Inside the Apple store:
Leah: I like these little bar stools. And this counter. It's almost like you're sitting at an espresso bar. Ha Ha: I mean, a GENIUS BAR! Ha Ha.
Dan: Yes Leah, they CALL it a Genius Bar. See, the sign right there that says 'Genius Bar'?
Leah: Oh.... I see.... Well.... Your interior decorating is very accurately communicative.
Our little baby turns 1 today. He's growing up so fast!
Happy Birthday Rascal. We love you very very much. We look forward to many many more happy years as your mommy and daddy.
As Leah mentioned, yesterday was Rascal's birthday, or at least the arbitrary date we assigned for the celebration of his birth. Since we got him from the shelter his exact b-day is kind of shrouded in mystery, but until he tells us different we're going to fete him on August 1st. Of course, we shower him with so much love and affection every other day of the year I doubt he'll be able to tell the difference.
His birthday comes at an appropriate time for the celebration of dogs; as the pun in the title indicates, we are in what are colloquially referred to as the 'dog days of summer'. That means it's been wicked hot, but I don't know what the name comes from since Rascal likes the heat even less than I do. Today was supposed to be the hottest day ever--the upper end of the forecast was 103, with a heat index (whatever that is) of 114--so we obtained an air conditioner for the dog to sit in front of all day, which he did. While it was pretty hot, I don't think it managed to live up to the press coverage; it seems that in celebration of global warming the local news stations have decided to adapt the sort of breathless up-to-the-minute coverage they traditionally employ during blizzards and hurricanes to unpleasantly warm weather as well. A front came in around 7:00 and cooled things down wonderfully though, so presumably tomorrow Weather Center Five will get off the air and allow Leah to watch her Oprah in peace.
Congratulations Tom and Nelly, who were already married, but managed to make it to a church this time!!! For our loyal readers, most of whom were there at the wedding themselves, here is a not brief but hopefully humorous overview of the four-day festivities from Leah's point of view. Read on and absorb the love, suckuz!!!
11am: Dan and Leah leave their Bedford home an hour later than planned, because of increased necessity of hugging the Rascal puppy an additional million billion times. I canít leave my BABY!!!! The fear of still being home when the dog walkers arrived spurred us onward, however.
5:30pm: We arrive in Ithaca, after about a thousand are-we-there-yets from Leah, who thinks when youíve seen a hundred rolling hills youíve seen enough rolling hills, especially when thereís a delicious dinner waiting at the end. We finally arrive to Danís aunt and uncleís house where we will be staying, a beautiful new home bordering the Cornell golf course, and featuring our guest room of two twin beds with mattresses about eleven feet off the ground. You know, Donna Reed sexy. We wash up and head over to Moosewoods, the vegetarian restaurant that Dan has been telling me about since he graduated from college. I am so excited about eating that I am jumping in my seat.
6:00: We eat the BEST DINNER EVAR!!!1 and I am so gushing to the waitress that Dan is embarrassed. The waitress, for her part, instantly pegs me as a dieter when I ask if the lemonade has sugar added. She automatically puts my salad dressing in a container on the side, and offers me cold-fruit-soup as a dessert instead of ice cream. I am sheepishly grateful and wonderfully satiated.
The twin beds we are sleeping in are stacked three mattresses high, princess-and-the-pea style, and they slope downwards from the middle so that I wake up in the middle of the night subconsciously gripping the sides with my arms and legs. I have to make a bit of a princess-and-the-pea myself, but thereís no light in the hallway, so I illuminate my phone to navigate the stairs down to the bathroom. Their downstairs guest bathroom was formerly a hallway, so there are two doors on either side and the floor is carpeted in a color identical to the living room. The carpeting gives me the very odd sensation of using the toilet somewhere that Iím not supposed to be. I have these recurring nightmares where Iím looking for a bathroom but the toilet is somewhere bizarre, like exposed in the middle of a living room. Am I supposed to go here? Is this really okay? My sleeping brain invents these tricks to keep me from peeing in my bed, but now in real life I keep pinching myself to see if where I am is infact Danís auntís guest bathroom and if I can infact empty my bladder there.
7am: We awake and shower early to head over with Danís parents to what Dan has billed as the MOST AMAZING SUPERMARKET IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!! Wegmans, a chain found only in upstate New York, has its flagship store not five minutes from Cornell, and Dan holds many fond memories of walking the many fully-stacked aisles and the amazing prepared foods department hand-in-hand with cute girlfriends who are NOT ME! Not that Iím jealous or anything. We go to the supermarket together LOTS OF TIMES now, and itís WAY MORE SEXY than it ever was with any of you, Cornell sluts.
