Survival

I’m alive! Kinda.
Fact: 6 months is too long for an update. But it’s not because nothing has happened – it actually feels like everything has happened! I’ve been so busy lately [I can’t even put it into words’]. This is mainly due to the fact that I was powering through my first semester as a grad student. I can report back: yes it is as insane as everyone says it is.

I did get a tiny vacation for Eric and I’s 1 year anniversary. We got each other video games, because we are super-duper gee-golly romantic! We also spend the weekend in Sedona in a rented cabin next to a small lake & creek. I took this picture as we were out petting the owner’s cats (we can’t help ourselves):

You can see more pictures from our trip [here]. We also stopped by Jerome to go to the Puscifer store, which was amazing. Even more amazing: seeing Puscifer live 2 weeks ago! I already loved Puscifer, but I was absolutely blown away by the show. If you haven’t seen them live yet, you should.

What else? I am now 25. I feel old. Thanksgiving was fun, and I’m super excited for Christmas this year. So instead of rambling about the non-interesting things I’ve been up to, I’m going to go finish wrapping presents/xmas decorating!

(without much help from Eric or Gary, I imagine…)

Six Months!?

Today marks Eric and I’s 6 month anniversary. Which is crazy, I feel like we were just married yesterday! Actually, I feel like we just started hanging out yesterday…

The first time Eric called me he was really nervous and shaking. Which is kind of funny, because Eric is always cool as a cucumber and I’m the anxious shaky one. Anyway he called me up and I asked if he wanted to come with me – I was about to go take a picture of Jerry’s Drive-In Liquors sign. He agreed (thank god). Not surprisingly, I got lost but he knew the way. We drank orange soda (“I do I do I do-oooo”). I exposed him to my eclectic music collection and my accompanied crazy singing/dancing (which shockingly didn’t scare him off). Of course, I took the picture (see below). That was August 27th 2003.

We were friends for quite a while before that, but that night was our first time hanging out outside of school. I feel like it foreshadowed some things to come: me having really random ideas that Eric goes along with, me getting lost but Eric knowing the way, our love of varied music, and just our general ability to have fun together no matter what. We had a great night that night, and it was one of the many fun times we’ve had together the past 9 years!

On the way to our wedding ceremony we passed Jerry’s Drive-Thru Liquor Store and smiled.

Ramblings of a Crazy Cat Lady

Every night for the past 10-ish years I’ve engaged in an EPIC BATTLE… with my cat. For my pillow. Tragically, Gary (my cat) wins every time. It really is a battle – my life is in actually in danger. I’ve woken up a few times with 16 lbs of stupid cat curled up ON MY FACE. I always have the constant threat of sprays of cat snot, tickling whiskers, and being stepped on as he re-arranges himself. I’ve tried a variety of methods to get him off my pillow, to no avail. He won’t even migrate to Eric’s pillow! I’d like to think that’s because he loves me more than Eric, but I think it’s just because he likes to make a nest out of my hair. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten weirdly used to it. So when Eric and I travel I can’t sleep because there isn’t a giant purring blob of fur surrounding my head… Oh well, I love my gary berry<3

Something Random

I’ve been really sick the past few days, and I look it. Pale, circles under the eyes, red nose, etc.

I decided to go grocery shopping today since there’s no food in the house. Unless I feel like eating the powder at the bottle of the cereal box in some expired milk. Which I probably wouldn’t notice since my nose is so stuffed up.

Anyway, I decided I wouldn’t put any make-up on or do my hair or anything. No point: I already look like I got hit by a truck. Might as well go whole-hog. And anyway, I go to the store a few times a week and have NEVER seen anyone I know.

About 2 minutes into the store and I realize I’m not physically ready for this… but I soldier on. Must, get, juice! Neeed vitamin C! … Walking around in public with my horrific face/hair and "lets pretend these aren’t PJs" outfit is becoming rather amusing to me (defense mechanism?). and then what happens? I run into 2 PEOPLE I know. First is a guy that had a huge crush on me most of high-school – and probably now regrets it. The other was the mother of my jr. high best friend … who can now report back on my apparently miserable state.

I caught this lovely cold from Eric and I’s recent trip to Chicago. I’ve been meaning to update about it once I was feeling better… but I’m still sick. So you’re stuck with this really random and uninteresting post. Sorry.

