Friday, December 30, 2005

Conjugal Rights

I've been married for three days & two nights and all I have to say is, if anyone tells you that sex is overrated, they're not doing it right.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Head Spinning

My grandmother passed away Friday morning at 3am. Four of her five children were with her. They all had the chance to say goodbye while she was still lucid. My brother sent an email to the extended family with memories of my grandmother and as I read through them I was struck by how multi-faceted she was. Sometimes I think I get caught in a rut of believing people are a certain thing all the time and then something happens to remind me that no one is a static being, that we are all ever changing and evolving (or de-evolving as the case may be). I, for one, am incredibly grateful for that because when I look back at the Kari that was, even 2 years ago, I shudder to think that I could have stayed that same person. I'm sure that I'll look back at myself, my now self, in the future and feel the same way--happy for the person I am and grateful for the experiences that pushed me to become a different me.

This is sounding a lot like some sort of preachy thing, so I will stop. I don't mean it to be. Sometimes I preach at myself in my head and since this is the physical manifestation of thoughts in my head...well, you can see where this is going.

The Children are here. We are all jammed into my little tiny condo but I can't tell you how happy I am every time I walk through the front door into this cramped, sometimes very messy and scattered environment, knowing they are here, waiting for me. My life changed completely, totally and irreversibly the night I picked them up from the airport and while I had some fearful moments contemplating the enormity of the transformation that was about to take place, I do not regret it for one second. I have no doubt I will have my moments of feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate (ummm...I've had them already, thank you...lots of them) but I've been assured by some very experienced and very good parents that this is par for the course. Bottom line? I love them. I want them. I need them. I'm so very happy to have them in my life.

The Fiance, Tim will be here in two days. 59 hours to be exact. I'm not sure the minutes because I don't have a calculator and besides, that would seem much too far away for me to stand. We are getting married in one week. One week and two hours to be exact. At this point, anything left undone is just about guaranteed to stay undone. The important stuff is in place though. The children are here, he has plane reservations, we have a place and time to get married and our honeymoon plans have been made and confirmed. Oh, and I do have a dress arranged. That's a good thing, I'm sure.

My head is spinning, but I'm not getting sick. It's a good spin. The kind you have when you're wearing a new, full-skirted dress and you're turning around barefoot on your backyard lawn in the summertime.

A comparison for the men? Let's see...getting a new package of plastic army men and realizing they gave you an extra cannon by mistake so you can fully arm two whole armies?

Well, I've just been informed that the See's lollypops that I've provided for them are "vile". Ah well. The spin has taken another turn.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Update

My grandmother has taken a turn for the worse and is not expected to make it through the weekend. For several days she has been pointing heavenward and mouthing the words, "Home, Mart." My grandfather's name is Martel and she shortened it to Mart. He passed away in 1993. I think that's what we've all been praying for, that Grandpa will come for her soon. I'm sad for my mother. I don't care what age you are, the idea of being an orphan is disconcerting. There are no buffers after that. You're the next in line.

Grandma knows we love her and we know she loves us. In the end, that's really all that matters. And I'm sure she won't be able to keep herself away from popping in on us every once in awhile. She never could go very long without having to hear all the family gossip. This way, she gets to witness it all first hand. That will make her very happy indeed.

I wish for her a peaceful passing. And I'm jealous that she gets to see Grandpa and my cousin Katie again. I guess I'll just have to wait my turn.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

December 11, 2005

I find it ironic that I acquired most of my stuff with the idea that someday I would have a family and that all that stuff would be very useful for family-type moments, and now that I am getting one (a family) I have to get rid of most of my stuff.

Purging is good for the soul. That's what people with lots of time to philosophize say. At least, that's what people who I think know about things like that say that philosophers say. Maybe I should read some philosophy for myself. But then again, maybe I'd start to question my own existence, and at this stage in the game, I ain't got no time to wonder whether I'm really packing up my life and getting married or if I'm just one of 10,000 long-running TV series being played out on some giant's mega multi-media video screen. (And by the way, I already know I'd be one of the highest rated shows. I'm just that entertaining.) (Especially if they had some sort of cosmic mind-reading technology that typed my thoughts directly onto the screen. Now that would be wild. And very addicting. To giants. With mega multi-media video screens. And lots of time on their hands.)

I think after I've packed all the things I KNOW I want with me (England-bound) and packed all the things I MAY want with me later (relatives'-basements-bound), I will have a sort of fake, invitation-only Estate Sale where people I like can wander through my condo (aka, "Estate") and take things (after they ask my permission, of course) and then not pay me for them. (That's why it's a fake estate sale. Get it? Nothing will be sold. ) Or, people could pay me. I mean, who refuses cash? The point is, I want people I like to have the things that I like and then I'll feel sort of like someone who donates organs, like I'm a part of people, even after I'm gone.