Anyway, the supermarket is quite amazing in its selection, and we buy food for breakfast and assorted things for the wedding. Itís early in the morning, but Judy is already freaking out aloud about what she must accomplish today. A bridesmaid dress must be transported and a Target must be found and a tux must be picked up and 20 people must be phoned to make sure that they know that the rehearsal dinner will begin PROMPLTY at 5:00 otherwise we wonít make it to the church on time.
After breakfast we go on a walking tour of Cornell, accompanied by Judy and David who start the tour with us but leave an hour into it because there were only six more hours left before the rehearsal dinner and much more freaking out needs to occur. For our part, Dan and I see the libraries and many academic buildings of note before getting caught in a flash rain storm which leaves me very wet and slightly less enthusiastic for touring. This is makes Ithaca so beautiful, Dan says: all the water. Fine, I say, but let the grass soak up the water, not the only pair of jeans I brought on the trip!
Friday evening we dressed in our finest semi-formal attire to attend the rehearsal dinner at the Ithaca yacht club. Judyís greatest fears were realized when every member of the wedding party (minus myself and Dan of course) were at least half an hour late, with some showing up more than halfway through the dinner. A call to the bride and groom found them delayed in the act of plaiting the flower-girls hair. Itís just like Africa over there in Ithaca! Sooooooo indigenous! Too bad the Cornell chapel is less indigenous with its tight schedule of wedding rehearsals. Damn the man!
Back at the yacht club, the guests of honor finally arrived and we sat down to a lovely if hurried dinner. Then we made our way to the chapel, where we found out that us wedding partiers would need to be standing at attention the whole service. Wuzupwidat? I know that in OUR wedding the maids and men got to SIT DOWN through the readings. I guess we just accepted the laziness of our bridal party. Here we had to WORK for our formal attire.
We woke up bright and early at 7am to get showered and prepped before the groomsmen crowd descended on the house for final preparations. The youngins other than us, you see, were all staying at a campground over the weekend and needed to avail themselves of Danís auntís showers. After breakfast and showering, Dan and I went for a walk down to the Cornell wildflower gardens which we had missed in the previous days rain. Walking back up the hill, sweating bullets, we wondered why we had showered BEFORE our morning walk. Alas, it was only foreshadowing the hot day to come.
Stay tuned. Next time: THE ACTUAL WEDDING!!!!!
Leah: It's hot. I need to sit in front of the fan and watch some Oprah.
Dan: Sorry, there's nothing on TV but news about the heat.
Leah: But it's time for Oprah!
Dan: They've interrupted your regularly scheduled Oprah to tell you that it's wicked hot out.
Leah: I know it's wicked hot out. That's why i'm sitting in front of the fan prepared to watch Oprah.
Dan: I know.
Leah: Anyone sitting down watching this heat coverage is in their air-conditioned house. They don't NEED news to tell them how hot it is. They're all good!
Dan: KimPossible is on.
Leah: I'd rather it was the Suite Life of Zach and Cody.
One casualty of the heat the last few days seems to have been our fridge, which got louder and louder every day of the warm weather. It was running all the time then--oh, I felt just terrible opening that door and letting the laboriously-produced cold escape!--and though it's been able to relax a little now that it's cooled off some, the volume when it's running hasn't decreased at all. I started to worry when it got hard to hear the tv over the noise of the fridge going in the other room. It's still keeping the food cold, though... long may it last.
So some people, like my parents of all people, objected to the fact that i left off halfway through the saga of Tom and Nelly's wedding. MY PARENTS WHO NEVER EVER READ THIS BLOG objected. It was the first time they read the blog, ever, last week, and they wanted the end of the story damnit!!! So here goes parents who aren't reading: the second half of the retelling of Tom and Nelly's wedding. Enjoy.
The bridesmaid dresses, i was about to explain, were in the style of africainne chic, with wood beads threaded into a backless halter top and a plunging neckline in front that left only a very small amount of my womanhood to the imagination. There was no place to put a bra under the two small triangles of folded silk. Instead, i purchased some of those Victoria's Secret pasties, you know, the ones that SAY they will support your breasts by some magic property of BEING STICKERS. With Dan half changed into his suit a very funny scene ensued in our dressing room.
