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Archive for May, 2009

 
|| May 13, 2009 || 11:42 pm || Comments (5) ||

eleven years in June, hey

MAXIM: Man, bat guano is expensive.

JETT: Normal people don’t say things like that, Maxim.

MAXIM: Oh, I’m sorry….go out and find you a normal husband, I’m sure THAT would work out real well.

Because I am an adventurer, and because I wanted to celebrate my anniversary on Friday the thirteenth every handful of years, Maxim and I were wed on the thirteenth of June nineteen ninety-eight.

(here is where I have the internal debate with myself over whether or not I show you the wedding picture where I have a mass of junior-leaguer hair spilling out of a tiara…the “NOOOOO!!!!” voice is winning at present, but the “yesh, sugar” one is gaining with every sip of wine)

We traveled into the mountains, up to a ski chalet, accompanied by a small troupe of bandits friends and a the couple of family members that promised to not talk a whole lot that weekend we can actually stand could make it on the weekend we’d chosen. Our ceremony was candle-laden and held at eleven at night; it was somehow extremely fitting to join our lives in the deep of dark and on the cusp of a newborn day. The minister –not knowing the first thing about us, really– presented a ceremony remarkably tailored to us, speaking of great friendships and the magical happening where the best of those friendships culminate in marriage. My lone, tough-as-nails bridesmaid cried, as did Maxim’s one cynical groomsman. Maxim and I stood in formal attire and matching Doc Martens, overwhelmed, not knowing what to expect from a life with one another, but sensing the rareness of the foundation we’d already laid beneath us; it was one of both purpose and passion shot through with immeasurable promise.

At three ay emm, as we whispered inside jokes and stroked one another’s faces, Maxim said to me, “We should do this once every ten years. Get married, I mean.” He reasoned that it was too special a thing to do once a year, but magical enough to merit doing more than once. I found that idea, like many that he has, to be wholly brilliant.

So last year, we went (not to the mountains, but) to the beach with our children, some of our best friends and their children in tow. It was seven in the evening and the day was just starting to break; the two of us stood facing the ocean, holding hands. How apt a metaphor for marriage: Two people, holding hands, facing the ocean in front of them.

Our friend D is also our pastor, so he faced us to do the ceremony, ringed by his family and our children. With their backs to the Gulf of Mexico, Scout held the rings, Sam picked and sang ‘Golden Days‘ and Mathias stood silently wide-eyed and observant. Everyone sported some shade of yellow and bare feet.

Twice married to one another, twice evenly-shod in the process of doing so. Not planned, but entirely fitting.

This time we didn’t just repeat after the minister….we turned to face one another so as to spill all these woefully inadequate words. But, like the first time, they were steeped heavily in the notion of friendship and the love that abides in that space when the ‘in love’ isn’t quite enough to make it through the day. The ‘in love’ helps you to motor along enjoyably, but the ‘like’ is what pushes you over the humps. This is, I think, because typically when there is ‘like’ there is this amazing thing called ‘respect’.

I can only give you the sweeping gist of what it was I said there, dug in up to the ankles in white sand, and I can’t be especially exact with the words. That is, except for one part that I remember pretty much verbatim: “If anyone were to ever hear my whole story and then wonder at how I survived myself, they would have to look to you for their answer, because it rests no further than you.”

We traded new bands: Thick and wide and heavy, his in silver and mine in gold, they were stamped with a tree and inscribed inside with the words Grow Strong. The ocean seemed so loud to me then, the air so infinite and we so small. When D released Maxim to kiss his bride, he did so. From out of nowhere there erupted a volley of hooting and hollering and cheering.

Unbeknownst to the two of us, people and people and people had lined up reverently behind us: They were on the beach, on the boardwalk, on the balconies of the three beachfront condos nearest behind us. It was cemented in me then, the knowledge that people respect happiness so much that they would choose to be part of it if at all possible, even if on the fringes and vicariously. I am not usually comfortable being a spectacle in times of such honest and raw emotion, but I was silently humbled and grateful that so many strangers would offer these specks on the beach such hopefulness and enthusiasm in the face of what was a deeply meaningful moment to us.

