Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

....

"It's just another manic Monday..."

This picture had me at "crazy eyes."

Hello tattoo

Since I've posted it on my Facebook page, I figured I'd post it here as well. So here's my newest tattoo-
Not exactly the BEST photo but it's kind of hard to take a picture of the back of ones arm I've realized. 

There is no real significance of the tattoo (everybody and their great aunt Sally seems to ask this). It was simply a picture I found and fell in love with. I COULD make up all sorts of metaphors and stories for it (represents freedom, letting go, etc) but usually I just tell people "I just liked the picture." Plus I've always been a fan of the dapper english gentleman look the dude on my arm is rocking. I plan on getting quarter sleeves on both arms as well, so I figured this would be a decent jumping off point. 

That is all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Burning down the house cont.

Disclaimer- This is quite long, and sometimes erratic. If you don't get it, that's fine, I'm just writing exactly what comes to my mind the moment it gets there.

It's recently been brought to my attention (and by recently I mean this afternoon, and by brought to my attention I mean outside sources absolutely MUST inquire and give advice) that our family "doesn't belong downtown." That it would be "a better investment" and "safer" and "within means" and "better," to move somewhere, like say, Oro Valley. Oro Valley- where everything looks great on paper.
My insides wretched and my face obviously conveyed more emotions than I anticipated as Greg said "and she's giving me the eyebrow." The critical eyebrow, but somehow, I'm not in the right place to be a critic. I'm so young. What the hell do I know? What have I done with my life? Why am I so sure?
I'm not. I simply know what I feel. And I feel more emotions than I should on the thought, the suggestions of moving to somewhere like Oro Valley.
When someone suggests something it's because they think that it is generally superior.

"Hey Frank, you should really try Classico spaghetti sauce!"
"Well Harold, I've used Newmans Own my whole life, and I absolutely love it. I mean, I have tried Classico, but it just didn't jive well with me, so I decided to stick to Newmans."
"But Classico is so much better than Newmans! You're too old to like it. You should really switch. It would probably be better for you anyway."
"Fuck off Harold."

I added the last bit, because honestly that's how I feel. That is how I feel when anybody thinks "they know what's best for me." When anybody THINKS they know me well enough to go ahead and assume that the choices they make are just as good for me, if not better. The person who knows me best is ME. And I know the feeling I get when I'm in a place like Oro Valley. I know the feelings I HAD when I lived there not to long ago- stiffled, alienated, out of place. It wasn't simply because I was also a new mother, and new mothers often feel pretty alienated and out of place anyway, but my enviroment certainly didn't help, and in fact only exacerbated it. I would have loved to have burnt calories walking to Epic cafe with my new baby, but there was no Epic in sight. Nothing but other homes, desert and roads on which to drive.
So I stayed in. I stayed in for a good five months before I had to scream. I had to move, or keep up a monotonous cycle of care for infant/clean house/check mail/wait for a phone call/puruse internet blogs of kindred spirits so's not to feel so alone/wait for Greg to come home so I wasn't alone. My brain needed a challenge and I knew downtown would be full of people, places and sounds in which to engage me. They were there for the taking and all I had to do was step outside my door. Find me a young mother with similar ideals in Oro Valley and I'll give you $50. They were all married, all over 25 (for those of you that say "well motherhood is a universal thing and age shouldn't be a factor" you obviously don't know just how condescending women can be to each other. It is certainly NOT the wombs that bind), and all talking about breastfeeding, playgroups, husbands stupidity, the new Kate Spade handbag that they adored but since their stupid husbands couldn't take a hint... And it was either sit and listen or say what I felt and be the "black sheep." Do I sit and eat meat at the barbeque even though I'm a vegetarian, because that's all there is and everyone else seems to be eating burgers? Or do I starve because of my ideals? I was starving.
I've never been one to do things simply because "they were right" or because "that's what a rational person would do." I want to know why. And if the reason doesn't have more depth than a puddle, then I'm not buying it. I didn't go to college because I didn't feel I HAD to to make me a more intelligent person. I had went through school on honor roll and making A's for my parent's because "that's what a good daughter does." And I was miserable. Breaking down if I got a C, stressing out and feeling inadequate. Resenting everything. By my first year of high school I vowed I would start living for myself. Doing things that made ME proud, made ME feel accomplished, because at the end of the day that's all that matters. You can't please them all. Or you can try and sacrifice your sanity.
I decided I wanted to be a writer, an actress, ANYTHING that involved the arts, and I've always felt that if it didn't come from within, it wasn't worth much. You can't aquire a voice with a degree. You can learn all the proper usages of things, but a voice comes from inside. I didn't feel any passion for computers or aerospace. I was bored with math and not meant for the service industry. But when I wrote or painted or designed I felt free. And that feeling, to me was worth the lack of pay, the looked down upon stigma from all the "higher ups." So instead of college I decided to find my voice and practise. Live life and write it down. I thrive in places like downtown because people like me are everywhere. Because I'm not "crazy" or "naive" but a person working towards an art. And down here that's not so bad, in fact it's pretty much supported.
But what happens when that same person finds herself with child?
I simply had him. That was all. I told myself I wouldn't change (although some change is inevitable, my peronality and ideals remained the same). I would raise my child in the city, because I know it's not the big bad wolf. Because I know it's possible. My parents raised three kids on a combined salary of what Greg makes in a year. We lived a 5 minute drive from the center of 4th Avenue. And I loved my childhood. BUT...

