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02 September 2015 @ 08:16 pm
My father-in-law passed away early Monday morning. We decided to make an impromptu trip to Ohio to be with the family. It's not something we can really afford, but we'll make do. It's important to be here right now.

Not sure what else to say, I guess. I just figured I would update whoever still reads this since I mentioned in my last post that he wasn't expected to make it much longer.

It's been a long couple of weeks.
30 August 2015 @ 11:30 am
In news that surprises no one, I haven't been on LJ in months.

Life has been difficult. On Friday we got the call that my father-in-law was not expected to make it through the weekend.

So far he's still holding out, but I'm at this weird point where I almost wish it would be over. That sounds awful, doesn't it? It's not that I want him gone. It's just that the interim, the endless waiting for what I know is coming, is hell. My husband and I have been thinking since about 4:00 Friday afternoon that any minute now we'll get the call that he's gone, and the call hasn't come, and we're just waiting for it. Holding our breaths until it's over. The hospice nurse says he's not in any visible pain but he's totally unresponsive. Everyone back in Ohio is just trying to find productive things to do to prepare for the moment it happens. I think all of us are exasperated from the wait.

There has been so much more going on, much of it not good--both of my parents are facing the possibility right now of losing their jobs around the same time, my grandmother need surgery, my husband and I have been having problems, and my sister-in-law attempted suicide a couple months ago. It seems like life is just falling apart for myself and everyone I love. But today all I can think about is the fact that my father-in-law is passing soon and he'll likely go today while I'm at work and I will be an hour and a half away from my husband with no way to console him except through text messages.

I could use my bereavement leave, but I already asked them if I could save that for a trip to Ohio for a memorial service. We're not sure when that will be. If we aren't able to go immediately, we won't be able to go until mid-October. My mother-in-law says she plans to have him cremated and have the service whenever we can make it down there but I don't know how feasible that will be. I want to just take off right now and be with them. I know my husband needs his family and they all need each other right now.

There is some good going on. My husband has been accepted to McNally Smith in St. Paul. He starts in just over a week. I found a new job in the Cities with decent pay that I don't hate. In fact, I might even like it, once I'm used to it, and my coworkers are great. We THINK we have an apartment, but I have to call tomorrow to find out what's going on with our application because all that was left to do as of a week ago was confirm our student status (since it's an income-restricted apartment) and confirm our rental history, but I haven't heard anything back from them yet.

We'll see.

I've also started up a blog on WordPress, for anyone who is interested, where I post my poetry and occasional blogs about writing and literature. The link is here.

I guess that's everything. I mean, probably not, since I haven't updated since...what, February? I don't know who even reads this anymore. Hello, whoever you are. But that's everything that feels relevant right now.

I have to leave for work in an hour and a half and I just have no motivation whatsoever to make the three-hour round-trip drive, let alone actually spend nine hours at work.
12 February 2015 @ 08:47 pm
So my father-in-law called today with the results of his CT Scan from Tuesday.

It's looking good, but still not the news I wanted to hear. The cancer has shrunk "significantly" due to the chemo, but not nearly enough to make it operable, and he can only do a couple more rounds of chemo before they have to stop it. They still have medication he can take, which if I understand right cuts of the blood supply to the cancer? But I have no idea how that would work and I could be wrong. Anyway, it's not terribly likely that medication will be as effective as the chemo once he's not doing chemo anymore, and that worries me, because...I don't know. I just want him to get better.

But the doctor said from the beginning that he probably would never see remission. He called it "incurable" after the FIRST CT Scan. I had just been really hoping that would change.

The doctor says it's a matter of time, but how much time is up in the air--we might still have several years with him, if he continues to respond positively to treatment. But I really had been hoping the doctor was wrong and he could beat it.

Then again, what are the odds of a person beating Stage IV Lymphoma, really?

I'm still going to keep hoping for the best, and I'm really glad to know that he has at least been responding to treatment. I just can't stand the thought of losing him, or what that would do to my husband and the rest of his family.
10 February 2015 @ 02:14 pm
Shit's been crazy.

Been dealing with depression pretty bad the last few weeks. I blame the fact that I'm now working two jobs. My day starts at 5am and ends around 10pm, so I only get six-ish hours of sleep a night, and I don't have the time or energy to eat enough let alone do anything for myself, and I just haven't been doing well.

