascara (which was expensive), totallll crap exfoliater. Wow. It was actually a good thing though, to learn all this. I found out that I am pretty much just a product whore. Pretty packaging, nice smells, something eye-catching on the bottle, being featured in InStyle - yep, I will pretty much buy it. D (aesthetician) told me what to throw out, what to use sparingly, what to use daily and started me on the free samples (score). She also recommended a facial.


I was all "hell noooo. A facial is just something you pay for that gets undone in like, a second." ha ha ha talking as if I even knew what happened during a facial, as if I'd had one before! Of course I relented. TO everything. Chucked the bad beauty products, made a facial appt.

Holy goodness gracious. Facials. They are one indulgence I am not sure I'll be able to give up after this wedding. If Jamaal and I are totally poor or whatever (which I hope we'll never be!) and I can only save a dollar a week for a facial, I will do it. I will have a facial jar, I swear. Not only is it 90% relaxing wonderfulness (10% HURTS. Extractions are totally uncool) but my skin has started to change. It's not weird combination-y angry sometimes nice sometimes dry shiny unpredictableness anymore! ha! I have beat you skin! My pores are smaller. The skin is softer and more supple. It looks great - and younger. After my first facial I went up to Babson, as Jamaal was in town, and he looked at me and said "You look so much younger!" Of course I made a joke about being haggard before and he said "no, it's not that you looked bad before, it's just that I can actually see the difference."
SO facials (a good one) are the real deal.

So I'm embracing this beauty regimen on a skin care level. There are still days I work without makeup. OK, there are still many days I work without makeup and my hair in a ponytail, but knowing that I'm rocking some happy skin is fantastic. I know beauty is only skin deep (ha ha ha lookit my pun) but honestly, feeling so good on the outside makes me feel damn fantastic on the inside, and having those two work together on the big day would be kinda perfect.

SO! Off to Sephora (and my meeting.....boo) I go to buy a D approved beauty product! WOOHOO!

*Oh and those 1's in the title? Take a peek at that little ticker gizmo....1 year 1 month 1 week. EEK!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September NaBloPoMo

Whew. How'd September happen?

There is something really lovely about September to me. I don't know what it is exactly. It's something in the air - how it changes. I love the warm days and cool nights and the anticipation of fall. Now that I'm older I love watching kids go back to school and knowing that I don't have to go! I love cider and apple picking and pumpkins, all that good New England stuff.

September is usually one of the most fruitful kayaking months. The water seems to slow down. Birds are beginning to migrate. The mornings are misty and cool and lovely.

I think what I will miss most this month is running. August running is crap. September running is perfect. Though I had a love/hate relationship with cross country my entire high school career, there was something special about the beginning of the season, freezing your butt off in shorts before the race but having the temperature be ideal for running as you crossed the finish. Alas, my tibia is in no condition to run, despite my continued lack of diagnosis, there will be no running in September.

Maybe bike riding?
(something, b/c I look pregnant today. And I'm soooo NOT!)

Another reason I'm so looking forward to the fall is that it marks the official reasonable start of wedding planning. I've been negative about the process lately and haven't been planning anything at all. I just keep adding DIY projects to the list and obsessing over the "to do" bit. Now I can reasonably start to tick things off the list. I recently re-discovered a wedding invite site that has positively gorgeous invites with an incredible price range - to amazing but completely out of our league to totally affordable. I found something amazing today that made me very excited and happy. It would pretty much mean no DIY invite stuff except for envelopes, maps (maybe) and stamps. I'm still figuring out calligraphy and labels and such. The cost would come out to about $600. I am kind of loving this option. EEK! Exciting.

So I haven't done a post a month in a long while. I'm going to try to do NaBloPoMo's September theme, which is: beautiful. I am hoping that it gives this blog a more positive spin because I have been a (as my sister would say) "Debbie Downer" LOL. I am cool with my angsty side and all, but I'm also open to trying new things. So I'm going to blog on beautiful every day.

Mary Poppins (ok it was Keats, but I remember it from Mary Poppins!) said "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." I could not agree more.
This is the reason I bought my much-mocked fringe studio tray:

trust me, it's waaay more beautiful in person, a delicate shade of blue grey with jewel-toned hummers. And no, it may not have a specific function, but it will bring joy into my life when I look at it.

Another thing I treasure is a Royal Copenhagen I inherited from my cousin Catherine. I found out it's worth about $300 and some would say "just sell it! who cares?" This is one of my things of beauty though. I wouldn't care if it were worth a million - I like it the way it is and that's all there is to it. Ok. Maybe I would care if it were worth a million bucks. LOL.

So yes, I value things for their beauty and not for their cost. Little random things I've picked up here and there matter more to me than some ancient priceless artifact (maybe this is because I do not own any ancient priceless artifacts?)

Today I bought something else that I think it just lovely. It's also quirky and weird, but totally appealing to me. This is from Etsy.

Normally I would not bother buying a print because I've got so much sh*t on my walls. And normally when I'm on etsy I am looking for something incredibly specific that has been researched to DEATH. Instead, this was a complete and total impulse buy. Yup. Impulse! It was in the featured section on Etsy's home page and I gobbled it up because I was struck with an idea (wedding-flavored, sorry bored readers). So many people have family wedding photos set up at the guest book/gift dropoff section. That's not really going to work for us....for a lot of reasons, ranging from alternative family-esque to the fact that not many pics exist of grandparents weddings. On my paternal side, my grandparents got married at City Hall - nothing fancy. So it'd be weird to have like, my parents pic and no one else's because we can't track down the pics or whatever. But to fulfill my need to clutter every available surface I thought: what about a table with a couple of really fantastic bird prints? Our loose wedding theme is birds. Our tables will be bird names and I'm sure birds will show up at some point in other wedding things such as placecards or labels, so why not just go with it?? I think this would make a nice artsy addition to the wedding. Yes, it's excessive and unnecessary but it's just lovely. It would make me happy just to see it on a table. So. YAY for things of BEAUTY!