"Honey, can you just hold my breast in place for a second? Up like this? No, like THIS!"
"Don't make them uneven!"
"Well you don't hold them uneven!"
In the end it took the application of not two but SIX pasties to form some semblance of protection which would prevent the entire church from spying my nipple. Also i hoped it would protect me from sweating through the silk, but that was a taller order seeing as it was about 90 degrees out and we're talking about stickers here.
Somehow we all managed to make it to the church in some semblance of elegance, and there us girls found Nelly in her elaborate gown being maquilled by two African maids who knew much more about dark makeup and curling irons than us two white women. Mostly i stood around waiting for the procession, while Dan ran around like mad doing Best Man things like telling the organist to FREAKING START PLAYING ALREADY, WE HAVE TO GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD, IT'S SMOLDERING IN HERE!!!
Dan and i lead off the wedding procession, being old pros at walking the aisle by this point! When we came to the front of the church, followed by the rest of the processional, our hard job was to set a good example for the other maids and men, reminding them to face Nelly when she came down the aisle and turn towards the alter when she got to the top. This gave us a good view of the crowd, which all started bawling when Nelly approached, on account of her crying herself. Come on y'all, they're already married! I guess the real church wedding was very moving for everyone involved. It felt more Godly, afterall, with that real church smell.
Tom and Nelly both delivered moving homemade vows, and all in all the ceremony was very lovely, if a little tiring for us folks who needed to remain standing and reverent the whole time. After the ceremony, we all took about a million pictures, or rather had a million pictures taken of us, which was probobly for the best because we all only had our formal attire on for a maximum of an hour. Right after pictures we went home and changed into appropriate attire for the reception: bathing suits and shorts.
The wedding reception was like a real African party, with the addition of two American kegs. They hosted us lakeside at the national park, where some people swam, some listened to music, some played soccer and kickball, and all ate and drank too much. The party lasted long into the evening: Dan and i arrived at noon and stayed till seven, but there were still festivities going on when we left: in fact they were just starting dinner. Everyone had a grand old time, especially Judy, who was glad to have it all done with and ready to sleep for a month straight.
My parent's criticism of this blog is that the entries go on too long, so i will not regail our readership with all the MANY OTHER HUMEROUS EVENTS THAT YOU ARE MISSING in this shortened retelling THANKS TO MY PARENTS. Suffice it to say that the wedding was wonderful fun, and Tom and Nelly sure do seem to be very much in love with each other. Which is good, because we can handle no more weddings in the Archibald family.
The reason for the missing entries here in August is we were camping on Mt Desert Island, and I've just now recovered enough to write here. Leah was obviously raring to go when she got back, because she immediately produced the conclusion to the Tom's wedding story; I guess I take longer to restore my equilibrium. Anyways, high points of the voyage included climbing Mt. Penobscot and Mt. Pematic, watching Rascal swim in ocean, lake, and pond, and eating breakfast at the famed Cafe This Way. Leah knows how to count the calories contained within foods, and she tells us that the meal she ate there was 1400 calories (for breakfast alone, I remind you); mine was even bigger, and probably more. Technically, then, we didn't need to eat anything but a small snack or two the rest of the day, but on the other hand we were doing all that hard hiking! Also, it was vacation after all.
I have fishally started my new job at with the new company that will not be named on this blog for fear that my employers will find it, read it, and deem me completely insane. Or worse, find it not funny!
I hope that i'll still be able to write posts now that i've got a job and all. Because i've got Sooooo much to say. For instance: did you know that Nichole Richie is having an effect on PUBLIC RADIO??? It's true! The other day i was listening to a story on Market Place Money, the kind where they interview people with bizarre professions, and the interviewer was talking to a guy who gets shot out of a cannon for a living. The cannonball was saying that it's kind of like flying, and the female interviewer shot out her next hard-hitting question: "Do you love it?"
The cannonball paused blankly for a moment, as if pondering the response, "It affords me the simple life."
It's hard to be productive around here when all the other creatures in the house are one hundred percent sound asleep in the middle of the day. This afternoon, as Ashley napped in the hammock and the dogs slept the sleep of the just (just lazy) sprawled across the floor, I had to struggle to stay awake and stay focused. Not everyone can just sleep the day away! Ok, I probably could if I wanted to without anyone complaining, but it just doesn't seem right. Oh, curse my protestant work ethic!
i am working hard on starting my new job these days, so everything else in my life is being put on hold for a few weeks, things like regular exercize, communicating with people who are worried that i may be dead, and WRITING ON THIS BLOG! Too bad EATING A TON OF CRAP isn't automatically being put on hold. Today i'm traveling over to Stow to visit a rep who stocks his office with unlimited amounts of candy. Ask me next week if i'm enjoying my new job!
