|My 10 year high school reunion is this weekend. I won't be attending; I decided it wasn't really worth the travel expense and I did only go there for 2 years, so it's not like I'd be catching up with people I've known since childhood. Still, I kinda wish I was going. Grosse Pointe Blank made it look cool.|
|Wei and I got back from our trip on Thursday evening. I had a great time; I needed a vacation in the worst way. There has been a lot of stress lately--working too much yet still having money troubles, getting a traffic ticket for making an "improper left turn" (I'm going to court at the end of the month to fight it since I can't afford to pay it right now and I think it was a BS charge anyway), and general family drama. I told myself that I would turn off my brain on vacation so I could relax and forget my issues, and I did a very good job!|
We left town on July 2nd and drove to my mom's place in Raleigh. My buddy Tony came over and I cooked dinner for everyone: angel hair pasta tossed with grilled chicken and lemon juice, with wilted spinach on the side. Pretty tasty! The next day we finished our drive up to the DC area and went straight to MoCo to see Wei's parents. They showed us the new townhouse they just bought and took us out to lunch. After that we checked into our hotel in Gaithersburg; while they all went to Baltimore for the wedding rehearsal, I cleaned myself up and Metro'd into town to hang out with my friend Becky.
I hadn't been back to DC since a short visit in May 2006. At that time, it had been less than a year since we had moved, so I still felt like I knew the city. It was really weird being there again after 2 years. Sort of like seeing an ex-boyfriend. I was charmed by the city's beauty and people and all of the things that drew me to live there in the first place, but at the same time I hoped that the bad still outweighed the good and that I hadn't made a mistake in leaving. Coincidentally, Becky and her boyfriend Damien are moving to Oregon this month, and that night was their going-away party, thrown by Damien's sister at her house. We hung out in Becky's Mount Pleasant apartment for a couple of hours, then cabbed it down to Dupont for the party. Despite getting about 100 mosquito bites, I had a blast at the party, which was held on Damo's sister's fabulous back deck. Lots of grilled meat, cold beer, excellent music, and good times. Also, getting to hang out with Becky makes any gathering 100 times better!!
When it was time to go, I got lost trying to walk back to the Metro. Yes, I was a little tipsy, but I think it was because Becky told me to walk south a few blocks, instead of actually pointing me in the right direction. I used to instinctively know which way was north and which way was south in DC without even having to think about it. This time I followed my instincts and ended up on T Street. Oops. I got a bit melancholic on my walk when I passed by an apartment building where someone I used to know lived. Random memory flashes of her place: the dark wooden cabinets in her kitchen, the pedestal sink in her bathroom, the view from her 4th floor windows. It was the ex-boyfriend thing again, I suppose. How could I just walk by that building when I knew such intimate details about it? Now it's shut off to me forever. Not that I even want to see it again, but it's just odd, knowing with absolute certainty that I'll never have the chance to refresh my memories of it. I kept thinking to myself, "it's over now."
The escalators on the north side of Dupont Circle were broken when I got there. I considered walking across the circle to the other entrance, but since it was so late, I didn't want to chance missing the last train. So I trudged down down down the steep escalator that seems infinite when it's late and you're drunk. I stood on the platform with all the loud DC-types, fresh from extended happy hour, still in their work suits and pumped for the long weekend. Oh, hi, ex-boyfriend. I forgot that you have intimacy issues and are emotionally distant. Now I remember why we broke up.
I got off in Bethesda and headed over to The Barking Dog, where Wei was holding court with a group of his frat bros. We hung out there until closing time, then went back to the hotel for delicious sleep. The next day, we spent the morning with Wei's parents and they took us out to lunch again (wheee!). Then we checked into our hotel in Baltimore and got ready for the cookout at Amanda's (aka the bride) parents' house in Jessup. That party was fun, too...more grilled meat and cold beer! It was nice to have the chance to get to meet Amanda's family away from the wedding.