I went and saw my husband's band play twice this weekend, though, and one of the shows was in Duluth, and it did me a lot of good. We drove three hours with me and four other people crammed into the band's guitarist's SUV, and had some really meaningful conversations; we hung out in the WEIRDEST bar I've ever been in; we all crashed in one room on the hardwood floor of a complete stranger's house; we drove along a hilltop with a gorgeous view of Lake Superior in the snow; and we drove three hours back home. It was like a mini-adventure and it really helped. I mean I still more or less feel like shit, but I at least feel human.

There's a lot going on though. My father-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in early December, and today he's getting his first CT scan since he started on chemo, to see if the chemo is working. I'm terrified, because today we'll basically find out if the cancer is responding to treatment and if it isn't...

But there's good news, too. I graduated college, which was pretty neat. My husband applied to college down in the Twin Cities and was accepted, so we're moving there this summer and I'm trying to find a decent-paying job in the Cities because DAMN it's expensive there. I got my diploma the same day Anthony got his acceptance letter and it's all just becoming really real, you know? But I'm also freaking out about the possibility that we're not going to be able to manage life on our own in the Cities and we're going to somehow fuck up our whole lives and finances will be completely unmanageable and we'll have to give up on everything. Which is why I haven't been able to think about the future any further ahead than a week or two without having panic attacks.

Life is really fucking weird right now. I'm just trying to get by.

So, LiveJournal, there you have it. A general update on the important events of the last few months.

20 December 2014 @ 12:48 am
I always disappear from LiveJournal for months on end, but I always come back in December for some kind of end-of-year meme or another. So here's this year's:

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I have quite the list.
-Got married
-Visited Chattanooga, TN
-Graduated college
-[TMI]Had sex on a moving train[/TMI]
-Went on a diet (it was not a good time)
-Caught my stovetop on fire (briefly)
-Read my poetry to a group of my friends
-Admitted to my family that I was suicidal as a teenager

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made like eight resolutions and partially kept one of them. But I'll still make more for 2015.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year. I mean, a few people I know, but no one I'm really close to.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully no.

5. What countries did you visit?
None because I'm too poor to have a passport let alone use one.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More self-motivation. Some free time would be nice, too. And money.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Well I mean, I got married on May 16 so that's a given.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating, I would say. =)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Aside from all of my New Year's Resolutions that I failed to keep? Nothing I can think of off the top of my head. The fact that I think I only read like twenty books is pretty sad.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Um. The wedding and honeymoon, I suppose. I know that's not really technically a purchase, but.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I don't think it's vain to say it: Mine. I did a lot this year, I overcame a lot, I kicked 2014's ass even though parts of it have really sucked. My husband's, too, for being strong in the face of some family emergencies and for doing everything he's doing to move forward in life and get closer to his goals.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled?
Cops, mostly.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The wedding, haha. (That's going to come up a lot.)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Stuff I've already mentioned, mostly--the wedding, graduation. Also my first ever train ride, and every new step in development that my best friend's son takes because I adore that baby.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
I don't know if there's a song that will remind me of the whole year, but there are a few songs that will remind me of specific things ("I Believe in a Thing Called Love" will always remind me of the wedding, for example).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier, I think. More stressed, but happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same.
iii. richer or poorer? Also about the same (which is pretty poor).

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Visiting my family and my BFF. Also reading for leisure.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. As usual.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
My husband will be working Christmas Eve and after that we'll head down and spend a day or two with my parents. Open gifts, have a nice home-cooked meal, that kind of stuff.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Do I really want to be cheesy and say that I'm always falling in love with my husband all over again? ...Nah, I'd rather not.

23. How many one-night stands?
None, of course.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I was introduced to Game of Thrones this year, so probably that. Though I admit I'm also loving Girl Meets World. >.>

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not that I can think of. I mean, I've lost respect for a few people, but I wouldn't say "hate."

26. What was the best book you read?
Ooh. Tough call. Okay, setting aside re-reads of my old favorites...Man, that's tough. I'm going to go with "No Matter the Wreckage," a book of Sarah Kay's poetry. Because I can't possibly pick my favorite novel of the year.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
LET'S START A WAR. START A NUCLEAR WAR. AT THE GAY BAR, GAY BAR, GAY BAR! (I don't know why I still can't get enough of that song.)

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I haven't seen the last installment of The Hobbit yet so I guess for now I'll go with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Okay, I had to dig up my journal entry from my birthday to remember. I turned 25 (okay, I could remember that part on my own). Apparently that was the day I went to the DMV to change my name on my licence, and then my husband, roommate, and I went to the American Burger Bar where I got a free cupcake milkshake because it was my birthday.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More books, less stress.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Nonexistent as ever.

