Tuesday, May 31, 2011

If I Were a Boy...

Wow, so I'm posting like twice a month now?  That's sad, but I'm not ready to walk away yet!  It's cathartic, right?

So let's see...the weekend before last, my parents came to visit and we had a lovely time.  We had dinner in the city on Thursday, then Friday we hung out during the day (manis/pedis for the ladies) and then went to The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria on Friday night -- free from 4-8 pm!  It was really interesting, and there was much more to see than I expected.  It's really interactive, too, so we ended up staying longer than we planned, and then rushed home to eat a late supper since we were starving by then.  Saturday Hike's family (mom, mom's bf, and Grandma Fran) came over for brunch, and everyone got along really well.  It was lots of fun and chattering and his family loved my apartment and the food and everything, so I call it a success!  Saturday night we were lucky enough to get my firm's Yankees tickets, so we saw the Yankees/Mets game and it was a great cap to the visit.  The folks left early Sunday morning to drive back in time for work/school on Monday, so it was short but a very sweet visit.

Last week was full of movies (Thor, meh), softball, and catching up with Hike (unchaperoned, I mean), and then this past weekend was full of very masculine events.  Friday night was the Elks Lodge wrestling event in Elmhurst, Queens, which is probably exactly what it sounds like.  (The tickets were a part of his birthday present earlier this month, along with the New York documentary by Ric Burns, brother of Ken.)  It was entertaining but too long for me at four hours.  I can be a good sport for any event once, though I'm not sure I'll need to see wrestling ever again in my life.  (Though for anyone who knows wrestling stuff, Mick Foley was there, and so was Sid Vicious -- both are past-their-prime wrestling royalty, apparently.)

Saturday we woke up and headed to Long Beach for some sun time!  It was gorgeous and so nice to be on the beach, especially one as uncrowded as Long Beach.  We laid around and even played with the Frisbee for awhile.  Afterwards we grabbed a late lunch in Rockville Center (Long Island), then I finally tried Ralph's Italian Ices (the cream ice, which is like Italian ice and ice cream together), then we drove around a bit looking at the nice houses, as we'd been talking about how RC would be a great place to live and settle with kids, though it's rather pricey.  But it's a goal. 

Saturday night we went to Gleason's, a local bar, to eat some more and watch UFC with his friend Yoshi, so more man sports for me!  Sunday we relaxed a lot, watching some Civil War documentary (Ken Burns' this time).  Then we went our separate ways for awhile (nap time!) and he came over for dinner, then we went back to his apartment to play this video game that I actually ended up really liking.  It's got some Myst-like features, so it was fun to help him solve the puzzle-y stuff, though the occasional gun fights were less entertaining as I didn't have the controller.  But still, ADDICTING.

Then Monday we picked up Frannie on our way to his mom's for a BBQ!  I made a Mexican Bean Salad and we had all sorts of grilled meats and stuff, and sat on the back patio and relaxed.  It was just perfect for Memorial Day, and the weekend as a whole felt really long and relaxing, like a true break.  It was great!  Oh, and his mom put up one of those cheesy photo frame collections in the living room with a quote about FAMILY, and it's got at least two pictures of me with the rest o' the fam in it.  So I guess it's official?

Now this week will be short, and I have another softball double-header tonight, then tomorrow Hike will come over, Thursday is Harpie dinner, and this weekend is pretty booked with his social calendar stuff, though hopefully we can get back to the beach soon.  I feel so mellow lately -- for me, at least.

Well, friends, I hope you are all well and haven't given up on me.

Friday, May 13, 2011


It's Friday!  And I can barely stay awake!  This week was very very long and I didn't go to bed as early as I should have on any night.  I need to sleep by 10:30 at least three nights a week, and man, I'm feeling these 11:30 bedtimes now.  I just need to make it 1.5 more hours till 5 pm now!  Actually, then I can't go home because we're having a preventative exterminator visit, and I also made fun social plans to have happy hour and fondue in Carroll Gardens with Schmillie and co.  As much as I hate getting home from Brooklyn at night, I also love the CG and want to live there, so it'll even out.  AND then there's the giant bonus of seeing Schmillie.  And the exciting risk of eating cheese fondue.  Will my stomach explode?  Stay tuned.

