Category Archives: holladaze

When to Opt-Out of Thanksgiving

It’s relatively well known that I got engaged a week after my parents split up. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to plan a wedding OR had your family break apart, but I would advise against experiencing both in tandem.** My job was also at an all-time low. We are talking peak stress five days a week.

For the first six months of this strange new world, my brain seemed to shut down. I had a hard time remembering things. There are dinners I went to with people whose names and faces I can’t recall. There were meetings I forgot I attended within 24 hours of attending them. When I wasn’t forgetting things, I was fretting that I had some sort of early on-set Alzheimer’s. I may not have appeared to be a hot mess, but a hot mess I was.

Which is probably why I’ve never told this awesome story from the first Thanksgiving without both of my parents.

My parents separated in July 2009, and by November, they were still living in our house together. A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, my dad had had it.

“I just want to let you know that I’m moving out,” my dad said to me over the phone. “I am still trying to figure some things out with your mother, but I’ve just come to the conclusion that I can’t live like this.”

We’re either together, or we’re not is what I heard, and I didn’t blame him. He had an apartment and would be moving into it two weeks before Thanksgiving.

When I asked my mom what our holiday plans were, she quipped that they’d be the same as always — my aunt, uncle, cousins, their kids and my aging grandparents all staying at our house. My brother, my dad and I were disheartened. I think were hoping to find a way to work through the first Thanksgiving apart, together.

But on we trudged. And we were low on drama until the day after Thanksgiving. I walked into our house after dinner with D’s family to nobody talking to each other.

“Uh, hi. What’s up?”

My mom topped off her wine glass and led me out of the kitchen and into the home office. She looked like she’d just done battle.

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Oh, hi. I named my lip herpes after you.

I am notorious for getting a cold sore when I am stressed out. I woke up on my wedding day with one. By the time we landed in Nice to begin our honeymoon, it hurt so bad we marched straight to a pharmacy and I asked in French to please, mon Dieu, put me out of my misery.

I can usually figure out what has prompted a cold sore. With the wedding, I would say it was our MIA candy that tipped the scales.

This morning when I woke up with a cold sore, I looked at it and said, “F*cking Steve.”

Steve is the name of my mother’s “friend,” whom I am going to meet for the first time this week. I learned of Steve on Friday at 4:30PM. Via email. As I was dialing into a kickoff call with a new client.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, none of this is actually Steve’s fault. Steve is just being Steve; it’s your mother who could have alleviated some of your stress by:

A) Telling you about Steve in person or over the phone more than four days before the meeting;

B) Not introducing the entire damn family to Steve on a holiday; and

C) Providing a few details about Steve so you didn’t spend all weekend trying to figure out how Steve entered the picture, where he lives, what he does for a job, if he has any kids, how your grandmother’s failing heart will handle the introduction, and how you’ll obtain his social security number over dessert so as to conduct a thorough background search.

Yes. You are probably right. It’s just so much easier to pick on Steve. Mostly because his Facebook profile photo appears to be his third grade school picture.

Happy holidays!

Happy 2009!

Happy 2009, all!

We’ve had sort of an impromptu holiday, which has included some fine (ish) dining, a little partying, and a gathering of folks here at home for a day of college football. (So far, Iowa is the only Big 10 team to win its bowl games!)

Feeling pretty energized and excited about 2009; working on a new set of goals (or as we started calling them today, “intentions”), which include honing my cooking skills, writing a few new pieces, and finding a better balance between work and other personal relationships. I’m also working on not being so freaked out by this giant house. So far I’m contemplating, (A) installing one of those sensors that sounds a pack of rabid dogs when people to get too close to the house , and  (B) finding some ADT gifs on the internet and posting faux signs in my yard. So one might  infer that it’s also my intention to become less paranoid in 2009. 🙂

So what about you? Any intentions to speak of?

Wonder, Light, Merriment, etc.

Hello, friends!

It’s been awhile, right? Or is time just passing like old molasses? At any rate, we’re back in DC after an extended stay in Cedar Falls, IA with family and friends. Our flight home was canceled on Saturday, so we ended up driving to Minneapolis bright and early yesterday morning to catch a flight back to DC. The drive was fun, the flight was fine, and I wasn’t sure I’d say this—but it feels good to be back. Also? I’m off work until Friday! I’m already sad that Monday is winding to a close (a first, I’m sure).

I’m also happy to report that the intarwebs is working here at the new pad. Hopefully this yields a few more work-from-home days and blog updates. In fact, I got a snazzy new camera for Christmas, so here’s hoping I have more photos to share in 2009.

I’ll start out with these three, which include D and me being goofy on Christmas night and where I found Ella upon returning home. The latter two also provide a peek at my new digs.

dm-christmas

(Have I mentioned how blessed I am to have this guy around?)

ella1

ella-sink2

Now. On to New Year’s. What do you guys have cooking?

Christmas idea?

I’m embarrassed for thinking this is hilarious. Might be the total nonchalance of the guy.

Hallow’s Eve

See, black cats aren’t so scary. 🙂

So, let’s get on with it—what are your costumes this year? And which of you are wearing Halloween garb to the office today? (Not me. Though I do happen to be wearing all black.)

Labor Day Crab Crackin’

Well, I’ve managed to finally contract that nasty summer cold that I’ve spent weeks avoiding. And right before starting my new job. Hopefully a little Dayquil will do the trick and I’ll sail through this week without incident.

We stayed in DC this Labor Day weekend, hanging out with friends and doing something most of us have never done before: Eating crabs.

If I weren’t nearing a snotted zombie-like state, I might go into great detail about how unclean and gross it was. Instead, I’ll direct you to this Flickr set, where you can see it in all its Old Bay-covered, don’t-forget-to scoop-out-the-guts glory. To get you started, here are a couple of photos:

Our three pounds of crabs

Me and my first (crab)

It was alive 10 minutes ago

Crab penis. (Male genitals are shaped like the Washington Monument; females are shaped like the Capitol.) You have to pry off the penis to get inside to the meat. I know, I know. Completely vile.

After crab cracking, we headed to a nearby pub to watch more college football (how about them Hawkeyes!) and spent the rest of the weekend winding down.

What did you all do with your long weekend?