Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How Time Flies When You're in the Throes of Wedding Planning

After months of not posting - I figured I owed y'all a quickie recap, at the very LEAST, detailing what exactly I've been doing.

Well, in December, Mike and I got engaged! And since then, my weeks and months have been filled with the most random shit ever.

Most of it has been fun/exciting. Registering was fun - although it was quite a lot of work. Wielding that scanner while trying to not knock stuff over in the fine china and crystal department at Fortunoff's was definitely a challenge. Picking a band was cool - we've chosen Paul Lacano and the Cocktail Shakers. It's an 11-person ensemble with horns and two singers ... they are really tremendous.

But the heartbreak in this whole situation is due to the ridiculous constraints of the Catholic church, my mother's inability to admit that I *might* have differing opinions on topics she considers universally decided upon, and the fact that - frankly - I don't care which religion my children will be raised in.

If you're Catholic, before you can marry, you must attend pre-Cana classes. It's basically pre-wedding counseling, so that you and your partner understand the depth of the commitment you are about to make to one another. What they don't tell you right up front is that they also require you to sign a contract proclaiming you will do everything in your power to raise your children Catholic.

Months back, pre-engagement, we discussed this topic. Mike's Judaism is important to him, and he told me he wanted to raise his children Jewish. My Catholicism isn't nearly that important to me, so I told him I would love to raise our children Jewish, as long as they could have exposure to the traditions I hold dear.

(Turns out, there's an entire website devoted to this topic, so in the interim, I've been reading up on the subject. The way people in these situations deal with Christmas, Easter, etc. is to tell their children that they are "helping" mommy celebrate her holidays, but they aren't celebrating for themselves. I thought that was a very intelligent and honest approach to the situation. Because I'm NOT giving up Christmas! lol )

Anywhoodle, try rationally explaining this to my mother, who began to sob, then locked herself in the bathroom - completely inconsolable. She comes from a very traditional Roman Catholic family upbringing, like my father. And while I think my dad just wants me to be happy, my mother just wants herself to be happy when it comes to things like this. Now that it's months after this entire thing blew up, I can see that she's a very selfish person at times, at no fault of her own. She was thinking about all the things SHE was going to miss out on, all the things SHE wasn't going to get to do with her grandchildren. She was focused on that fact that I was DOING this to her, and that I was insulting and walking away from all the saints and Jesus himself. What she wasn't thinking about was how much careful thought and soul-searching I had done, and how happy Mike makes me, and how happy my new path in life was making me. Sure, it's definitely not the path she may have wandered down with my father for 44 years - but I'm thrilled I found my path and my partner and ALL that good stuff.

After her tantrum that day, she was a cold, cold witch to me. I guess that was her way of punishing me. That, and telling me that "after everything," she just "didn't feel like" having the Bridal Tea she was planning for me. She also told me that "Now" she didn't want to be as involved in the wedding as she thought she did.

Yes. Childish. But she's still my mother, and I love her. And I understand her hurt.

A few months later, and things seem to be settling down. She's less passive-aggressive to me, and we've even gotten closer. Which is nice, because guess what? This isn't Hollywood, and I'm not Elizabeth Taylor. Mike's my best friend, and I'm over the moon super ridiculous happy that we're getting married. There will not be another wedding. So if she missed this, she'd miss it forever. And she's already been robbed of years of memories with Dan getting killed. I don't want her to lose out on memories of me.

So kids, that's all I got on the dramas of planning a wedding. I'll try to be good and post more, but hey - I'm a busy, busy, Almost-Mrs. H.!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Buffy Marathon, My First Jack-o-Lantern & Reflections on The Saw franchise

Tonight will be a very special night.

Sophia and I are handing out candy, toggling back and forth between Buffy the Vampire Slayer (starring David Borneaz, not Dylan McKay) and America's Next Top Model (early prediction: Heather will win it all).

But besides reveling in the best television dramedy since ... well, ever ... I have a few other thoughts I'd like to share with you, my faithful LFLL readers.

Number one, I carved my first Jack-o-Lantern last night - not since I was back at 289 Railroad have I had the pleasant experience of penciling in my Jack's face, then cutting off the top of his head and scooping out his innards. For being alone - I think I did a damn good job! Check it:

Yes, it's true.

I just forced you to look at photos of my carved pumpkin. But you know what? You love me. So stop rolling your eyes. I'm proud of myself.

On another topic - SAW.

Now, anyone who REALLY knows me, knows I love horror movies. The truly scary ones, the really gory ones, the really cheesy ones ... I think the genre as a whole is underrated. And I love it.

One of the best horror movies to come along in a while was Saw. Now here, I thought to myself, is the Homecoming Queen of all horror movies. It had it all.

