Wednesday, January 30, 2008

listen pupcake




it may seem like wedding talk has all but vanished here on bja.com. but fear not! it will be returning very shortly. we've turned all traditional on you and hired a wedding planner to help us finagle this thing. see, my mom (got married in 3 days) and i (can't remember to put a clip on the potato chips) realized we're not exactly qualified to throw a big wedding ourselves, and sent for reinforcements. they're coming in a woman by the name of shelby. i think if you're born with that name you are legally required to become a wedding planner.

tomorrow she's delivering her first round of research on venues and what color of buttercream frosting we'll be licking off the chandeliers (read: barn rafters). i'm excited to see what she's come up with and really excited to get this venue/date thing hammered out so i can start jamming on the fun stuff/shaking hands with my inner bridezilla.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

it smells like pine in here


because we live in a small apartment, we're always looking for creative ways to save space/store our crap in aesthetically pleasing but also efficient ways. on weekends there's lots of furniture juggled and computer diagrams of the floor plan modified and me spatially retarded, pulling out my hair and narrowly avoiding decapitation by standing up when clay says he's going horizontal.

we really want to stay here as long as we can; it's affordable, in a neighborhood we love, and the small space keeps us from buying things (eames chair) we don't need. after hours of hgtv shows on small apartment design, we're confident we can make the magic happen in this place.

but we all know there's no room for magic without a little ikea dust. so today we took the trip over the bridge and into sweden, where we feasted on meatballs and lingonberries and ran with a crowd decidedly sherpa-ish. it was mostly a fact-finding mission, but last minute we did walk away with a fairly large purchase: a new bed! (image attached!) our current one is big and bulky and this new one is small and sleek and has drawers for extra storage as part of the frame. and it smells like a pine forest. and it will be very easy to roll off of when i pee 12-15 times each night.

right now clay is putting it together very patiently in a superhero t-shirt while i sit in a small corner untouched by small bags of nails and type about his cute bum.

it seems i forgot how to sleep

as in...i just don't really do it anymore. the hell? sure, i lie down in bed every night and i close my eyes and eventually fall asleep. but soon i'll wake up to use the bathroom and then lie awake for a long time before falling asleep again for another hour or so, wake up, rinse repeat, rinse repeat. the only way i can sleep for stretches longer than an hour is by knocking myself out with tylenol pm but i always feel groggy the next morning and need too much caffeine to function and it sort of feels like cheat sleep anyways, like it didn't really count. i've never been a good sleeper - ask anyone who's had the great fortune to parent and/or share a room with me - but things have reached an all-time low. someone once told me at night it sounded like i was wrestling with an alligator. it's a full swamp now.

so right now i'm trying an experiment. it's 3:09 (edited at 4:19) in the a.m. and i'm not even a little bit sleepy. i'm going to stay up until i'm genuinely exhausted, so exhausted i don't have the energy to feel nauseous about work, so exhausted i don't need any tricks (pretending i live on 'frontier house') to make me fall asleep, i just do it and it's nice and peaceful and maybe i dream but nothing too scary/vivid/memorable, maybe it's about cupcakes?, and i wake up and it's lightly drizzling and we go eat some brunch and then buy some things at ikea.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

that was then, this is now

the last time i went to the dentist (a too-long time ago), i went because of a relentless, mysterious, heinous pain in my gums (lower left if you're interested). the dentist poked around for ages, finally concluding i was maybe under some emotional distress? which sometimes manifests itself in tooth pain? maybe relax a little, take some time off and it'll go away? i'm pretty sure he was most awkwardly referring to my parents' recent separation and it made me want to kick him in the junk. let's keep in mind i was 22, not 12, and while the whole divorce thing was distressing on a previously unfelt level, i was pretty sure this was a bona fide toothache, so please stay out of my personal life, crazy man, and make the effing pain go away?

fast forward till now, post first dentist appointment in a long while, the most thorough evaluation/inspection/detection i have ever been through. i was there for 2.5 hours. and that's just the tip of the iceberg, people. the lady was a winner on many levels, but what sticks out most is a) she had a blanket to keep me warm b) she said her heart hurt when i flinched c) she laughed out loud with me when i brought up clay needing his wisdom teeth pulled (sorry chip!) and then quickly covered her mouth and blushed d) she didn't accuse me of feeling tooth pain because i'm sad over my split ends or heath ledger.

unfortunately, over the next few months my entire mouth is going to be replaced, but that's neither here nor there.

lunchtime!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In which I'm a little non-liberal

Downstairs in the mail room there are stacks of magazines up for grabs, addressed to employees who no longer work here. I can get some serious gems down there (Real Simple, Vanity Fair, Shape) or the sometimes some not-so-gemmy (Southern Living, Golf Digest). The other day I came across a publication I'd never seen on our shelves before: trusty Seventeen.

I myself never subscribed to it - I always got the dorky mags - but I somehow managed to pore over each and everyone during my youth, usually at a cooler friend's house, sometimes on the floor of my cousin's closet which held piles and piles of them. It was more sophisticated than YM, more traditional than Sassy - kind of the Redbook for teens. It definitely talked a good amount about boys and dating, but the quizzes and info revolved more around how to pull off plaid and whether to kiss on a first date instead of the heavy stuff.