It was just a minute ago, that beach wedding, and here we are creeping up on another June thirteenth. This is the one that makes eleven years, and I imagine I will awake astounded once again, saying to my spouse one more time in awe and disbelief, “Not only do I still love you, not only am I still in love with you, but I still liiiiike you, as well.”

This is no mild thing. It is, to underdescribe it by a long damn mile, a sheerly amazing thing.

 
|| May 12, 2009 || 10:16 am || Comments (1) ||

pejoratively yours

things the internet was NOT made for:

a) kiddie pr0n

b) irritating me via e-mail

One of the things grossly wrong with humanity today is that most individuals have this urgent sense of entitlement that their mommas did not see fit to beat out of them.

Case in point: I have been wanting to redo the seat of this amazing antique bench I got for a song a few years back. It sits in our dining room and had a cushion of woefully-worn foam covered in a garish eighties geometric patterns rendered in pink and gradients of gray. I’ve been too cheap to buy the quality of foam I wanted to use for this project, so I kept putting it off in lieu of other things and projects.

Well, I flat out lucked into two sizable chunks of firm memory foam about three weeks ago; last week I gave one to my mother-in-law, seeing that I would not need it after all, and then I set about ripping the old cushion to bits so that I could use its wooden platform as a pattern. I cut my piece of foam accordingly and found that I had a substantial piece left over. I didn’t want to throw it away, so I asked around to see if anyone I know could use it. No one could, and then I recalled that I am a member of Freecycle, so I threw it up on there.

I got somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen responses, each of which I e-mailed back with my digits and the admonition to call me as the whole deal would be first-come, first-served. Only three people called, and by the next day on my lunch hour a laydeh had meandered to my home to pick the remnant up. I was exceedingly proud of my twice-upcycling self and pulled the ad from the board whence it had sat.

Today, I opened up the Freecycle-associated e-mail account to find this gorgeous little nugget of condemnation and ill will:

Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 14:06:26 -0700

From: rdhairedlass@somethingsomething.com

Subject: Re: OFFER:

To: amazingjettgrrrl@hotmail.com

You know, I wrote you three times trying to get information to come get it. Just a note saying that you’d already placed it or something would have been nice…

So I’m all, Fuuuuuuhhhhhhck you, laydeh, I responded both graciously and pleasantly to each and every piddling e-mail you sent, even though you didn’t even attempt to contact me via phone as instructed.

And I fired this one back to her:

From: you know, Jett (amazingjettgrrrl@hotmail.com)

Sent: Sat 5/09/09 6:01 PM

To: rdhairedlass@somethingsomething.com

Number one, I sent along my phone number so that you could contact me and expedite the process. The fact that you chose not to use it is not my worry. Neither, in fact, is the possibility that your mailbox ate that message. Technology happens.

Number two, I do not check this e-mail account daily unless I am expecting mail here, which I wasn’t after I had the foam picked up and pulled the ad.

Number three, we did not enter into any kind of transaction: The name of the group is called FREEcycle, if you’ll recall. Not entering into any kind of transaction means that I owe you nothing.

Number four, your rudeness is completely unwarranted. Please do not contact me again, for ANY reason.

In conclusion:

Dear World,

Kiss my ass. Again.

Love,

Jett “I only take shit from my momma” Superior

i

Our house is all sorts of fractal and crazy. I remember doing the very first walk-through, back when it looked like an honest-to-God garbage dump: Maxim and I would turn a corner to be confronted with yet another surprise which came in the form of rooms being fashioned in the unlikeliest of places. Picture the Frankenstein monster as a house; now picture said Frankenstein monster as being charming and welcoming and fashionably-eclectic rather than crazy-eclectic. Not scary, just different, and different in a way that actually works.