Leah's brother Jake came home from China today, so her parents took us all out to dinner at a restaurant of his choice. He made a good choice. Usually with that family we get the ethnic stuff, but this was good honest American. Also, the place had a six-page beer menu! I only got one, but it was a good 16.9 ounces of Scottish ale; for his second, Jake tried the legendary Sam Adams Triple Bock, and I got to have a taste. It delicious, although Leah didn't think so. I guess she doesn't appreciate 17% alchohol by volume with no carbonation and delicious notes of chocolate and caramel. Also complete opacity to light. I had about a shot's worth, which was just right for a beverage of that consistancy.
The food was alright too, as far as I can recall.
"You know, there were many thinkers."
"Throughout history? Um, Yeah, i guess there've been a couple..."
"Rhodin's thinker statue, he made several. In different sizes."
"I didn't know that until i went to the Rhodin museum. There was a big one outside and a bigger one inside. Isn't that weird?"
There are many signals of the changing seasons that begin to present themselves to us at this time of year, but none is more striking or evocative than the need to rediscover where the light-switches are in the kitchen. Yes, thoughout the long summer days which are now nothing but a fond memory I had barely any need to ever light the kitchen, and those few instances when I needed a late-night snack the single overhead light sufficed for all my visibility needs. Those days are gone. The other day I was cooking dinner and couldn't see what I was doing, and had to search out the switches for the lights under the cabinets. You can keep your falling leaves and school buses, those lights are enough of a sign of fall to me.
Of course, we've got a whole nother month til we see fall for real, but with this global warming business the seasons are coming earlier. Spring did, anyways, so it stands to reason that fall will too.
I was walking Rascal this afternoon when a jogger stopped me to ask a startling question: 'can you tell me where I am?' Unfortunately, this was not a case of totally awesome amnesia like you see in the movies and occasionally in real life, but a rather a poor woman who had set off to get some exercise on her lunch hour and gotten herself completely lost. The problem, which I told her I completely understood, was that she failed to comprehend the staggeringly large expanse of the air field; her notion was that she could loop around somehow and get back to her place of business without having to cover the same ground twice. Well, she could have, but only if she were content to run another five or seven miles, on top of the four she had already done. When I told her that she asked me if she could pay me to give her a ride back. I did it for free. It could have been me! if I were capable of running more than 25 yards at a time. And also if I had a job out of the house. Hypotheticals, you know.
As of late, there have been a string of small burgleries plaguing the Berbs. The message is that no safe haven is safe no more. A neighbor of my parents had their house broken into while the couple slept peacefully upstairs with their Bichon (apparently not very effective watch dog). Then Meredith was similarly vandalized, when thieves stole six hundred dollars in cash and a twelve-hundred dollar watch from her kitchen table. Several days before the burglery, Meredith's doorbell rang in the middle of the night. She thinks she was targeted to see who would open the door in the middle of the night without a baseball bat.
So you can imagine how i was moderately anxious at 11:30pm last night when our phone startled us from our sleep. We didn't manage to get to the receiver in time, and no messages on our cell phones made me even more nervous. Who would call our home at this hour, and not our cells? I went downstairs, i turned on all the lights. I sat in the light for a little bit and pondered being targeted by Bedford High School hoodlums. Then I turned off the lights and went upstairs. Through the window i could hear sounds of stirrings. Was it rustling in the bushes, or just the wind? At 11:45 a strange car pulled up accross the street, and i turned on all the lights and stared out the window. At midnight a car alarm went off somewhere in the neighborhood. My ears felt like pointy perked pyramids. I didn't shut my eyes until 1:30am.
This was a bad time to shut my eyes, it turned out, because that's just about what time Ashley was getting home, drunk with beer and hogies. She scuttled-dash-shuffled off to bed, and i was wide awake again. Every small noise perked my ears towards the outside world, dark and scary. At 4am i finally did drift off to sleep, but the alarm went off at 5:30, and i was not a happy camper heading to work this morning.
"Too bad my bat-ass crazy anxiety keeps me from sleeping" i told myself in the car ride to work. Then my cell-phone rang.