"A good mother sacrifices everything she is for the better of her family."
It seems that times although incredibly different, have still retained some sense of the 50's. The idea that once you have a family you should really just resign to the better neighborhood with the better schools and the older, wiser, financially stable people. Hang out with other parents. And if you don't you're labeled "immature," "unrealistic," "irrational," "selfish."

So what do I do? Give up everything I'm close to and uproot myself (again) to live in a place I don't believe in? Submit to suburban life, because "that's what's best for a family?" Hang on to my ideals and be deemed a selfish girl? I'm fighting to be me and everyone else is saying I can be but the undertone is clearly stating that I need to change my mind. Am I stubborn? Am I an aimless dreamer? Or am I just another person who refuses to submit to something I disagree with? I thought that was praised. But it seems everything I say is falling on deaf ears.

Burning down the house...

  Since Greg and I have been married, or rather since Greg and I simply stopped "living in sin" with official rings and paperwork and whatnot, we've been on the hunt to buy a house. We've been pre-approved for a loan up to $160,000, and yet....the pickin's 'round these parts be slim. Very, very slim. Or perhaps my asthetic tastes are too high. I don't think it's TOO much to ask that our house posses wood floors and vintage charm that can only really be found in the downtown area. Right? Or that our neighbors not seemingly have spousal abuse charges or eight cars leaking oil onto our driveway. But it seems Tucson is chalk full of the latter and not so much of the former. And IF the former is found it's generally A.) already owned or B.) WAY out of the budget.  Damnit.
  I found a decent prospect yesterday. It was in a good location and upon going to check it out I discovered if we moved in, we'd be right across the street from Kate (headmistress of Black Cherry Burlesque). Umm HOLLA! Could we get any better neighbors?! I think not. I had visions
 of our furniture in the place and barbeques out back and eventually I would be able to take our Bull Terrier "Sid" (yes, I've already decided on
 our future puppy's name- Sadie is reserved for our she-version) on playdates with Kate's boxer's Iggy and Bambi (they are so damn cute it's ridiculous). 
Turns out that the house is on active contigency. Meaning someone, probably with more dough, has already made an offer and is awaiting inspection before final purchase. So I'm in a pretty dull
 mood this morning, and currently trying to remedy it with coffee, Queen and mind-numbing internet surfing. 
This house hunting business is really frusterating and full of high hopes and let downs. It's really making me think that renting for the time being isn't to shabby at this point. 

On another note-

I decided it was about that time to wash Jack's beloved blankie yesterday. Needless to say, I didn't realize how much he loved it until this happened-



The outrages! He's never going to let me live it down.

And yeah, I need to clean our washer. Grody.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"And I will love you to death...

I guess that's what you get..."