But there are little details that are just slightly off, as well, reminding you that you are indeedly standing in the middle of the House Crafted Of Many Ideas.

For instance: There were windows not only to the outside, but between rooms as well. The master bedroom (which could be modestly described as ‘fucking massive, dude’), for instance, was connected to no less than four other rooms by windows. We yanked out the one between our and Mathias’ room, because it was seated in one of only two walls that was not brick. A very generous walk-in closet was crafted lovingly there, but there still existed windows between our room and the main bath (I know, creepy, right?) and what now serve as our music and art studios.

The windows between our room and the studios have fixed, four-foot-long window boxes, you people. Window boxes! On the inside of the house! So I got this Elaborate Idea –since we don’t want to destroy the existing brick, which really is gorgeous– of eventually converting those particular windows into screened light panels and using the boxes directly in front of them as active gardens.

But time rocked on and those damned boxes were driving me crazy, sitting there all empty and forlorn. Other projects cried out for funds. So I went to our local home decor wholesaler and used my handy-dandy business license (Yes! I have one of those!) to purchase some faux greenery. I wanted to create something unique and funky there, the precursor to the unique funkiness that would eventually be permanent, live and thriving under my custom-cool lighting apperati.

I got these things, I dunno, that looked like some sort of flat-leaved succulent; they were colored a dusky green, shot through with an undertone of deep red. Eight of them per box, that’s what was required. I weaved a vine around each box, tucking it in here and there and I was satisfied with the result. It was certainly better than those starkly bare rectangles accusing me and doing their level best to cast some dour energy into the room.

ii

Now look, I’ve no green thumb. I admit that outright. For whatever reason God had handy at the time, the part of the genetic birthright concerned with the helping of fauna-type things thrive that Gwendolyn should have passed down was lost on me; I think that’s totally unfair since I got her myopic, slightly astigmatic eyes, but WHATEVER.

(The woman can simply utter the word ‘green’, I swear, and lush plumes of foliage roll out ahead of her like Nature’s Red Carpet or sommat.)

But seriously now, seriously, I never thought it was within my power to kill fake plants. Realistic-looking, space-age-materials-crafted, decidedly NON-living plants.

As God (and Maxim and Tess) is my witness, I looked up one day to notice that the plants, to a stalk, were a hideous browny-red color and looking decidedly Not Alive. There was not a trace of green to be found on them. They looked horrifically, truly dead. They accused me with all the power of each and every plant that I’d killed –despite my very best efforts to the contrary– over the course of my lifetime.

“Holy shit,” I said to Tess, upon bringing her to the house to survey this most recent bout of ludicrousness, “holy shee-yut, who else do you know that has ever murdered a plant that’s not even alive to start with, HUH?”

Of course I was appalled, but I’d say that one is worthy of inclusion on the list of my roughest transgressions: KILLS ALL PLANT LIFE (even the poser variety!) AND IS POWERLESS TO STOP HERSELF.

So I made a mental note to self: “Return space-age-materials faux plants. Seek refund. Spend in as-yet-undetermined manner.” Eventually I got around to doing it. Of course I had no receipt. Who in the world ever expects to return a fucking fakety-fake ole plant? For ham and hell, why would I keep such a receipt? Whyyyyy?

I threw myself on the mercy of the store manager, calling her first to warn her that some loon had fucking killed some fucking pretend-alive-looking fucking plants, fuckfuck! I mean, seriously, if I’d seen someone coming with two garbage bags stuffed full of cracked-out looking fake greens without some prior explanation, I might be taken aback in a way that translated to, “You goofy freakjob, I can’t give a refund what is tantamount to a reward for slaughtering all the innocent greenery you wagged out of this store eight months ago!”

She was very gracious, telling me to bring my sans-receipt purchase directly to her for inspection. “I’m sure we can work something out,” she said brightly. I want to sing her praises, but I don’t want to compromise her identity to someone who may or may not yell at her for providing the Elusive Customer Service we all search so desperately for these days.