34. What kept you sane?
My husband and my mom, for the most part, except for brief moments when they were the source of my insanity.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Natalie Dormer. NATALIE DORMER. Natalie Dormer okay?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Well I finally kind of woke up to issues with cops repeatedly killing unarmed black people and found out how racist a lot of people I know are so I guess I'll go with that.

37. Who did you miss?
My BFF and her son because I hardly ever see them and my husband's family because I REALLY hardly ever see them.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Probably someone on the campus literary magazine. Those people are fantastic.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
You don't have to know how to do something before you dive in.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

(Actually the gay bar in town closed down this year which was very sad. I never even really got to hang out there.)

22 September 2014 @ 11:22 am
I've already been counting down the days until I'm done with college for a week. I'm only four weeks in to the semester.

(In case you're wondering, my last class is in 86 days. My commencement ceremony is in 90.)

I think that's why, for the last week or so, I've just consistently been in a good mood. I'm just so excited to graduate! I'll finally be able to get a full time job, meaning we won't be struggling nearly as much to pay our bills. Plus I'll have more free time, what with no longer going to school full time while working 30 hours a week, AND my free time will be able to be put toward something other than homework. So, more time for reading, writing, keeping up my apartment.

My husband and I are talking about buying a second vehicle. We originally wanted to by the end of the year, but that's not going to happen. We are hoping to move to the Twin Cities late next summer, though, and it would be nice if we could get a second vehicle around that time. We'll see what finances look like, what kind of jobs we have, and what the cost of living there will be.

For the first time in a few years, I feel like I'm moving forward in life in general. I'm moving toward something again. Feels fucking GOOD.
15 September 2014 @ 10:34 am
The last two days in a row, I have woken up feeling inexplicably happy. That doesn't happen often.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day, despite being the most boring work shift I think I've ever had. I managed to catch up (mostly) on homework, went on a short walk with my husband, and lazed about most of the day.

Today I feel energetic. Did a little bit more homework, went on another walk...in about an hour or so I leave for class which should be pretty good (Medieval Saints and Demons followed by Shakespeare, I can dig that) and then work and then...I don't know what. Gotta be in bed early because I have a budget meeting to attend at 9am tomorrow, so hopefully I wake up in a good mood again tomorrow.

I don't know what the point of this is. I just feel good. It's finally autumn, the weather is perfect, the cats are adorable, I love my husband, and I'm having a good week so far. I hope this keeps up.

Part of me wants to comment on the bullshit going on with Adrian Peterson--and more specifically, the bullshit that is the nation's response to it--but I don't want to get into that just now. I've already had so many enraged conversations about this in the last few days. Right now I just want to hold on to my happy.
10 September 2014 @ 09:12 pm
I haven't blogged in a while, mostly because I've been in a pretty rough place and I felt like all I ever do here lately is talk about that roughness. I'll admit, it's still a struggle. A couple nights ago I had to leave work because I had a panic attack, because I had a to-do list a full page long of things that were due for school the next day and I had been forcing myself to work a ten-hour day to make up for some financial gaps. (Fortunately my financial aid came through, so I can at least relax about that part of it.)

But today turned things around for me. Despite only having gotten about three hours of sleep, I have felt fantastic all day. I got to promote my campus literary magazine from 9:30am to about 1:00pm, which felt fantastic--generated a lot of interest, gave away DOZENS of copies of the magazine, talked myself hoarse, and had some great conversations with fellow members of the editing team. I absolutely love the work I do for the magazine and I'm so proud of it. Then I had class from 1:00 to 7:30 with a 40 minute break for Chinese food. After my last class I sat around talking to classmates about things that meant a lot to me, and felt generally very fulfilled and rewarded when they told me that they could sense my passion and it made them feel like the things I care about are important t them, too.

It was fucking 55 degrees all day, which felt WONDERFUL. I came home, ate some ice cream for my sore throat, then went on a walk with my wonderful husband and got the season's first cup of hot cocoa at the gas station.

And now I'm home, sitting around in jeans and a sweater, thinking about how good autumn makes me feel.

Most people associate spring with a sense of renewal. For me, that has always been autumn. Spring is beautiful, don't get me wrong, and well known for bringing forth life. But in autumn everything feels newer somehow. The humidity falls away and the air itself feels crisp and fresh. I stop feeling the dampness of the humidity and the dampness of sweat clinging to me every moment. I feel cleaner. My whole life starts to feel that way.