"[Our neighbor] Tracy came over after you left," Dan said. "Her car was broken into last night, and also Mike's, and also three other people on the block."
"Wow. But they didn't take anything from us?"
"No. Must have been all the turning on and off of the lights that you did."
"Did you tell Tracy that i was up all anxious about noises? That i had a premonition?"
"No, i told her that you're always psychotically suspicious, but this time you just happened to be right."
We've been doing our part around here to help the environment, in a variety of ways. A recap, with pros and cons:
Pros: They last a long time, meaning fewer light bulb changes are required each year. Since the wait time on replacing a burned-out light bulb in our house is currently running at around four weeks, this is a good thing.
Cons: Those things are expensive! Although, if the packaging is to be believed we're saving all sorts of money in the long run. If I was only organized and could do math I would compare selected electric bills to see, but since I'm 0-for-2 on those we'll have to take it on faith.
Pros: It saves water, I guess. Isn't that worth something?! Also, I enjoy the pressurized spray pattern it produces. Plus it was very cheap.
Cons: The water drops are so small that, although they come out of the showerhead at a pleasant temperature, they cool off alot before they hit the ground. This means we have to turn the water temp up to compensate, so promised savings in water heating will not be as larged as promised.
Canvas Grocery Bags
Pros: When we bring our own bags to the grocery store we save ourself from drowing in a sea of plastic bags at home. And, we get five cents back at Whole Foods for every bag we don't use! Woohoo!
Cons: We look like big hippies.
New Energy-Star Fridge
Pros: Since our current fridge is dying anyways, we shelled out a little extra to get an energy-efficient model. I don't know what pros that'll bring us specifically (besides the happy knowledge that we're reducing our carbon footprint slightly) but it'll sure be nice to have a big new shiny fridge.
Cons: IT'S NOT HERE YET! It was supposed to come a week ago yesterday, but it was back-ordered. Now they've finally got it in town; they said they'd be by around 8:00 to deliver it, but so far nothing. I WANT A NEW FRIDGE!!!!!
"Come on cars, move! I'm late for an appointment," i say while waiting in traffic on the Middlesex turnpike. Dan is driving, and comments on a Tom Petty song blasting from the windows of an adjacent car.
"The waiting really IS the hardest part!"
"Yes. It is."
"Hey, what would you say if you were like in the same situation, but as a single guy?"
"Um, i don't know. What?"
"The DATING is the hardest part."
"Ha ha. I get it. Hey, what would you say if you were a giant panda?"
"The MATING is the hardest part! What would you say if you were on Iron Chef?"
"The PLATING is the hardest part. What if you're a white supremisist?"
"The HATING is the hardest part. What if you're a fisherman?"
"The BATING is the hardest part. What if you're cheese?"
"The GRATING is the hardest part. You know, this really is one of my favorite games."
"I am so glad that i married you."
Sorry to all diligent readers who frequent this blog. I haven't been writing much lately, since i got one of these new watchamacallits... um, jobs. Yikes there's a lot to do around here when i'm not so much around here all day. The laundry warning light has been flashing like a beacon in my dreams, as well as other pressing projects. I am trying to get the year-long schedule in order for my church youth group, and also compose a sermon that i will be delivering to our congregation on September 17th. Oh, and, um, also update my repetoire of really dirty sexual positions, and other stuff that doesn't involve church.
Dan and i both start school next week, which may call for some back-to-school drinking this weekend. Just kidding, I mean shopping. The drinking will be all in celebration of surviving our first year of marriage together. This time last year we were but two young idealistic songbirds stumbling blindly into the mystical forest of marriage. A year later we have lived through lay-offs, unemployment, a new puppy, Business School, and gaining and losing about 20lbs (that last bit mostly me). Despite being many thousands of dollars poorer than when we got married, i can honestly say that nothing i have ever experienced on this planet has made me happier than being married to Dan. Just getting to see his cute little face every day makes my heart fill all up with joy. That's that tequila-like feeling, right? So, i guess even though i said "For richer OR for poorer," i'm still rich in love. As Jake once famously said, "We are millionaires in love. We have a million units of love. What is the SI unit of measurement for love?"
Hopefully we will write more next week about some humorous topics. I've done some pretty funny data entry recently, but i guess you had to be there. Yikes, Bedtime already? This working thing really cuts down on my booring-crap-out-of-the-internet time!