We made sure to get back to Baltimore before nightfall, so we wouldn't get caught up in the post-fireworks traffic. Traffic still sucked anyway After we parked at the hotel, we walked over to the inner harbor to watch the display. It was pretty cool, but I think I might be getting too old for 4th of July fireworks crowds. Or maybe it's just Baltimore crowds; we were really packed in there due to the limited viewing area. If only our hotel room had faced the harbor; it would have been pretty sweet to watch them from there!
The next morning we got up early to meet Wei-Lin (aka the groom aka Wei's brother) at the reception site to help hang Asian-y paper lanterns from the light rig on the ceiling. The rig was on hydraulics, though, so it came down to floor level while we were hanging them. The lanterns looked awesome in the end, but hanging them was a huge PITA. I don't have the patience or dexterity to happily tie teeny tiny knots in fishing line over and over. I was glad to help, though, since Wei-Lin helped set up stuff for our wedding reception last year. It took us nearly three hours; the other groomsmen were supposed to help, but they showed up right as we were finishing Afterwards the groom treated us all to burgers at Five Guys. Woo, more grilled meat!!
I had to keep myself busy for a couple of hours while the guys got ready in our hotel room, so I walked over The Gallery and got a manicure. After peeking in some of the shops there, Wei texted me that they had left to go take bridal party pictures and the room was all mine. It was so nice to be able to take my time to get ready before the wedding! I took a long shower, straightened my hair, repainted my toe nails, and generally acted indulgent. I had a kick ass black and silver cocktail dress to wear to the wedding that I found on sale at Dillard's for $35!! I looked pretty damn good if I do say so myself. Then it was time to walk over to the AVAM for the wedding.
The museum was a very unique venue. Before the ceremony started, all of us guests got to wander around the galleries and check out the art, which I enjoyed. The ceremony itself took place on an open marble staircase, the wall behind which was lined with postsecret postcards. How cool is that?? My illustrious husband provided the only hitch in the whole night: when it was time to hand over the wedding rings to the officiant, he dropped one of them. It bounced through the space between the individual stairs and continued its fall for a couple of flights, landing on the ground floor. D'oh!! The look on his face was priceless! Luckily one of the guests zoomed down the stairs after the ring and had it back to the officiant in what felt like less than a minute. As wedding crises go, it was pretty minor. He totally redeemed himself in the reception when he realized with less than an hour to go that no one had signed the guest book. He brought it around to everyone and made sure they had a chance to sign. Goooooo Best Man!
The reception was fun! I sat with Wei, some of his cousins, and the other groomsmen. I got totally schnockered after one glass of the signature cocktail before dinner even started. Apparently their signature is "lots of Tequila." I committed myself to dancing for the rest of the night, because my biggest fear at my wedding was that no one would dance. So I danced and mingled a lot. I'm sure my dancing wasn't pretty, but someone's got to do it! When the party was over, we hung around to see if we needed to help clean up, but the venue manager said that she would take care of everything, including the lanterns. Wei's parents packed Wei, Amanda, Wei-Lin, and I into the back seat of their car to drop us off at our respective hotels. It was pretty amusing, since Amanda was wearing a gorgeous but very pouffy Monique L'hullier ball gown. We said our good-byes to everyone and then passed out after the long day. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception, and I'm so happy for the newly married couple!!
On Sunday, we woke up early and were heading down I-95 by 8:45am to meet my extended family at the beach in North Carolina. I think that will have to be another entry for tomorrow!
|So, confession time: I haven't written in here for a while, because Wei lost his job in December. This brought up many feelings in me, mostly of panic and doom. The only stuff I felt like writing about here was negative, so I just decided not to write. He still doesn't have a 9-5 type job, but he has been working his butt off on launching a project with a couple of other local entrepreneurs. It has been awesome to watch him transforming from a person who worked really hard at a job he didn't like very much to a person who is dedicated to the work he does and loves (almost) every minute of it, even though the financial rewards haven't come quite yet. I'm so happy for him and proud to call him mine.|
In other job-related news, I got a new job! In a couple of weeks I'll be starting in the development department of a local liberal arts college. I decided a few months ago that moving into the higher education world would be a good next step for my career. The area of fund raising in which I specialize hasn't been around in the cause-world for very long, but colleges and universities have embraced it for the past 20 or 30 years. The only way I'm going to learn more is to make the jump over to higher ed and experience it from their side of the fence.
