Lent

And thus Fat Tuesday retreats into non-existence and we are left, once again, with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

We have traditionally been a Lent observing family, though it wasn’t until this year that I actually did some digging to find out more about what it meant.

To me, it meant giving something up from Ash Wednesday to Easter. You would deny yourself something you enjoyed to remind you of the suffering Jesus went through before being crucified. And then it morphed into giving up something you liked to better yourself. So then I furthered developed it into generally bettering yourself in those weeks between Mardi Gras and Easter.

But, it turns out, traditionally it really has nothing to do with the individual bettering themselves at all. It really is about fasting, self-denial, and penitence. That made me feel a little foolish about my choices for lent this year. I decided there is nothing that I am willing to give up that I can continue to give up on my honeymoon (which falls smack dab in the middle of the season). If you can’t do it the whole time, then should you bother doing it under the guise of lent? So I opted for the bettering of myself through additions, rather than subtractions, this year.

I promised to start my day everyday with a little bit of yoga. Instead of hitting the snooze button “just one more time”, I will get up and use that 9 minutes to do a little stretching, or a balance pose or two. So far, success! I have more energy when I get to work which is good. I have been with the company the longest of our team, and I get in 30 minutes to an hour after everyone but my boss (who comes in 30 minutes after me) so they have already been milling over a difficult question they got early in the morning and assault me with it before I even make it across the room to my office. With just that littlest bit of yoga in the morning, I find that I am more pleasant when considering my response and not as grumbly as I used to be pre-coffee.

And I promised to end my days by keeping in better touch with my family. I am not good about calling people. I have no idea what is going on in the lives of my siblings or their families. How are Cor’s jobs? Does she still work at both? How does Cak like her new apartment? Are there any backlashes from the recent accident? What has Round-Eye been up to? So, I’ve been calling my family this week. If I haven’t called you yet, get ready because it’s coming soon. I will only be out of the country for 6 nights, so I’ll be calling folks at the airport I’m sure but on the honeymoon, will continue my yoga and call the Huz.

And then I did a little more digging on the definition of lent. Many modern Protestants consider the observation of Lent to be a choice, rather than an obligation. They may decide to give up a favorite food or drink (e.g. chocolate, alcohol) or activity (e.g., going to the movies, playing video games, etc.) for Lent, or they may instead take on a Lenten discipline such as devotions, volunteering for charity work, and so on. And so I feel a little less silly about not giving anything up this year.

What are you doing for lent?

And Then it Snowed!

I thought this winter would pass us by with a few cold days and some bitter winds. And then it snowed.

The three best friends and one ginormous dog loaded into a tiny scion for a weekend of DC adventures. I left work early (something that never happens). I headed straight home, threw some stuff in a bag, and got to work on preparing the house for the absence. I took all of the recycling out to the curb, started a load in the dishwasher, and washed the rest of the dishes by hand (something else that never happens). And then Shelby came home. And dottered. And tried on some new clothes he bought for our trip. And had a very hard time getting himself ready to leave.  A very antsy me could not get a very disinterested Huz to pack his crap and get in the car. And so we were late getting to Nat’s.

She was ready when we got there. Her tiny car was already packed to the brim and we hadn’t even started adding our load. Some award winning Tetris minutes later, I had the back organized with everything accounted for! I asked if they wanted to bring the GPS. They replied “We have iPhones, so we won’t need it.” After another few minutes, we loaded ourselves in. Nat drove, the Huz rode shotgun, and I squeezed in the backseat beside the Black Lab Great Dane mix that is Bailey.

5 hours later, Mr and Ms iPhone were lost in downtown DC.

By the time we finally arrived at the house, my body so cramped and twisted that my leg still hurts, enough Red Bull had been consumed to keep the commuters up until after 2:00am. Our friends had long since gone to bed.

We were going to see a play, but we (the Huz) decided not to. Instead, we sat in the living room, watched TV, and the iPhone crew played iPhone games with each other.

“Ooooohhhh. Take that. It’s your turn.”

“Man, I have three games going at once, and I am losing all three!”

“Thanks for letting us come play our online games in the same room with you instead of in a different state.”