It makes me want to dust the cobwebs off of everything--my life itself as much as my furniture and walls. I want to pick up old passions, clean them off, and display them proudly on every shelf. I want to fling the windows wide open and welcome the natural coolness. It's refreshing. It feels right to me.

So tonight I have an even longer to-do list than I had when I had my panic attack at work the other day. But I feel empowered now. I've spent a day filling myself with all of my passions, things that normally get caged away in some small corner of me, and now I feel like I can handle things. I'm actually EXCITED to tackle this mountain of homework. Then I can get all the cleaning done that I've been putting off for months and make my surroundings into a place where I can go to make me feel like myself again.

At some point this weekend I'm going to go buy myself a new pair of jeans and a couple new sweaters. Then I will don my new clothes and take the longest walk by the river that I've taken in a long time. I feel renewed. I feel good.
08 August 2014 @ 02:53 pm
I need a new bank.

I keep really close tabs on my bank account. I check in every several days to my online banking to make sure I have money even when I know I do and keep track of my purchases in between check-ins. But the problem is, apparently they don't always have accurate postings on this great online banking service they offer. For example, the "balance including pending transactions" often doesn't actually include pending transactions. Also, they post things on the online banking in a different order, apparently, than they actually withdraw them. So when my banking account said I had $187, they withdrew a $37 NSF fee because they had already posted charges that they hadn't bothered to list on my online banking account. Which enabled them to then charge me NSF fees on  my next two purchases. One of which was for $2.70.

Which left me $133 in the fucking hole.

And when I called them to complain about this, I was basically told that it was my fault for not understanding how TCF posts their online banking numbers and that the NSF fees were my fault and I was held accountable for them, but out of "kindness" they reversed $35 worth of fees.

Fucking thanks. Do you fuckers know I couldn't pay rent this month? I had to get an extension. I had to postpone two other bills this month as well because I don't fucking have the money. And now you fuck with the order of my purchase postings so that you can charge me extra fees. And they have the audacity to say, "Charging NSF fees isn't how TCF grows as a bank. We don't want to charge these fees, that's not how we make our money." Like hell it isn't. I think today was the first time I'd ever lost my temper with someone in customer service. I try really hard not to, but god fucking damn it.

So next paycheck, which was SUPPOSED to go to catching up on the bills from the first half of this month, is now going to go largely to repairing the damage done to my checking account. Now Anthony is thinking about selling the Linkin Park tickets we bought months ago because the show is at the State Fair and between the fair admission, parking, and food while we're there, we might not be able to afford to go anymore.

I give up. Just once could things fucking go the way they're supposed to?
20 July 2014 @ 01:26 am
Long time no see?

I pop on LJ about once a week or so, scroll through posts, and then forget LJ even exists for a week.

The good news is, I think I'm starting to write again. I was a writing FIEND back in April--I attempted National Poetry Writing Month and managed eight poems in eight days, three of which I actually KIND OF liked (but stopped writing for a couple months after my engagement ring was stolen).

Then about a week and a half ago, I wrote my first poem since then. And then earlier this week I wrote part of another one. And then tonight I kind of did some freewriting to form the basis of yet another one.

It feels GOOD. I'd forgotten how much I love this.

I've also been reading a lot of poetry. I breezed through a collection of Sarah Kay's poems called No Matter the Wreckage; she was the first poet who really got me interested in spoken word. (Which I'm also working on now. I actually did my first poetry reading in over two years, and my second poetry reading ever, at a house show a few days ago, completely unplanned, and I'm planning on reading poems again at another house show in a week or so.) Now I'm reading a huge collection of Sylvia Plath's poetry, and since I opened this book TODAY I've re-read "Lady Lazarus" four times because holy shit I love that poem. It gives me chills.

I've also been reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series but I just finished the second book and can't afford to spend money on more books right now because money is SUPER tight (we had to purchase a new laptop and also we have two doctor bills for Anthony and right now neither of us is getting many hours at work) so I don't have any new A Song of Ice and Fire to read. I've watched a couple episodes of Game of Thrones but Anthony doesn't want to watch it with me because we're two episodes in and he already thinks it's too depressing and too many shitty totally unfair things are happening. Like. Dude. These are the HAPPY episodes.

...Anyway. That's what's going on in my life right now. WHEE.
06 June 2014 @ 10:27 pm
So. Lately usually when my anxiety is causing me problems, it's the kind of anxiety where I at least know what I'm anxious about. I'm usually blowing it out of proportion and displaying my fantastic inability to handle even the minutest amount of stress, and I know it's not healthy to worry about things as much as I do, but there is a focal point for my anxiety.