I don't feel bad about leaving here, even though a lot of people are jumping ship right now. I no longer have very much confidence in my boss and the direction of our department, and I'm hitting a freakin' brick ceiling--there's nowhere to move up. I really hope that my new opportunity will be enriching for me; at the very least, I'll be able to take some Mandarin language classes at the college come fall semester But I'm not 22 anymore. I'm not going to be like "ZOMG new job best thing ever!!!" It could be good, bad, great, awful, or somewhere in between. I feel like I did my due diligence scoping the place out and asking questions during the interview process, but you never really know until you start. I do think I've come to the point where I can understand that it has a lot to do with my attitude and knowing what I want out of it.
I have a bunch of stuff to finish up here before I go. I don't want to leave them in the lurch. I'm finding it very, very difficult to stay "on task," however. Hence my writing in xanga during the middle of the day.
I'm talking about going to the Austin City Limits Festival with two of my besties from college in September. One lives in LA and the other lives in NYC--we don't get to see each other much! We're waiting to decide when they announce the line-up next week. I listened to the artist mashup on their website last night and was able to identify all of 3 bands out of 29: CSS, N.E.R.D., and Gorillaz. Woo, go me? If we don't go for the fest, we might decide to go to Austin any ol' weekend just to hang out and explore a new place together.
Wei's brother is getting married in Baltimore on July 5th., and my extended family is renting a beach house in Ocean Isle for a week starting the same day. So we're going to drive up to MD for the wedding, and stop in NC for a few days on our way home. It's definitely not the most direct route, but it should be fun. I'm excited for Wei to see the NC shore! And the wedding should be a blast. Maybe I can take Wei on the Bridget's Youth tour of Ellicott City while we're up there too.
I think that's all the travel I have planned in the foreseeable future. We wanted to go to Hong Kong this fall, but, uhmmm, budgetary restrictions will prevent that
|I was chatting with a friend of mine last night about The Wonder Years, one of my favorite TV shows from early adolescence. Did you know that the show was set exactly 20 years prior to when it was shown on TV? I read that little nugget on the wikipedia page I've linked to above. So if you watched an episode one night in 1992, it took place in 1972, etc.|
Here's the thing: the show started in the Spring of 1988. It is now 2008. We are the same time-distance away from the beginning of the airing of The Wonder Years as the show was from its narrative setting when it was originally broadcast.
Gah, this makes me feel old and kind of dumb; I don't think I realized how close 1968 was to 1988 when I was living it.
I want to do the ten songs on your ipod in shuffle mode meme, even though I haven't been tagged to do so
1. "Jimmy Jazz" by The Clash from London Calling
Ah, what's not to love about this barely intelligible tale of the gangster named "J-A-Zed-Zed"? I like songs that tell random stories, and this is a great one. I think Joe had fun with the lyrics; at least, he sang like he did. Every once in a while, his delivery of "What a relief!" from this song will pop into my head at opportune times.
Police came in they said "Now, where's Jimmy Jazz?" I said "Hmm, he was here but, uh, he said he went out." Who is it they're lookin for? Jimmy Jazz, Jazz, Jazz, Jazz
2. "A Place Called Home" by PJ Harvey from Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
This is from what is considered PJ's most accessible album; it won her the Mercury Prize in 2001. It's full of beautiful, lush songs, and this is one of my favorites. The imagery of looking and believing in finding a place out there where you belong was and still is evocative to me, and her voice is gorgeous throughout.