Well now that I’m absolutely exhausted and super congested, time to go to French class! At least those nasal sounds should be easier..

The Wedding!

I am now and old married woman. On November 11th 2010 I got to marry the man of my dreams – which is pretty damn awesome. I have started writing this post so many times… but really, how do I describe the most amazing day of my life? It’s really beyond words. I’ll try anyway –at least the basic facts 🙂

We had a rather “nontraditional” wedding, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. First of all, I wore a black wedding dress (made by my grandma) and Eric wore a white tux. We had matching custom-made Converse with our wedding date embroidered on the side. My bouquet and was made from beads on twisted wire (as were the other bouquets and boutonnieres) that I made with my mom.
(as usual, click to enlarge)

(this post is crazy-long and riddled with pictures. click below to read the rest)

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I’m Aliiivveee!!!!

Why hello neglected blog. I have a good reason … well. good reasons. I’ve been crazy busy. First, I got laid-off from my job along with most of my co-workers. It involved a whole lot of drama. There was a protest, cops, lawyers.. there was even a story about it in the AZ Republic! I miss seeing my co-workers everyday, but we still hang out together. They are just such great people and I love them!

It was after a Navajo cook-out with my (ex)co-workers that I ended up in the ER in excruciating pain – where I ended up puking mutton and frybread all over. The doctor told me I had a burst ovarian cyst and would be fine in a few days. She gave me pain meds and sent me on my merry way. I spent the next 24 hours hopped up on pain meds and STILL in excruciating pain. I finally went back to the ER – I didn’t want to pay another co-pay, but Eric insisted once my hysterics woke him up from the other room. This time they did a CAT scan, ultrasound, etc. Turns out I had an ovarian cyst that enlarged my ovary to the size of a lemon (rather than an almond). Not only that, but it had twisted and cut off its own blood supply. In other words, my right ovary committed suicide. I was rushed to surgery and had it removed. I was told by one doctor that the pain I went through was worse than childbirth. Instead of coming home with a baby (ew), I came home with a 5 inch incision and 6 weeks of recovery. However, after about 2 weeks I was back to my usual running around-ness. I have a wedding to pull together!

A week from today I will be officially married to the love of my life, my other half, my one and only! I’m super excited. Well, when I have the time to be excited. Mostly I’m just trying to make up for lost time (damn you ovary!) and pull everything together. I’m going to be pretty much M.I.A. the next couple weeks. Once I get back I plan on doing more posting, especially sharing pictures since I got a new toy….

There’s other stuff going on but, honestly, I don’t have the time! There’s just not enough hours in the day.
Stay tuned for lots of rambling about the wedding and honeymoon!

Love<3

The Stars, The Moon, They Have All Been Blown Out

Yesterday I ordered a custom credit card with a picture of my cat. When do I get my official “Crazy Cat Lady” trophy??

In other scary news, as of July 7th my brother is now legally an adult. For his birthday I got him a kick-ass shirt from Hot Topic and contributed to a sky-diving gift certificate. Jumping out of planes is kind of a family tradition. My dad got him golf clubs – maybe he can be a golf nerd like Eric now? At any rate, I love him so very much – Happy Birthday Boo!!!!

Eric and I also celebrated our 6 year anniversary! He got me a purse, and I got him a toolbox. It makes us look pretty 50’s suburbia/borderline-sexist, but hey – it’s what we both wanted (I’ve been drooling over the seatbelt purse for years!)… We also went to our favorite restaurant, Ruth’s Chris. I almost died of happiness right there in the Crème brûlée. Seriously though, how has Eric put up with me for this long? I don’t know. I do know that I love him. Muchly.

Gary helps build a file cabinet Our new house is pretty awesome. Every day we are faced with some new project – a million little things that are infinitely interesting to us but probably not to anyone else. It actually makes me feel kinda old (or at least like an adult). I never thought I’d be all that excited about blinds, but my cordless top-down-bottom-up 1/2” single cell filter shades made me jump up and down and clap like an idiot. Our cats feel the need to “help” with every project – especially when we have to build IKEA furniture. It’s adorable, but counter-productive.