We woke up Saturday morning with a relatively calm air around the house, I wouldn't have even thought that in a mere five hours we would be surrounded by our dearest family and friends there to witness our exchange of vows. But looking outside at the 40 white chairs lined perfectly into two sections, and five tables dressed in turquoise linens and flowers it was hard not to feel the meaning of the day dancing around me, making my head spin.
I had finished my vows right before midnight the night before (I had written them about a week prior but a snafu with our Cox internet connection prevented me from emailing them to myself to print out at Greg's parents house). I had everything ready. I was ready.
I took a shower and before long realized people would be showing up in about an hour. Time was tapping me on the shoulder, taunting me. I tried my best to hurry, before- DING DONG!
My mom, aunt, mom's boyfriend and his parents, and my cousins were all filing into the house and heading for my door. I'm not ready. Not by a longshot. I don't like my hair. I don't like my make-up, should I start all over again? Yes. No. No time. Make it work.
Luckily a had a few extra hands to help me, but all the hands in the world wouldn't have been able to catch my brain which was racing along with my nerves. It was all so calm three hours ago. What the hell happened? Quick, I need something to drink!
I quickly learned that one can catch a decent buzz off of two glasses of champagne when they haven't eaten so much as molecules in the air all day. I also learned that while it takes some nerves away, makes it easier to pose for pictures, make small talk, and apply liquid eyeliner, it still doesn't have an effect on the ones that really know what's going on. The ones that realize just how real it all is, right now.
I greet family and watch them fight back tears (of the happy variety), and I greet my father who I knew would walk me down the aisle, yet had never actually visualized it. Now I must live it, and the emotions are too great. I fight back tears.
It quickly becomes time to start the show. I wait in the wings with my dad and my aunt who is also our photographer for the event. We compose ourselves and get ready to take the stroll, and all of a sudden a ball in my throat forms and I stop. I run to the bathroom and kneel in front of the porceline bowl thinking "oh my god, I'm going to throw-up. I'm going to throw-up right before my wedding and..." and nothing. Just dry heaving. Just my body trying to expel all of the frenetic energy in its bones. My aunt tells me to breathe, and I try. But I don't have time.
I take a swig of water and tell my dad and aunt "let's do this."
The music picks up, and my feet carry my body. I try to look at my guests and smile, but I know if I do I'll cry. So I look somewhere just above my feet. Once we reach the trellace, I hug my dad and kiss him on the cheek. I look at Greg and try not to cry.
The music stops and his dad starts the ceremony. I look at my son dressed in his blazer in the front row and clutching his two "security fish" (these two little plastic fish he's recently developed an affinity for), clearly ready to get this thing over with. I find comfort and want to laugh. I feel ya, buddy. This is all so big.
There are some tears, and some vows, and there are a couple more tears, though not nearly as many as I had anticipated. And then it's my turn.

Greg,
I have learned a lot these last three years. I've learned that something as small as a "hello" from a stranger on the internet can change a life, turn two people into a couple.
I've learned that moving in with someone you adore will turn you into a couple of parents, and for the first time 1+1=3.
I've learned that laughing through it all will get you through a whole hell of a lot, and if that doesn't work you can always walk it off
Thank you for laughing with me
I've learned a lot about the human heart. It can palpitate faster when the person you love smiles at you from across the room.
It can stop beating completely when you see the word "pregnant" in front of your baffled face.
It can swell when the almost overwhelming joy of just realizing you became a family fills the house.
Thank you for Jack.
More than anything, I've learned how to truly love- whole-heartedly, honestly and faithfully.
Thank you for loving me.
I promise to keep loving you. Perhaps more of more is possible.
I promise to remain honest and faithful to you and our family
I promis to be the best person I can be for us.
And I'm sure I'll continue learning, as long as we can do it together.

And soon, it's over. Rings are placed and lips are kissed. And suddenly we're married.

The evening commences with enchiladas and music. Margaritas are sipped without reservation. And I feel it all. I grab Greg's hand under the dinner table and squeeze.
"Remember how we felt when we brought Jack home for the first time," I ask, tears again welling.
"Of course."
"Well, I feel like that all over again. Only greater, since he's already here. THIS, this right here, right now, is what heaven is."