People will have to remember me if they're constantly using that cheerfully vibrant purple plastic pitcher with six vibrant purple, green and blue matching glasses. Those are really fun to use for summer. In a back yard. For a barbeque. I'm going to have a back yard now. I'm going to have six kids. My fiance has a barbeque. I've seen it. Wait. Maybe I want those.

Okay, so they'll remember me because of the covered casserole dish with the delicate pastel floral design embossed on the side that they'll use to bake some Tamale Pie in for the church dinner. I've had that set for 19 years. It reminds me of when my sister came to visit me in my first adult-like apartment when I had my first adult-like job and she wanted me to buy the whole set and I did and then we cooked some fish in one of them and it was really good. I really like those casserole dishes. They're just the right sizes for so many recipes. Those could be really useful in England. They have churches there. And church dinners.

Well, I'm definitely letting someone have the Book of Tofu. I have never used it. I like tofu, but I just haven't eaten it a lot. My fiance is very health concious. He likes tofu. There are lots of recipes in there. Some even look kind of good. They have American cooking instructions. I'm taking my American measuring implements with me. It's a small book. Wouldn't take up too much space, really.

I'll let you know about the QZ Invitation Only Fake Estate Sale. I'll be having it for sure. I mean, afterall, I can't take the countertop American Harvest Jet Stream oven (with optional expander ring which enables the user to roast a chicken or bake a loaf of bread in half the normal baking time without heating up a big traditional oven) with me. It's wired for 110 volts versus 240 for England. The poor thing would fry. Of course, there are electrical converters...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hmmm...

My posts are starting to sound like columns. I'm not so sure that's a good thing. It may even be frowned upon in BlogWorld. Hey! Blog Police! Can I get a ruling here?

Day Three of the Big No Job Experiment

As the third day of my self-imposed exhile from all things 8-5 ends, I am left with the strange feeling that I have simply embarked on an extended holiday. (An unpaid holiday, sure...)

Someday soon the people at my job will call me and tell me that they were just kidding when they said I could leave if I just gathered my things and left without creating an incident. That's my current theory.

The first thing I noticed about my new, non-working status is that time goes really, really lots faster than when I was sitting at a desk inputting work order after work order after work order, answering phone call after phone call after phone call about the room that's way too hot because it's about 2.7 degrees hotter than normal or about that flickering light bulb that was reported two hours ago, and by gosh, hasn't been changed yet. I have real things to do now, people! I've got Christmas presents to buy and 20 years of belongings to sort and dump at D.I.! I've got bridal portraits to get gussied up for and special songs to burn on cds! Why the heck does 8 hours go by like 2 now that I need more time?? Why couldn't time have warped for me like that when I was getting paid to trudge through every day?? Is this what they call karma?

Karma called me today. She wants to go to lunch. I like her. It will be fun. We will go to lunch for 1-2 hours, but when I get home, 5 hours will have passed. That's just the way of things now. I've come to accept that the quickest errands will take an hour now instead of 15 minutes. That box that would have taken me 28 minutes to pack will still be open and untaped 2 hours and 45 minutes later.

I've got 10 days until the children arrive. Under normal circumstances, I should be able to get everything done by then. The way things are going now, the kitchen cupboards will still be full of dishes and the Martha Stewart magazines will still be on the shelf. Poor kids will be lucky if there's food in the house. Heck, they'll be lucky if I pick them up from the airport on time...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Changes

In less than 24 hours I will no longer have a job, access to a great computer and printer, an ATM just outside the building I work in, a master key that opens any door in the building and daily contact with collegues and friends who like me a lot. In less than 24 hours I will enter a world that is foreign and unpredictable and I will find myself in a more vulnerable position than I have ever been in my whole adult life. And frankly, considering what I'm trading my security for, I can live with that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Random Thoughts

Have you ever seen that list of stressful life changes and the equivalent years each one takes off of your life? (or is it the amount of time you need to recover from them??) From what I remember of it, I figure I'm gonna live to the ripe old age of, say...53?

a. I'm getting married. In 27 days. At age 42. For the first time. I love and adore my wonderful fiance. I've lived alone for 11 years. I won't be living alone anymore. I will be sharing space.

b. My fiance has 6 children. I love and adore them. I've never had children before. I will be sharing space.

c. I'm moving to England. That means I can't rent a U-Haul and take it all with me. That means I'm purging 98% of all my wordly goods. They won't be in my shared space.