Today I went back to how it was when the whole thing started. This vague sense of unease, a feeling of dread about I-can't-figure-out-what, and I couldn't shake it for more than a couple hours at a time. It was a stressful day, no doubt, but I wasn't anxious about the things that were causing me stress, as far as I could tell. I was just anxious. No explanation. Just undirected fear that made me nauseous, made me shake, made it hard for me to breathe.

It started around 7:30 this morning and I think it stopped around 6:30 or 7:00 this evening but there's no guarantee it won't come up again. If it does, it'll probably be just as I'm getting ready for sleep.

I have not missed this.
05 June 2014 @ 10:39 am
So since my company is super busy this month, for the entire month of June I'll be working 12-10 Monday through Friday (whenever they'll let me--this week I couldn't start until 2 on Monday) and then working 9 to 4 on Saturday. Sunday will be my only day off. However, I do have the 13th off for my birthday so I'm working that Sunday instead of Friday, and then the 28th is a family picnic so I have to work that Sunday instead of Saturday. The point is, I'm working a fucking lot and these ten-hour days are (already) getting to me.

If I manage to survive this month, I'm taking myself out for a daiquiri or eight, and no one can stop me. I can pay for it with all this fucking overtime I'm working.
27 May 2014 @ 02:05 pm
Man, I can't wait to get to work today, honestly.

I know that sounds weird, but it's like 90% because I can't wait to see the look on my coworkers' faces when I walk in there with a pixie cut and make-up on.

(But also a little bit because I haven't been to work in three weeks and it'll just be nice to get back into the swing of things. And also because today I get to start using my new last name on the phones.)
24 May 2014 @ 05:23 pm
I cut all my hair off.

No, I'm not kidding. All of it.

Cut for picturesCollapse )
I'm kind of bummed--I had meant to actually put some teal in it, but I can't find any place in town that can dye it teal. One place said that they could do blue or green, but they couldn't blend them because the blue was too overpowering and it would just come out blue. =/ I may have to pick a different color.

But DAMN it feels good to not have two feet of hair hanging from my head. I kid you not, it's so long that when I went swimming in my pool at the hotel my husband and I stayed at for our honeymoon, my hair kept wrapping around my arms in weird ways and it was just uncomfortable. No more accidentally kneeling on my hair. No more having to struggle to get comfortable because I'm lying on my hair and pulling it while trying to sleep.

This short hair thing is gonna be great.

In a few weeks when I get it trimmed up again I might actually cut it a little shorter, even. I can't get the long part on top to lay right half the time. But hopefully soon I'll be able to get it colored as well.
13 May 2014 @ 05:40 pm

I realize this is a pretty shitty picture, taken with my laptop's built-in webcam, but I just got my make-up professionally done for the first time and I actually kind of like it. I have defined eyebrows and all my acne is actually fully covered up for once. xD LOOK AT MY FACE. LOOK AT IT.

this picture doesn't show it very well, but it REALLY brings out my eyes, too. My make-up artist handed me the hand mirror and asked what I thought of the eye make-up, and all I could think was, "Holy shit my eyes look blue."

Anyway, this is from my trial run for make-up. So. I get to feel pretty today, until I wash the makeup off later tonight.
13 May 2014 @ 12:23 am
Well, here it is. I'm in my hometown for my wedding. Which is on Friday.

I'm getting married in three and a half fucking days.

For a long time, the wedding felt like a far-off thing. Like graduating high school feels when you're only in tenth grade, you know? On some level I knew it would happen eventually, but it seemed like it wasn't real enough to worry about yet.

And then we started getting serious about planning, and every time we took another step, I thought, "It feels so real now."

A few weeks out, it felt both real and unreal at the same time. Like, I was in awe that it was happening so soon, and I was making all these preparations, and yet I also felt like it wasn't really happening?

It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that it really, finally hit me: I'm getting married, and it's right around the corner. Suddenly it all felt as real as it could get. I was making final appointments, final payments, final to-do lists. And above all I felt the excitement that only comes when something big is within arm's reach.

Weirdly, the last couple days I've begun to slip back into how I felt when we first got engaged. The wedding is in about eighty-six hours, and yet it's the most distant I've felt from it. I keep telling myself I'm excited to be getting married this week, but I think I've started to kind of check out, you know?

That doesn't mean I'm NOT excited. I just feel really weird. Like the wedding has gone back to be this fantastic imaginary thing that I'm only dreaming of, and my wakeful self knows that. But...it's not?

I don't make any sense. It doesn't help that it's 12:30am and it's been a very long day.