I'm feeling rather friend-lonely lately, though I know that's a natural aspect of pairing off and settling in at our advanced age, and also everyone is busy this time of year anyway.  As long as my friendships are still healthy, I can wait for the QT, but I sometimes worry that I'm being neglectful or absent, and I hope I'm not.  Anyway, so I try to reach out when I can, but it'll be nice to have some lady time (ohhh yeah) tonight.  And I was able to have some last weekend, too, in the form of a leisurely Saturday drinking brunch with Schmeather and Schmannon in Astoria.  I also feel so scheduled lately -- which is not a complaint, but I have less down time than I used to, and you know how mama needs her PJs on the couch nights.  For mental health reasons.  This week I did lots of laundry (including the bedroom curtains and dust ruffle) on Monday evening, then drove to JFK to pick up Hike from Vegas*, Tuesday I took him out for dinner for his birthday and then we did presents, Wednesday night I had softball and got home after 9, and then last night I had some time to myself and talked to my mom, then made dinner and Hike came over to relax with me.  It was nice, but I still feel worn out!

*Um, my man looked pretty smokin' hot when he came back, tanner and in summer-y clothes and a backwards baseball hat.  Since we started dating in the fall, I haven't seen him in his summer t-shirts that show off his biceps, and damn.  Of course, this made me more concerned about his behavior while he was gone, because I now have some big trust issues, but all seems to be well.  It sounds like it was a sausage-fest, and he said he didn't even speak to a girl while there.  (Not because of me, they just weren't around any.)  And I know he's a good man, but I have been wrong before.  Anyway, I could just stare at him for hours, he looks so handsome.  I feel lucky.

So yay, weekend again!  I can't wait to not set the alarm tomorrow morning -- or Sunday, for that matter.  Tomorrow night we're going to dinner with some of Hike's friends to celebrate his birthday more publicly, and then Sunday we may go to his mother's for his family celebration.  (And I know what she's getting him, and I can't wait -- it's stuff that's going to make his bedroom a lot more comfortable for me.  Because it's about me, of course.)

We've been arguing more this week, but we had a long, painful but productive fight/discussion on Wednesday night.  He made a good point, that when we're discussing something and I'm upset with him, I really retreat and put up a wall, and he feels really alone and defenseless/defensive.  This made a lot of sense to me, because I know when I feel hurt by something, I retract and protect myself, or try to, as there is already pain and I'm afraid of what's going to come -- like he'll leave me.  But that's me not being committed enough or secure enough in the relationship, and I do need to trust him enough to have a productive argument as opposed to "look how wrong you are, and you can't touch me now..."  So I am very glad that despite his masculine struggle to express himself sometimes, he pointed that out.  I've been reassured (which I do need) that he's not going anywhere, and a fight isn't going to change his mind, and so hopefully I can be less in warrior mode when I feel slighted.  I think that's a side effect of being independent for so many years -- I have to protect myself, right?  But there should be a point where I trust him to do that, too.  Anyway, deep thoughts.  Love is challenging, but so worth it. 

I suppose that's the life update.  My parents are coming next weekend, and I can't wait!  We won't have a lot of time, just Thurs eve - Sunday morning, but they haven't come to New York in a couple of years.  And on Saturday they'll meet Hike's family, and I can't wait.  I think everyone will like each other.  I'll let you know how it goes, and whether Grandma Fran starts talking about sex at the brunch table.  Here's hoping!