d. I'm moving to England. That means that my family and friends aren't moving with me. Personally, I think that's inconsiderate. Luckily, there's email.

e. I'm moving to England. That means I have to learn to drive on the left side of the road, sitting in the right front seat, driving a stick. I've never driven a stick for any sustainable length of time. I'm not sure that the English want me on their streets, cluttering up their roundabouts, hitting random sign posts that are rudely placed too close to the side of their inconceivably narrow roads. It's a good thing the English have a habit of placing a big red "L" placard on the backs of vehicles driven by new drivers. Helps people be patient. I will need them to be. I try my best not to think of it as a big red LOSER sign.

f. I'm moving to England. That means different money. Money that in my head gets doubled to dollars everytime I purchase something, which in turn sends me into fiscal-panic hyperventilation, which leads me to make hasty decisions, like the one that says I should and could reasonably subsist solely on stale crackers that are on sale for 57 pence. (I state firmly and emphatically here that this is in no way due to the actions or attitudes of my future husband who is incredibly kind and generous in every way, but I think more due to (g) which follows.)

g. My job ends in two days. I've had a job for 20 years. I've always had a job. I've always taken care of myself. I've always had my own money. I've never had to ask anyone for money. No one has ever known what I spend my money on but me. Until now. I believe my days of carefree money spending are over. Heaven help me.

h. My job ends in two days. There goes my 10% discount at the BYU Bookstore.

i. My job ends in two days. No more "A" parking lot sticker. Relegated to visitor parking like the great unwashed and unprivileged. I am not the unwashed. I am not the unprivileged. I will simply never park on BYU campus again. Ever. (Living in England will help.)

j. My job ends in two days. I will never see some of these people again. There are two people here that make me think that's a jim-dandy idea. There are too many others here that make me think this is a really sad idea.

k. My grandmother has been brought home to live out the last few days of her long and eventful life. Very recent strokes have left her with a mind that works but other parts that don't which leads us to the present state of affairs. It is painful to see my vibrant and fiesty Grandma reduced to a woman who looks older and more frail than she was ever meant to look. It is poignant to see her surrounded by so many family members who love her and will miss her. I hope Grandpa comes for her soon so she will not suffer long.

l. My fiance is in England. I try to be a good little soldier, staying busy with wedding plans and Christmas shopping and purging and packing my house, and I try not to think about it too much, but the truth is, the separation is difficult for me. You'd think that I would be used to being alone after being single for so long, but the opposite is true. Being with him is so joyful and calming and grounding and amazingly fulfilling that being away from him feels almost too much for me to handle anymore.

So, if the list is correct, the stress of these things should kill me soon. I just happen to believe to the contrary, that the very things predicted to kill me will actually help me live longer and will make my life an amazing and wonderful adventure.

Here's to stressful life events and all the havoc they leave in their wake. Things would be so boring without them...and I don't tolerate boredom well. Thank heavens.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Umm...What's taking so long??

I've been patient. I've been waiting probably an hour now and I'm still not listed in Master Fob's The Fobcave. I'm sad, but not despondent. Not yet, anyway.

Well, Well, Well... She finally did it.

This is my question: Why in the sam hill am I doing this??

Answer A. It will save time in the future when people ask me for an update on My Grand English Adventure. They will write to me and say, "QZ, how are things in Jolly Old England?" and I will reply with much brevity, "Go to my blog." Then I will push the send button feeling quite clever until I realize, to my horror, that earlier in the day, I asked that lovely young woman in front of the John Lewis department store where she got her cute pants instead of asking her where she got her cute trousers. Then I will not feel clever at all. Then I will also suddenly understand her look of confusion and hasty retreat. And then I will have to blog about it, thus revealing to all three of my faithful readers that I, Queen Zippergut, have STILL not quite yet adapted to these quirky English ways.

Answer B. All my FOB friends, their spouses and significant others, and their other non-FOB friends (who think they're as close to the FOBs as I am, but aren't) are doing it. It's just plain wrong for me not to be a part of the great universal conciousness known as The Fobcave, even if I am tardy in the acceptance of blogging as a life choice.

That is all. For now. Maybe.

Signed, with grace and great aplomb,
Queen Zippergut

P.S. I love to use the response"Genius!". I picked it up from Celeste, erstwhile student employee. Well, technically she's still my student employee (until Friday, December 2), but I like to think of her more as a really good friend who shows up at 8:00 every morning and hangs out with me until 11:00 and then gets paid for it every two weeks. Wait. I used her name. That's not right, is it. Crap. Someone get me a copy of the Blog Rulebook, pronto.