Not to get all creepy conservative on you, but I found the following excerpt, from the February '08 issue, a little startling:

"You may have noticed among your friends or the girls at school that most of them don't have sex regularly; it's usually unexpected - like when someone's parents are out for the night. Sure, it may seem romantic to think of sex as "just happening" - as if you'll get swept off your feet in this big passionate moment. Although planning ahead may take away from the spontaneity you always imagined, it will actually make sex more enjoyable."

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for sex education and supplying birth control to teens. Most likely, if they've got the opportunity to do it they will, so let's help them stay safe and un-preggers. But there is just something off about this whole passage, no?

Since when are teens worried about falling into a rut and missing out on sexual spontaneity? And is "enjoyable" sex even possible for girls when they're dealing with hormone-crazed, skinny-bummed, hit-it-and-quit-it teenage boys? And should we really be working hard to make sex super enjoyable for 15 year olds? Maybe it should be a little awkward and uncomfortable at first. Kind of like getting your wisdom teeth pulled or standing in your bathing suit for a scoliosis check. Oh, adolescence. How I mourn your passing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The benefits of working at an ad agency

My good work buddy and I are on a two woman crusade. We are sick and tired of every single toilet on the 6th floor being filled with...unspeakables...every time we go in there.

What in hell are these chicks doing? Doing their damage then bolting out the door? They're so ashamed of their own work they can't wait to leave it behind? We're all busy running around to meetings and signing estimates and what not, but I'm pretty sure we all have those extra 3 seconds to clean up after ourselves.

So. After months of this nonsense, my friend and I decided we needed some serious stall signage. We wrote a little copy and emailed it along to our favorite designer, with the directions to do with it as he pleased. It's attached below. We enjoy it deeply and hope you do, too. It's currently lining every one of our stalls, at sitting down eye level. I fully anticipate a steep decline in bathroom incidents. I'm charting the progress starting...now.



Friday, January 11, 2008

In which I'm exactly the same

When I was home for Christmas, I found a bunch of my old journals from elementary school laying around the house. I skimmed through a few, full of the usual volley between teacher and student. I'd write something lame and lazy about my weekend ("Ate pizza."), she'd write something cheerful and a little pathetic back ("Pizza is yummy!"). By the hectic sloppiness of my handwriting, it's easy to see I found all this ridiculous and not worth my time. An ever-recurring theme in my academic and professional life. Sometimes I just wrote: "Nothin' to say." Which is kind of awesome.

But one entry in particular, from 2nd grade, caught my attention. It went a little something like this:

Amy: We went to see Cinderella last night. It was okay. But the girl playing Cinderella was overweight! Her voice was okay though.

Teacher: What do you mean?! She wasn't fat at all!

Amy: I guess!

Snap!

Honestly, I'm a little bit mortified by all this (what must she have thought?!) but it's comforting to know there's such a thing as consistency in personality. And it's a good excuse for fights with friends and family. I've been judgmental and dismissive of authority since age 7! Can't change now! Gotta go!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

To barn or not to barn

I'm always torn between things like washing my hair with a bar of organic soap stuff and dropping fi'ty bucks on the shampoo O magazine says will change my life. Between $9 shirts from Target and half my paycheck on a designer dress to make me look like Mary Tyler Moore. Between bringing eggs in a plastic cup to save money on lunch and dropping $3.50 on my 'Bux. Scheduling a laundry pick-up and wearing 10 year old holey yoga pants to the gym.

Of course this schizophrenic dichotomy is showing up in my wedding planning. Pay (up the nose) for the convenience of a bundled venue or take the time to put together a unique, kind of funky, but very me day? There was lots of back and forth. We're doing this bicoastally, so maybe the bundled option is less painful for everyone? But forever I've been saying I just want a dance party with barbeque, wildflowers and cupcakes! But there are so many more decisions and hodgepodge things we need to fit together this way? But at the end of the day do I want to spend more on one day than I make in a year? But will my friends ever speak to me again if they travel hundreds, even thousands of miles, to eat smoked meat on a paper plate?

I decided they will. As tempting as the turnkey solution was, we really started getting excited about planning when we took the plunge into do-it-yourselfdom. So check yourself friends. You're going to a hoe down.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Spoken for




Settle down, settle down! The rumors are true, people. BJA is engaged. Spoken for! Betrothed! Back off scary men on the #45! Back off.

I've had this very delightful bauble (a sparkly, yummy, glittery sapphire to match my eyes, dahlings) on my lefty finger since New Years Eve in Boston, where the question was popped over probably the most delicious meal I've ever inhaled. Feed me figs with melted cheese rolled in prosciutto and I'll say yes to shaving my head and swimming with great whites. And a mariachi band.

After I (obviously) said yes, we hopped in a cab and made it to Copley Square in time to count down to '08. We kissed at 0, made the obligatory "we're getting married!" pronouncement, then chanted "Law and Order!" before sprinting across the street into our hotel, pumping our fists to the theme song in our heads. You see, TNT was running a 32-episode L&O marathon and nothing but nothing gets in the way of Amy, Clay and Jerry Orbach. Although that new friend on my finger sure makes our crime-fighting team a happier one.