Friday, May 6, 2011

That Can't Be the Real Nickname

I just tasted my first and second White Castle "burgers" -- two of the lawyers went for lunch and each brought back 10 plus fries and onion rings, so one of the guys quit early and gave me two of his "whities."  It was amazing and weird and like canned soup but so good.

And now I feel gross and sick.  But I think that's supposed to happen.

Pre-Mother's Day was a success last night!  We brought his mom a card, a Visa gift card, and flowers, and then we brought a card and flowers for Grandma, and we got there and ate macaronis and gravy and hung out for a bit then drove his Grandma home on our way back.  We always make sure she's inside OK, and she gave me $5 to buy myself a drink (she gave him $20 for gas money) and it was all so sweet.  I was invited to go to lunch with the two ladies on Mother's Day since the sons are out of town, so I think I'll take them up on that.  His mom said she'd call me.

And today she e-mails:
Dear [Hike] & [Stevie],

Thanks so much for coming to see me last night & for the beautiful flowers, card & gift card.

I really appreciate it.

You both are the best!!!

Love lots,

My mother away from home, really.  It's very nice to be so close to them, but every once in awhile I get a "whoaaaa" feeling at how real and serious this is.  But it's good.  Now I just need to call my mom -- it's been awhile!  But they'll be here in two weeks!

Anyway, so last night was a very happy "last night" with Hike before he leaves for a few days.  We even witnessed a drunk driver smash/drive over three parked cars on my street (and got the plate number and called it in to 911 -- apparently there was a citizens' arrest of the guy a few blocks over!)  I mean, that part was bad, but the way everybody on the street worked together and was standing around talking outside, plus the fact that the guy was caught made it rather touching.  And scary, too.  And then I hid a card about "missing you" in Hike's suitcase because sometimes I am an awesome gf, so I'm wondering when he'll find it!  I bet there's a 30% chance he just won't find it, honestly.  He is not an observant male.

I am counting down the hours until my facial tonight (3.5) and I'm so looking forward to this weekend, especially brunch tomorrow.  Thankfully work is quiet today, too, so I'm sort of riding the Friday wave and working slowly but surely.  Enjoy your Motherly Days, all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's a Family Affair

Sometimes I marvel at my luck.

[Tuesday night, 11 pm, pre-sleep chatter]
Hike: Oh, we ordered flowers for [stepmom] for Mother's Day and had the card signed [Brother], [Wife], Hike and Stevie.
Me: Oh? Oh! That's great.  Thanks for including me.
Hike: Well, it's from all of us.  We're the kids.

As much as I should resist the urge, I can't help but compare this to other relationships, where I've had to fight really hard to meet the parents or feel involved or have my hand held.  It still surprises me that it's so easy now, and that I got the same Easter gift from Grandma Fran as the actual grandkids did. 

Since Hike and his brother will be flying to Vegas tomorrow for a weekend bachelor party, his poor mother will be without her precious Italian-American sons on Mother's Day.  We're driving out east tonight to have dinner there and spend some time with her before he leaves, and we'll bring flowers and a present and he'll sign a mushy card (from both of us, too).  I also mailed her a less personal (hi, she isn't really my mom) but still very heartfelt card that she'll get in the mail before Sunday, too.  I was debating visiting her on Sunday but decided that would be too weird and I probably should not offer.  We'll see if it comes up tonight, but otherwise I think the stuff with Hike is enough.

Oh, and my mom?  I mailed her a mushy card with a homemade coupon (shut up) for a manicure when she comes to visit me in a few weeks.  I am so excited!  Now I just have to decide if I suck it up and sleep on the couch for three nights, or if I make it weird and sleep at Hike's.  I haven't broached the subject yet.

It is weird to be more involved and in touch with his family than with mine, but part of that is just how his family operates compared to my own.  I am enjoying having these close family relationships, and siblings that are friends, and cousins and grandchildren and big holiday dinners with people coming and going.  It's rather new to me, but it's really comforting.  I just wish my family lived closer so I could blend the two more.  I'm so much looking forward to when his mom meets my parents in a few weeks -- then at least my mom can visualize where I am when I'm an adopted part of someone else's family.