Two clerks saw the plants first. They were agog, and I wish I had possessed the presence of mind to snap a photo of said agogness while it was occurring. They called Gracious Mgr Laydeh, who scratched her head in befuddlement before setting about Making Things Happen. I had overlooked the removal of a bar code from a couple of stems, oh hallelujah. This provided necessary proof of the fauxplantlife’s value, which turned out to be in the neighborhood of two bills. This was to be issued as store credit (no. receipt.), and I wandered aisles a little forlorn, not finding anything that hit me between the eyes and demanded to be wagged home post-haste.

UNTIL I FOUND THE PATIO CHAIRS OF AWESOME, that is. On sale, they were! Beautiful, so beautiful were these pieces of comfort crafted from metal. Metal chairs that are comfortable? I found them, oh I founnnnd them! So I snapped a picture and, as with all substantial purchases, decided to not be impulsive. I showed the reference picture I’d taken to Maxim and then I slept on it.

iii

Well you just know I went back the next afternoon, Superior children all in tow, to buy me some chairs and maybe smile the top of my head off a little.

You see, I’ve been waiting patiently to find and assemble all the elements to make the patio area outside of my bedroom door just exactly right. These chairs represented the first such purchase and this new beginning excited me, no matter how kinda goofy and trivial it might be. I have this picture of my alldone outside lounging-slash-socializing space; it incorporates stillness and sweetness and sandal-clad feet and drinking straight from the wine bottle while there are important things like humming and laughter taking shape. And maybe card games.

So please, gentle and darling Muffinass, forgive me my sappy dorkitude over finding four chairs that got me all revved because they felt like they were what I sought before I’d even had a clear picture of what that was framed up in my head meat.

We got them purchased, we got them loaded, we headed for the house; we arrived to find that there was no way the new patio chairs were going to the patio area. They went under the carport instead. More practical matters loomed. We also couldn’t really get to the patio at that juncture.

iv

A tree humped my house!
:: a tree humped my house! ::

....unfortunately, there was penetration.
:: ….unfortunately, there was penetration. ::

It was the brightest of all possible spring days, mild and wonderful, nary a breath of breeze. I guess the gigunda old tree just got tired and went for a laydown, pulling itself up by the roots to cover most of the side yard and a goodly portion of the house.

We coasted up the driveway, beholding the spectacle, and I –peering over the huge round frames of my favorite sunglasses– was bemused (believe it or not) and heard shortly thereafter to say, “Well, at least it didn’t cave the sumbitch in.”

Scout, the first one in and up the stairs, came back hastily. Appearing calm enough, she said, “Um. Hey. There appears to be a pretty large limb all up in the roof’s grille. It’s poked through the atrium ceiling.”

It rained that night, and despite an emergency treectomy (involving six burly fellas, a coupla skinny ones and also a whole danged crane!) and professionally-applied tarpaulin (…there are whole companies devoted to such! I never knew!), the damage doubled in roughly a couple of hours. Sigh. Such is life.

I just wish we’d have had some type of insidery foreknowledge of this exactly one year ago; it was then that we sprung our carefully-gathered savings on a brand new roof for the joint.

In conclusion,

“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

“There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

// Douglas Adams

 
|| May 5, 2009 || 12:04 pm || Comments (0) ||

oh. my. GOD.

It appears that every comment ever left on this site in the last nine years has been eradicated by some unknown force in the universe intent on dicking me in strange ways that make me saaaaad.

Cross your fingers, Muffinasses, that it is some goofy hiccup and they are all recoverable. Though, obviously, –as I am a Technotard of the highest order– I have no idea as to how one would go about doing such a magical thing.

The comments were where all of the gold resided. I for real want to cry.

UPDATE, 3:19p: The unknown force in the universe was actually theDane doing some courtesy site maintenance. He got vigorous in his sweepings and pulled up flooring with the dirt. Everything’s nailed back down now. Thanks, tehDanes!