Muted, creepy lighting. Deliciously gore-tastic scenes. A heart drawn with poop. The guy from Robin Hood: Men in Tights. And the plot was INTELLIGENT. Not only do you feel genuine sympathy for the killer (a feat not easily attained with audiences who are there just to see entrails and zombies) but there's also a true twist that really had you saying: "Wow. This was indeed worth the $9.50 I just spent (not including over-buttered popcorn)."

The second Saw was nifty. I enjoyed the different take on the location of the traps, and the OTHER twist of the plot.

Then there was the third one I didn't see on its opening weekend, because my friend's dad had a bad accident the night we were planning on seeing it (he's ok, of course). I did eventually see it, and it was really fabulous to see Lucinda Nicholson have her rib cage torn off.

But, for a movie that started out as arguably the most intelligent horror flick of the last 50 years, it's spawned itself into an unruly, rambling series more closely related to Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th. And I think it takes away from the intelligence, originality, and overall quality of the first two.

Now, I haven't seen the fourth installment - and I don't like to judge without knowing what I'm talking about. But, what's scarier than Jigsaw's own little Life Lessons in a deadly puzzle?

That the superb first and second installments might loose their credibility, and end up becoming another predictable (yet enjoyable!) horror series that will be reduced to Jigsaw vs. Jason vs. Michael vs. Freddy vs. Predator vs. Howard Dean, The Movie, to be released by Lionsgate in 2012.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just in time for Halloween: The Extra Tooth Revelation

Somehow, I survived the dentist's office.

And let me tell ya, it wasn't without a little weirdness (when is anything I ever do not a little weird?).

The office itself was lined with chrome, neon, video games, and wacky couches. It felt a little like being in a diner or at a theme restaurant in the mall. After filling out the paperwork and reading the literature they handed me ('My Dentist is a Vampire' and Other Dental Misconceptions), I got X-Rayed, poked, prodded, cleaned and ... that was it.

According to the hygienist (who I discovered likes Jaegerbombs and hanging out with her husband), she couldn't believe I hadn't been to the dentist since 1999 - my teeth, she said, were in superb shape. Apparently, I am either blessed with good genes or, I am the toothbrushing MASTER. All in all, I've got six tiny cavities they want to fill (none of which, the dentist later sad, are my fault directly - my teeth have these grooves in them which can make total cavity prevention damn near impossible) and that was it. Zero plaque. Not bad, for not going in almost 10 years, eh?

Also, a startling revelation: the human mouth contains 32 teeth, total. And unless you have any extracted, 32 is the number.

Except, because I always have to be different, I have 33 teeth. I have a random, extra, gimpy tooth on my upper right jaw. I saw it on the X-Ray. It's all the way in back, hidden beneath my gums - terrific.

I wonder if I can somehow parlay this into cash? And I wonder ... am I the wave of the next generation of super humans?? Or am I a throw-back to carnivorous times when humans needed more teeth to gnash their meat?

You decide in my new, weekly poll on the left.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Ladies and gentlemen of Red Sox Nation - please behold the debaucherous glory of the Boys of Summer clinching a spot in the playoffs!

Go Red Sox!

Numb & Dummer

I made an unprecedented decision for myself about a month ago, and I am now very much regretting it.

After not having been for nearly 10 (yes, 10) years, I made an appointment with Dr. Stein, DDS.

The dentist.

Now, I'm not a namby pamby wimp. I braved getting a tattoo, I got a hollow needle pushed through my belly button, and I've broken limbs before. But the last time I went to the dentist, I think I had an unrealistic vision of what my pain threshold really was.

The story goes like this:
I had a moderately sized cavity in one of my molars, and needed to have it filled. While my dentist at the time, Dr. Rod, prepared his tools, I remember sitting in the chair and panicking - not about the pain of having a small metal drill bit burrow into the bone of my jaw, but about the odd sensation (and subsequent panic I knew it would induce) of getting Novacaine. The mere thought of another hollow needle - this one delivering a tissue-numbing fluid - shoved into my gums freaked me out.

So, like an idiot, I asked Dr. Rod to not use Novacaine.

And so he proceeded, whirring drill bit in-hand. And for the first fractions of a second of drilling, I began to think Hey, this isn't so ...


Have you ever gotten that "cold pain" from biting into a Popsicle? It's kind of a searing pain that jolts up the side of your face and then re verbs down to your toes? Well - it was kind of like that. Only, infinitely worse. Truly, the pain was so intense, that I couldn't bear to have him continue, and asked him to stop twice while I tried not to pass out.