Oh, and before you totally vomit because of how special this all is, I should say that I'm still navigating the calm waters of a stable relationship.  I get really upset about any arguing, and I often wonder if I'm making the right choice in my life.  I clearly have lost my faith in myself, so I pray a lot but can't tell what the answer is, and any negative signs really throw me for a loop.  As Britch reminds me, I'm very black & white, so when Hike and I fight because someone snapped at someone else, and then there was a snap back, and it's all really dumb and just bickering, I still think this means that we're not meant for each other.  I want to figure out why we're not being nicer to each other right now (probably we're taking each other for granted, which is why this Las Vegas trip comes at a good time for reminding), but I also want to not jump to the worst possible conclusions when we fight.

Recently someone asked us if we'd had our first fight, and I just laughed.

So yeah, we fight about stupid stuff, and we react similarly (which is to say with some temper), and I want to figure that out and get better at it.  I also want to just CHILL OUT, as I feel like I'm on edge a lot lately and as soon as he says something that hits me funny, I forget that I love him and I lash out.  I don't take a minute to give him the benefit of the doubt.  That is my part of it and I need to get my head in a good place about it.

And that's what I'm thinking about lately.  As much as I'll miss him this weekend, I'm very much looking forward to having some alone time.  PLUS, I'm getting a facial tomorrow and then going home to relax afterwards, and then Saturday I have a late brunch at MexiQ with my dear lady friends, and then later in the afternoon/evening I'll go to Trader Joe's and hopefully also Target, so I can make good use of Hike's car and the emptier stores on a weekend night.  Sunday is unplanned, but I could stand to do some laundry and maybe I'll go to church if I wake up at a good time.  It's so wide and open and full of relaxation!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I haven't quite managed to start working yet this morning, so I figured I'd go ahead and check in with you, friends.

I'm so out of it, as usual for a Monday morning.  It doesn't help that I'm achy from some Saturday activity (I'll get to that in a bit) (don't be perverted) and my right eye hurts and has a red swollen part on the lower lid.  Is this a sty?  I'm going to look it up now...  EW.  Ok, it may be a sty but it does not look like a pimple or a boil...rather there is a hole in the lower, inner eyelid, a tiny one, and it hurts.  So there. 

Weekends!  Weeks?  How long has it been since I've talked to you?  Things at work are clearing up significantly, since we hired a receptionist who started last week.  She's young but sweet and sharp and I really like her, plus she's so eager to please that she's doing a great job, as opposed to our last, goth-chick burnout person who was rather slow and always wore black.  It's a lovely change of pace.  This means my feeling of drowning at work has been relieved and I'm fairly organized and have a neat to-do list on my desk -- in other words, I'm not stressed about work at the moment.  Amazing.

So last week I walked home three times (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday), which felt good and tiring and made me feel a little more in control of this body.  It's four miles home from our new office, so it's a good little hike.  (Ha!)  Tuesday night I saw Source Code with Hike, which was really interesting and suspenseful, and we had Thai beforehand.  I had Veggies and Chicken with Peanut Sauce, which was delicious but probably not great for me with the peanut fat.  Oh well, could be worse.  Then Friday night we went to Red Lobster for dinner with his brother, and shhh, his brother saw a baby roach on the wall next to me and squashed it with a coaster.  We told the waiter, who told the manager, who promptly moved us to a different table, comped all of our meals, and gave us free dessert.  It was totally worth it, and since we moved, I didn't have the creepy-crawly-roaches crawling up my legs feeling!  I was very impressed with their efforts to not have us Yelp about the incident.  OH and I ordered the Broiled Seafood Platter, which was almost the healthiest option, and very delicious.  I did have a few Cheddar Bay Biscuits, however, and once she offered a free dessert, the three of us split this chocolate chip lava cookie with ice cream (ZOMG), but I tried and behaved rather well.  After dinner, his brother's wife joined us and we all saw Fast Five at the IMAX theater.  SO FUN.  It was just really entertaining and I'm so into Vin Diesel, I really can't help it.  I loved it whenever he was on screen -- now if only he'd had a love scene like that one on the hood of a car in the first movie with Michelle Rodriguez.  Swoon.