It was lame. I am glad I didn’t drive, because I would have been sad. I was sad. It was a depressing visit. We did nothing that I couldn’t have done at home, and I wouldn’t have had to cram in next to a farty dog for 4 hours.

And then it was time to pack up and go home. Another disaster. The one thing I wanted to avoid was eating fast food. But, there aren’t many restaurants you can get into on a Sunday afternoon (read Sunday after church) where the wait won’t result in a dead dog, or a pile of poop in the car. So, after several unsuccessful attempts, the decision was made to go “eat in” at McDonalds. I almost cried. Instead, I walked there. And when I got close, I saw a Subway nearby so I just kept walking. McDonalds has fries, and that about sums up their vegetarian menu.

But while we sat in McDonald’s I glanced out the window and saw the flurries. It was rather pretty, in a tragic sort of way. The ground was wet, littered with napkins and cheeseburger wrappers. The snow fluttered down and immediately melted. And then it stopped melting and a thin layer of white began to hide the inadequacies of the parking lot.

The snow didn’t stop when we got back on the highway. The banks quickly began to disappear under an ever thickening layer of snow. And then the road disappeared. We were traveling about 20 MPH 100 feet behind the car in front of us, following the tracks it made down the middle of the road. Some silly folks decided the weather didn’t warrant a single lane and would speed past us. It wasn’t long before we passed most of them off the road and in a ditch.

Our 4 and ½ hour trip turned into almost 7 hours, but we made it safely, soundly. We transferred our belongings into the Fit and headed for home. It was still snowing, the yard and fire pit were well hidden. The Huz delighted in the idea that we could have a snow day but it was mostly melted by the time I woke up.

It’s now almost 60 degrees. It’s supposed to be 70 later this week. It may dip back down, and that would suit me just fine. I’m sure I’ll have enough heat and sun in a few weeks, lazing on my private beach. But I was glad for the snow.

V-Day

Can kiss my butt.

I haven’t enjoyed this holiday since at least the 7th grade. I find it stupid and useless. It is mainly there to make women feel unappreciated, men feel inadequate, and so gas stations can increase their sales of worthless crud. Shelby and I find ways throughout the year to show our love and appreciation for each other, without spending a gazillion dollars on flowers. Like a week ago when I casually mentioned I hated our room and he totally cleaned (swept, dusted, and everything) and rearranged the furniture and gave me a whole new room while I was getting my haircut.

Now, I don’t stamp on this day for anyone else. Some genuinely need the day to remind them to say something nice or do something nice for their significant other. Say, for example, if you have kids that encompass every waking minute of your life and you need an excuse to get a babysitter so you can take a walk alone. Or, If you had kids in your house for 30 years straight and you have the time to go on a romantic getaway now that they have flown the coop. Those are appropriate uses of this pink froofy holiday.

But even if I didn’t poopoo Valentine’s Day, I would certainly poopoo today. This day is a disaster.

I slept in. It was cold last night, I had too many covers on, and I accidentally canceled both of my alarms instead of just one. It was warm and snuggly in there!

Idiots rule the road. No one knows how to drive. Especially when I am running behind.

I pulled into the parking lot and realized I forgot my lunch.

And then my boss yelled at me. In front of half our employees (slight exaggeration). Because of technical difficulties during a WebEx training that no one brought to my attention until it was over. I don’t think she thinks she yelled because she tried joking with me later. It’s not worth talking about it. I’m just having a hard time letting it go.

And I want to be on vacation now please. Thank you.

Preparations

We go on our real honeymoon in 22 days, but who’s counting? I made the HUGE mistake of looking at pictures and reviews this past weekend. I am now a worthless blob, counting the days until I get to go to the freaking awesome place.

They have hammocks just outside the poolside bar.

They have floating beds under grape vine archways.

They have crappy showers.

I am already half packed. I have all my sarongs and tank tops and recently purchased bathing suit cover-ups neatly tucked away into my suitcase. I have plans to go out this week and buy myself a new bathing suit, something I haven’t done in almost 10 years. All I need are some toiletries and a good amount of new flip flops and I should be set!