I walk and I wade / Through full lands and lonely / I stumble, I stumble / With you I wait to be born again / With love comes the day / Just hold on to me
3. "Starchild" by Jamiroquai from Dynamite
I think it's obvious that this song is about Jesus, or at least the idea of a god-like savior, and Jay Kay is challenging him to show himself to the world. It's pretty funky and upbeat considering the subject matter! This is a great song to listen to while working out, but just try not to think too hard about the lyrics
Somewhere in the world tonight / There's a fire blazing bright / Keeping warm the superman / Sent to us to save the land / Somewhere in the world today / A hungry one will kneel to pray / Wishing all the while to see / Starchild
4. "Summersong" by Decemberists from The Crane Wife
Fwahhhh oh my goodness I love this song. The lyrics, music, and Colin's voice are so beautiful and melancholy. It paints a clear picture in my mind of the fickleness of youth and time and how it all gets whisks away so quickly. But not before leaving behind some lovely imagery!
My girl, linen and curls / Lips parting like a flag all unfurled / She's grand, the bend of her hand / Digging deep into the sweep of the sand / Summer arrives with a length of lights / Summer blows away / And quietly gets swallowed by a wave
5. "Stoppin' the Love" by KT Tunstall from Eye to the Telescope
Eh, this is one of the least interesting songs from this album, in my opinion. It's a pretty average song about the guy who turns the girl's world upside down. So yeah, it's not great, but it's not bad. I should probably take it off my ipod!
You got me looking up / Even when I'm falling down / You got me crawling out of my skin / You got me wondering why / I am underneath this big old sky / Stopping the loving getting in
6. "For the Price of a Cup of Tea" by Belle & Sebastian from The Life Pursuit
I have a soft spot for this little character study of a girl in a new place, determined to fit in as a cooler version of herself in her new city of residence. What girl can't relate to that? Also, it's a very catchy tune.
She took her winter coat from her plastic wrapper / Pushed back her fringe, see her birthmark / She can finally be the person she wanted to be
7. "You Could Have It So Much Better" by Franz Ferdinand from You Could Have It So Much Better
It's no secret that I love FF to an embarrassing degree, and this song is one of the many things I love about them. Alex has said that it's a retort to the "you never had it so good" attitude of the 80's. I listen to it when I need to remind myself to stop being self-indulgent. The opening lyrics of the song is the best part (lyrically) in my opinion; they're not as clever as the rest of the song, but I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to say something similar to people who don't know me very well and think I'm sad all the time:
The last message you sent / Said I looked pretty down / That I oughtta come over / And talk about it / Well, I wasn't down / I just wasn't smiling at you
8. "Compliments" by Bloc Party from Silent Alarm
I really don't have anything to say about this song. It's my least favorite on Silent Alarm. I don't know why it's on my ipod. I love Bloc Party, but, uhm, just not this song. It's kinda whiny.
We sit and we sigh / And nothing gets done / So right, so clued up / We just get old
9. "Some Unholy War" by Amy Winehouse from Back to Black
This is one of the few songs on Back to Black that doesn't have a major emotional effect on me! I'm pretty sure it's about a mutually physically abusive relationship, which is not something that I can understand. Still, the tone of self-destructiveness that runs through it can be heart-wrenching. But I have to stop feeling bad for Amy Winehouse...one of these days.
It's you I'm fighting for / He can't lose with me in tow / I refuse to let him go / At his side and drunk on pride / We wait for the blow
10. "Tentang Cita" by White Shoes & The Couples Company from White Shoes & The Couples Company
This is my #1 happy song at the moment. The music bloggers have been all over WS&TCC since their album came out in the US last month, even though only a few of their songs are in English. The rest are in the Jakarta-based band's native Indonesian. I have no idea what this song is about, but damn if it doesn't always put a smile on my face I can't find the lyrics online--not that it matters since you wouldn't be able to understand them!