Anyway, I'm in my hometown now. My best friend is coming into town tomorrow, if I remember correctly, and then Anthony's family will be here Wednesday morning. (They live in the part of Ohio that just got some horrible storms, with a ton of flooding and what not, so hopefully they don't experience any more bad weather between now and at least after they get home next week.) I'm so excited to see them! I haven't seen them since last July. And then Thursday is the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner (which reminds me, I need to make some bank transfers), and Friday is THE WEDDING. Friday night we're spending the night in a king-size jacuzzi suite. Saturday we're taking Anthony's family to the Mall of America, because they've never been, and Sunday, bright and early, we're leaving on our honeymoon.

It's gonna be good times.
11 May 2014 @ 11:34 am
Well, it's Mother's Day, which means I mostly have two people on my mind.

One, naturally, is my own mother. I've always been close to her, and I am so much like her in so many ways (good and bad). I nag like she does, and I worry like she does, and I get angry like she does. But I'd like to hope I also love like she does. And we both think in similar ways, often, and we're both compassionate people, and we have a lot of the same interests. We lose our temper over the same things, but we also find joy in the same things. I really am just like my mother. I learned that at an early age and I am more than okay with it.

As I grew up and started dealing with anxiety and depression, she became one of the people I could go to with anything. She knew when I started having panic attacks (though I didn't tell her how bad and how frequent they were for fear of worrying her). She knew when Anthony lost his job a couple years ago and I fell into a deep depression, and when I called her about it she never made any judgments--only love and patience and understanding. I can go to her with anything, any problem or concern or fear, and that's how she responds. In fact, she's still the only member of my family that I'm out as bisexual to. Even now, as a grown adult, when I'm up to my eyeballs in a situation I don't know how to handle and I'm scared, I always impulsively end up calling her. I honestly don't know where I'd be without her.

The other person, of course, is my best friend Sandy. It occurred to me today that since we became friends the September after I turned 13, and I turn 25 next month, as of some time next March she will have been my best friend for literally half of my life. WOAH. And now it's her first Mother's Day, and I'm getting married THIS FRIDAY, and...we're all grown up. It's sure as hell not like it was twelve years ago. We've got our own lives and responsibilities now. We really are adults, aren't we? And even though I miss being able to spend every other weekend at each other's houses and drink unhealthy amounts of Pepsi at ungodly hours of the night, and I miss being a ten minute walk away from her more than you can imagine, I'm okay with our friendship now. It makes me happy to see that we can each grow and start our own lives and our own families. I know that we'll stay connected through all of that, and...well, I don't know why I'm talking in the third person because I know you're reading this, Sandy, so here's what I wanted to say:

Even though I know our friendship is inevitably changing due to the ways in which both our lives are constantly moving, I wouldn't change it. We don't get to giggle together over silly things as often, but we'll never stop being able to do that. I want all of the happiness in the world for you and your family. I'm so grateful to know that I get to remain connected to you and be part of your life while you're really getting life started.

Also, thank you for being my Maid of Honor, and tell your precious seven-month-old I said thank you for being my ring bearer. =P
So my grades came in today, and I just wanted to take a second to discuss that because I am pleasantly surprised.

Intro to Literature: J.R.R. Tolkien: A. (Frankly if I'd gotten anything less than an A in a class that's basically about Lord of the Rings, I would have hated myself.)

Editing and Publishing: A-. I was really hoping for an A, because editing and publishing is what I'm going to school to do, but I'll take an A-.

Anthropology: B. WHICH IS A MIRACLE. Because I BOMBED the second exam, and basically stopped going to class half the time because I just wasn't following any of it and I left class feeling frustrated and confused and not having learned anything. I needed at least 50% on the final in order to pass with a C-. I kept track of what I actually KNEW I got the answers right on, and it only totaled out to 40%, which I would've been happy with, because then at least I pass the class, even if with a  D. But I somehow managed 87%. I have no idea how I did that.

And finally:

Writing for the Professions: A! I also got a perfect score on the final project. My professor's comment simply said, "Very nice, professional-level work. You definitely have a rich talent for writing!" Which is, you know, basically the best compliment this gal can get, no big deal.

Anyway, the more important stuff I came here to write is that I am finally getting back into reading. Obsessively. As in, I pick up a book and can't put it down and then when I finally do I spend an hour or two just THINKING about it and it just permeates my whole mind and it's WONDERFUL.