And then we will be in paradise (this place was consistently referred to as paradise and heaven on earth) for a week.  Sadly, just a week. But paradise is expensive y’all.

And then we celebrate my big birthday! We’re celebrating early by adding on to our big trip and heading to New Orleans for a few days. Gator tours, fancy hotel in the French Quarter…Nola, the land of contradictions.

I’ll be 30 this year. Three zero. The only reason I am ok with this are these two big trips I have planned just before, and the fact that I squeezed this marriage in just under the wire. I plan to make the last few days of my 20s the best possible days ever. I will try not to think about the girl I just hired born in 1982 with a PhD. Nor will I think about the 32 year old we just brought on board with wife and 2 kids, making 6 digits. I have 2 years, I can totally get there by then. (Moneywise I mean, twins are cute, but no thank you.) I will not think about work at all. I will sip fruity drinks with pineapples and toothpick umbrellas while lazing in the bar side hammock if my husband can manage to drag me away from the back garden with private pool. I might wake up at 9am, or I might wake up at noon. I will get a massage, sit in a Jacuzzi, buy worthless trinkets that I’ll hold onto forever, and maybe get some goodies for some family members with upcoming birthdays. And then I will beg the resort to hire me as a painter or groundskeeper (two of the job openings they currently have) and live in paradise forever. Or at least until the first hurricane. And then I will come running home.

Superbowl Sunday – Spoiler Alert?

This is the part where I tell you I watch sports 0% of the time. I used to, but I’d say it has been a good 6 years since I watched a full game of football, and that was probably also the last time I watched the Superbowl. Shelby probably hasn’t watched since he left his parents house blankity blank years ago if he ever watched it at all. So when our theatre friend (the Zipper) invited us to her place for a SB party, we accepted, but only after being assured that the gathering would include other theatre geeks who were equally likely to ignore the game.

This is also the part where I tell you that we didn’t even know the participants in the bowl prior to Friday evening. It was only then, when Shelby made a wager, that we discovered who was playing. Shelby, who has not shown evidence that he has ever watched or participated in organized sports bet on the biggest football game of the year. This is basically how that conversation went down.

Jaybird: Are you going?

Shelby: Yeah, are you?

Jaybird: Yep. I need somebody to bet me. Wanna bet me?

Shelby: Sure. Who do you want?

Jaybird: Giants!

Shelby: Great, so who do I have?

Jaybird: Patriots.

Shelby: Cool, I can deal with that.

From Jaybird’s point of view (I’m guessing) the bet was to make the game more interesting and gave him a better reason to watch. From Shelby’s point of view, he made a bet with a cool guy he wants to hang out with more.

So we get to the party (late, stupid GPS not quite getting us there) and get settled in. Patriots are already behind. We watch for a bit, and then some games are brought out for the two kids that were there (8 and 11, so not super young, just not super interested in football). Some Mad Libs were also brought out for the adults to play when things got slow. And then, the crucial moment in the first half, when I’m rootin for the Patriots to get that touchdown before the end of the half and it ACTUALLY HAPPENS, I go to celebrate with the Huz who has made a bet on the game and should be slightly interested or at least paying attention only to find him playing Uno on the floor in the kitchen. Really?

But then the halftime show begins, and the music for Vogue starts, and suddenly my manly man is front and center watching Madonna traipse around the stage. (We spent almost the entire halftime show talking about how awful she looked and how shocked we were at how much skin she had covered and how silly a lot of her dancing was. Was that really even Madonna? Maybe not.)

Most of the rest of the game, Shoobs was MIA. He made a grand appearance for a bit after the kids went home and made a valiant effort to pay attention to the game. I wowed everyone with my football knowledge (not really, but I did write a report on it once!). I watched the Giants creep up on the Patriots almost the entire second half. And then I watched as they scored the winning TD and ran out the clock (basically). I was really hoping that despite the craptasticness of their game (just watch all the replays) they would somehow hold off the Giants and we wouldn’t go home penniless. But alas, Shoobs made a bad bet.

It was only twenty bucks, so who really cares. And Jaybird got his competition, at least from me. And we got to hang out with new people besides each other and Natalie and have a wonderful evening. I’d pay twenty bucks for that. In fact, I did.