Saturday I woke up with a headache, probably from allergies and sleeping with the window open, so we relaxed then Hike left for the gym and I finished reading my book club book, finished the Series Finale of the Tudors on DVD, and napped briefly until I felt better.  Then, as it was so nice out, I was inspired to do some weeding in the garden, and moving the big rocks and planting a few things.  It felt nice to be out there, but man, I forgot how much the back of my legs hurt afterwards!  I'm still so sore and stiff, and I think this is what it'll be like when I'm elderly.  I should have stretched but I wasn't even thinking!  In the early evening, Hike helped me take some stuff to the Salvation Army in Astoria, and then I got behind the wheel so we could do a test drive to JFK.  I am going to pick him up next Monday night when he lands from Vegas, and I'm also going to have use of his car while he's gone (whoo), but as I hadn't driven in NYC since I first moved here, it seemed like a trial run wasn't a bad idea.  It went really well ("you exceeded my lofty expectations," said he), even when he remembered I had to exit across three lanes at the last minute.  And it felt so nice to drive again, except in the narrow part of the Grand Central right around Astoria.  It's a little scary there.

Saturday night we met up with Hike's friend and his gf, and the four of us went for dinner in Long Island City at Masso.  I drank these basil lime gimlets that were AMAZING, and I ordered salmon with a balsamic reduction and asparagus, though you can bet I wanted chicken parm or lasagna -- but it was good and filling and I felt very proud of my decision!  Then the four of us went back to my apartment to play Scene It: 80s Edition, and Hike and I SMOKED them, and then it was to bed. 

My firm had given me the Yankees tickets for Sunday afternoon, and it was a gorgeous warm, sunny day here.  We took another couple, friends of mine in Astoria, and we had a nice relaxing afternoon, even though none of us were really Yankees fans (and Hike wore his Mets hat).  I got a little sunburned, which was nice, and we left after the seventh inning to beat the traffic -- and were home in about 20 minutes, since it's so fast to drive from Astoria.  Then some relaxing time at home with Hike while he watched the Celtics/Heat game and I sort of dozed, then we went grocery shopping and I made us turkey sandwiches for supper, and then he left and I settled in for bed and watched The Guardian before sleep.  It was a little cliche but I really enjoyed it!  And I also do love Costner, plus I have a crush on Ashton that never went away, so you know, win all around. 

And that was my lovely, rather full weekend!  Now if I could only buckle down at work and stop thinking about how irritating this eye problem is...grr.  Tonight I'm going to get my nails did, and tomorrow night is book club and then dinner with Schmillie and Schmate, and then Hike will come over afterwards, then we're going to see his mom for an early Mother's Day celebration on Wednesday or Thursday, then he leaves for Vegas on Friday and I have scheduled a FACIAL [Oprah voice].  Saturday I have fun Astoria brunch plans with some ladeez, and then it's my much-anticipated Trader Joe's run, and that's about the extent of my plans.  I may try for a Target trip while I have the car, too, but I'm going to run out of room to store all of my goodies in my apartment!  He gets back on Monday night, so it'll be strange to sleep alone all weekend, but I think it'll be nice to have a little distance so we can remember how much we appreciate each other.  A little absence to make the heart grow fonder, you know?  As long as his absence doesn't involve any strip clubs, but he's given his word and is apparently not interested in them, anyway.

So that's what's up, folks.  I'm doing a little better with the weight control, I'm doing a little worse with the smoking, and I'm trying to relax more and worry less.  The fabric of my life, right?