Right now I'm reading Ender's Game, per my fiance's recommendation. Generally I'm not a fan of Science Fiction or of Young Adult fiction, so this is definitely a step outside of what I would normally go out of my way to read. But a few months back, we had been talking about literature for probably the first time ever--I mean, really talking about literary analysis and what kinds of themes we really like reading in books and stuff, which is so unusual because he's not a big reader--and we made an agreement: I'll read his favorite book and he'll read mine. I promised to start on Ender's Game right after the semester ended, so here I am. And holy SHIT am I glad I took him up on this.

I can't put it down. Without getting into spoilers, the internal battle the main character is facing about his own morality and how he relates himself to his siblings has got me intrigued beyond reason. I like that I still don't quite know everything that's going on with the plot, too. I'm also really interested in some of the more minor characters, their role in the story, and their own conflicting feelings about it all. I feel like this is going to be a book I'm going to do some real reflection on, even though it is pretty light reading. And the way it's executed. Like I said, no spoilers, but there's a part in the "game" Ender plays on his computer that just. Woah. WOAH.

And I'm super excited, because for the first time since Anthony and I started dating, I get to run to him with feelings about a book and DISCUSS THEM WITH HIM and have him RESPOND and SHARE HIS OWN INSIGHTS AND FEELINGS and oh my god it's great. That's one thing I sometimes get bummed about: That in my relationship so far, there hasn't been much real dialogue when it comes to books. You have no idea how happy it makes me that I can go to Anthony and tell him, I JUST GOT TO THIS PART OF THE BOOK AND HOLY SHIT, and have him get excited with me and discuss it with me and we can SHARE OUR BOOK FEELS and it is amazing.

On an unrelated note, I'm experiencing a return of panic attacks. You know, those things I haven't had regularly in about a year and a half. Last night I had my second and third ones in two weeks. Consecutively. And I'll be honest, the second one was possibly the worst panic attack I've ever had in my life. It's the first time I've ever had a panic attack and thought, "Holy shit, maybe I should go to the hospital." I know it's pretty common for people to go to the hospital with panic attacks, but I kind of have this massive phobia of doctors so it's never something I want to do.

Someone once asked me if, when I have panic attacks, I feel it on a cellular level. The way she put it was that it feels like you can consciously feel every cell in your body and they're all trying to escape. I said no, I'd never felt that way before, and this person told me that if that was the case I wasn't REALLY having panic attacks, because apparently chest pains, hyperventilating, cold sweats, trembling, nausea, and feeling like horrible, horrible things are about to happen and you don't know what they are doesn't constitute a severe enough panic attack to be valid.  But last night I think I understood what she meant about that feeling, at least. It was awful. And it lasted twice as long as my panic attacks usually do. Anthony asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I would have said yes but the second I thought it I realized how much worse it would be under the florescent hospital lighting and I told him I couldn't go.

I really hope this doesn't become a regular thing again. Especially if they're that bad. I just can't handle that again.

Naturally, it was brought on in part by the wedding (though the final I had to take this morning and the fact that it was 3am and I couldn't sleep probably also had something to do with it). Unbelievably, the wedding is only a week away. A WEEK. In fact, about one week and one hour from this moment, Anthony and I will be checking into the suite we booked for the wedding night, hopefully preparing to unwind with a long soak in our personal jacuzzi.

I keep feeling like there's so much left to do, there must be something I'm forgetting, but there isn't. All there is left to do is finish writing our vows and write our letters to each other to go in the wine box for the unity ceremony. I mean, as far as for the wedding itself. We do also need to do laundry and pick up a couple things and get all our stuff packed because we're going to be out of town for eleven days between the wedding preparations, the wedding itself, and the honeymoon.

Money will be a little tighter than we thought for the next few weeks, due to the decorator costing twice as much as we had planned on, but we'll be able to afford everything and then when we get back there will probably be overtime available for me at work because it's our busy season, so we should be okay.

Man. I have been having a lot of thoughts the last few days. I should actually be writing in my paper journal, because that is infinitely more satisfying, but it's much easier to just ramble about it on the internet.
So, um. I haven't posted anything since the most chaotic parts of wedding planning were going down.

If anyone is wondering, the wedding planning is going a LOT smoother now. There are still a few bumps that need smoothing out, and it doesn't help that the wedding and all of my vendors are two and a half hour away so it's really difficult to make appointments and stuff. But on the whole, it was at the two week mark last Friday that I finally hit the point where I could just be excited about the wedding.