We finally got the pool all clean and swimmable. Well, I say “we” but it was really all Eric. And here he is, enjoying the fruits of his labor with the first jump into our new pool!!:

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Lots of stuff has been happening!
First of all, on May 27th my baby brother graduated from Highland High School! I can’t believe it. Not that he’s stupid or anything (quite the opposite) – I just can’t believe my little "Boo" is a high school grad! Almost 18! Time flies… I’m so happy for him and so proud! Luboo!!!!

In other news, Eric and I went to Vegas to see Flight of the Conchords. They were in Phoenix a while ago, but Eric got sick at the last minute and we weren’t able to go. He felt really bad and surprised me with this trip to make up for it 🙂 The concert was AMAZING. They played a bunch of old favorites and a few new (hilarious) songs. We both grinned/cracked up like an idiot the entire time. You need that once in a while, you know?
We stayed at the Venetian again. GOD I love that hotel! We got $25 of slot credits with our room reservation, so we decided to try gambling for the first time. After $6 we stopped due to boredom and never spent the rest, lol. We went to the Cabo Wabo cantina (Cabo is my fav alcoholic drink) a couple times and got blasted on delicious margaritas. All in all, it was just the relaxing weekend we needed. And this trip is just more evidence that I have the best fiancé in the world. Just sayin’…

I suppose the craziest news is that.. Eric and I finally got our house!!! It only took 14 months of waiting, despairing, yelling at the bank, etc… but really, it was worth the wait. We signed the papers a little over a week ago and moved in IMMEDIATELY afterwards. We’re still not done moving – turns out we have a lot of crap. However, we’ve bought most of our furniture AND put it together. The most recent thing we got was our patio set, and the "no assembly required" sticker just about brought me to tears (of happiness). Damn you IKEA! (I still love you<3)
The most difficult thing to move were my books. Books are rather heavy en masse. They are currently strewn all over our front room/dining room while I work on cataloging and arranging them (see picture). I’m kind of putting that off until later this week when Eric is out of town for an actuary seminar) for 5 days. Arranging my books will keep my mind (some-what) off missing my love 😦
Basic info on the house: in Gilbert, 3 bedroom, 1650 square feet, pool/spa, awesome, cantbelieveitsfinallyours. The rest you will have to find out when Eric and I throw our housewarming party 😛 … or when I post pics eventually.

You’ll Lose the Blues in Chicago

Unfortunately, I grew up knowing next to nothing about my Dad’s side of the family. He moved from Chicago (and his family) to Arizona in 1984 and lost contact with most of his relatives. The only exposure I had was his parent’s wedding photo and a group picture taken around 1900. Then, a few years ago, I found boxes of old photos and papers in my dad’s storage. I started piecing things together and, with the help of places like ancestry.com, created a family tree going back as far as my great-great-great-great grandparents. As a graduation/Christmas present my Dad took me to Chicago so we could meet some of his cousins. I was really nervous… I thought it was going to be awkward and they would think I’m some weirdo. Instead I discovered I have a huge extended family of AMAZING people!! I seriously had the BEST time hanging out with them, even though it was only for a few hours. It was amazing to meet people with my same last name and that looked like my Dad! I grew up with a Dad that seemed to come from nowhere – no similar looking parents or siblings, or even aunts and uncles. Needless to say, it was bizarre to be confronted with this:

(my dad is on the right)
They even have the same name! I also met my Dad’s cousin on his mother’s side. He was really cool too! I learned a lot about the Persian side of my family from him.

  
(please ignore the 1986 jacket I had to borrow from Scott, lol)

So, aside from spending time with my awesome new relatives, we did quite a bit. My dad drove us around so we could re-visit all the places of his and my mom’s childhood/teenage years. We visited many graves of relatives I’ve been researching, including my great-great-grandmother who is a hero of mine. I had so much delicious food (Italian Beef, gyros, Chicago pizza) that I almost burst. I even had my first White Castle slider! We went to the Sears Tower, of course, and rode the L. We also went to The Art Institute of Chicago where I saw artworks I’ve been studying for years. I spent WAY too much money in Little Poland on Polish books and paraphernalia.

As fun as all that stuff was, the best part was meeting my “new” relatives and visiting graves of relatives I never got to meet. Easily one of the best trips of my life!!

(click to enlarge)