So you see, this is why I am terrified of the dentist. Not only am I afraid of the pain (because I've been there, and it AIN'T pretty), but because I'm afraid of being numb, too. I just know it's going to trigger a panic attack.

It's a good, old-fashioned lose-lose situation.

And I'm coming face-to-face with it on Saturday at 1:15.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Great Thanksgiving Debate

It's no mystery parents drive their children bananas. It's science. They're chemically predisposed to irritate their children, and I suspect the day I become a parent - I'll be no different. (Although, I will give being non-irritating a fair shot.)

However, when it comes to simple discussion - such as calmly conversing about plans for Thanksgiving - I give up on patience; especially if they have me on their Goddammed SPEAKERPHONE.

Originally, I wanted to host Thanksgiving at our apartment in Connecticut. It would have been my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner on my own, and as we all know, I truly love to cook so this was a very exciting prospect.

After more discussion, however, M and I decided we neither have the seating space for pre- and post-dinner relaxing for eight people, NOR do I possess certain items that make pulling a Thanksgiving feast together possible (i.e. roasting pan for the turkey, nice china or silverware). So I am now vacillating among several possible choices, including inviting everyone to the Berkshires for dinner at my folks' house and even (horrors), Going Out To Dinner somewhere with both sets of parents.

(Side Note** I happen to abhor the idea of dining out for Thanksgiving. To me, that's the one holiday where good ol' home cookin' reigns supreme. Freshly mashed squash, turnip and potatoes? Juicy, fat turkey whose aroma you've been smelling since early in the morning? Homemade pies and fudge? STUFFING? Snatching piping hot chunks of meat and skin off the bird once it's out of the oven? Getting tipsy on wine at 11 a.m.? Long walk in the chilly air afterward? Yes, yes, yes, YES! Why would I want to go out to dinner where I can't wear elastic waist pants and get sloshed and make obscene jokes? Where's the tradition?)

I suppose this morning's irritation could have been avoided, if I had only not brought up something I knew would take longer to discuss fully than my 10 minute drive into work would allow. I just keep hoping that one day, I'll bring something up casually, and my mother WON'T imagine that I'm trying to ditch her, or that I'm trying to leave her out, or that I'm trying to sneakily get out of some sort of "obligation" I have to her and my dad. The minute I mentioned asking M's parents what they had planned, she jumped to ask me "Oh, so it sounds like you're hedging towards going with them for Thanksgiving and leaving me and your father here to fend for ourselves?"

And no, her tone was neither light, nor joking. She was honestly asking me that. Whether she was attempting to goad me into an argument or what, I guess I'll only ever be able to speculate. Even if I confront her (as M usually INSISTS I do, because he can't stand to see me upset when I get off the phone with her), she'll never admit to being a passive aggressive manipulator. She's not doing it maliciously, of course. But either way, it's a constant strain on our relationship.

So, no. I have no idea what will come on Thanksgiving. But what I DO know is that I'm going to be fair when it comes to divvying up our time with parents on the holidays. M's Jewish, so that means my parents are always guaranteed Christmas with M and me. And since we did Thanksgiving at my parents' house last year (with M's parents), I figured they wouldn't want to trek all the way up to the Berkshires, for the second year in a row.

And for that, I am apparently a sneaky daughter who doesn't want to be with her parents.

God, I hope that when I am in my 60s and my children have their own lives, I won't be so paranoid about who is out to get me - especially my own children.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thoughts on "Why I can't eat a bacon, egg, and cheese every morning and be a size 2"

I didn't have a chance to make my 2 egg white scramble for breakfast the other morning, so I needed to grab some nosh in the cafeteria at work.

I got my two egg whites, a low-fat yogurt, and a black Starbucks coffee and then took my postion in line.

I knew the young woman in front of me, so when she semi-turned and saw me, we said our pleasantries. She's about 5'8" and super, DUPER skinny. I mean, probably a size 0, and my best guess. But God bless her. She can't help it if she's teeny tiny.

Then I noticed what she was waiting in line to pay for.

Two fried eggs on a bulkie roll with bacon and cheese.

What the hell??

Why does she get to stay a negative pants size and eat like a fuckin' lumber jack, and I have to eat like a sissy pants and I keep getting fatter? The WTF factor is through the goddammed ROOF on this one!

Not to be mean, but if you're very, very skinny and you can eat whatever you want and stay that way, without lifting a FINGER in the gym - then I'm sorry, I hate you.

I. Hate. You.

My only consolation is this: I was either a skinny person in a former life and I'm paying my dues now, OR, I WILL be a skinny person with a bionic metabolism in my NEXT life.

I just hope that fabulous metabolism isn't that of, like, a dung beetle.