Which is great, because about a week or two before that I had my first panic attack in almost a year and a half over it. Well, I can't say it was JUST over the wedding. It also had a lot to do with school--this week wraps up my second-to-last semester of college (which reminds me, I should really finish filling out my application for graduation today). So it's safe to say there's been a lot going on.

A few days ago, Anthony and I had our final meeting with our officiant. I just want to say how grateful I am that we have this particular person marrying us. He's been a long-time acquaintance of us both, and he's just an incredibly open-minded, compassionate, intelligent person. Officiating weddings isn't his main job--more or less a hobby, and this is only the fourth wedding he's done--but every time we meet with him it's obvious how happy it makes him to play this role in bringing couples together in marriage. He's helped us so much with planning the ceremony, because quite frankly neither of us had any idea what we were doing. And he's made a huge difference in just making this wedding really reflect who we are as individuals and as a couple, and I'm incredibly grateful to him for that. Mostly I'm glad that we have someone we both know, like, and respect marrying us, rather than a stranger at a courthouse. It makes the whole process so much more enjoyable.

And now I'm getting married NEXT FRIDAY! Eight days! It doesn't even feel completely real. Yesterday was my last day of work before the wedding, because we were originally going to head down to my hometown tomorrow. But instead, I'm staying up here until Monday, because one of my best friends is graduating and the commencement ceremony is on Sunday so I want to stick around to be there for that. After all, he's making the effort to get to my wedding; the least I can do is attend his graduation. I can't act like I don't give a damn about a huge event in his life just because I think my life event is more important. I'm really happy for him.

We finally booked our honeymoon, too! About time. Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute. We got a pretty good deal, though! We'll be going to Rock City in Tennessee. We'll be spending four nights in a four-star hotel, we're going to get to see Rock City, Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the Chattanooga Nature Center, and we're going to enjoy a fancy dinner on a riverboat cruise. And we're getting all of that for $1,058, which I definitely think is a reasonable price for a honeymoon.

We're going to be back up in St. Cloud the Thursday after the wedding, so that Anthony can play a show with his new band. We've got this independent record store, The Electric Fetus, that's been in our city for almost three decades, and May 23 is its last day in business, and now there's no independent record store anywhere near us as far as we know. So there's going to be this all-day live music event downtown, and Anthony is going to get to be a part of it. It's really sad to see the place go. It's been a cornerstone of culture for our city for such a long time. And my city doesn't have a lot of things that give it a distinct culture of its own, so that makes it especially hard.

Just a couple weeks ago we lost Biology, too, which is the city's new-ish gay bar, which definitely gave a bit of culture to our town and everyone loved it. But the owner was going to law school out of state and had to close it down. It sucks. No more drag shows there. No more of the community that was coming together at that place. I hardly got to spend any time there.

I feel like my city is losing everything that gives it its personality. Well, everything except the shitty drivers. St. Cloud will always be filled with shitty drivers.

Anyway, this is also finals week, and grades are already coming in for the classes I've already taken finals for. In news that surprises absolutely no one, I got an A in my J.R.R. Tolkien class. The only class I'm worried about failing is my Anthropology class, which I'm taking the final for tomorrow, so, uh. Wish me luck.

I'm so excited right now. I'm going to get married next week. I'm getting three weeks off work. My fiance is going to get to be part of an event saying goodbye to a big cultural marker of our city. I'm going on a honeymoon. I'M GOING TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND AND HER SON NEXT WEEK WHICH WILL BE GREAT. I'm also going to see my fiance's family for the first time since last July.

Oh! And I'm also getting all my hair cut off. ALL OF IT. It's almost down to my butt at present, when I actually leave it down, but I'm going to donate it all and get a pixie cut, and then I'm going to dye it. Not all of it, but I'll get streaks or tips or something. A couple shades of teal. And then I'm going to go back to work on May 27 with a wedding ring on my finger and a new last name and short teal hair, and I'll probably get all kinds of dolled up with cute clothes and make-up because that'll REALLY confuse the hell out of everybody!

Life actually feels pretty good right now.

Of course, me being a person with anxiety issues, I feel weirdly guilty for not having things to stress about, so my mind is making shit up so that I feel stressed and therefore normal. Hopefully that doesn't impede on my ability to enjoy my wedding and honeymoon, though.
10 April 2014 @ 07:55 am
The closer we get to the wedding, the more shit goes wrong. Someone stole my fucking engagement ring yesterday. I was stupid and took it off to wash my hands and left it on the bathroom counter, and apparently whoever found it decided to pocket it instead of turning it in. If I ever find the bitch who took it I swear to god I will cunt punt her to the fucking moon.