Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Suggestions, anyone?

I need a polite way to say, "I'm sorry it's taken me four days to respond to your request for additional edits because you are an annoying pain in the ass with too much time on your hands and may I take this opportunity to remind you that this is a personal keepsake from a DISNEY FOR KINDERGARTENERS PLAY we're designing here NOT LAYING OUT THE GUTENBURG BIBLE and I have spent MORE TIME trying to decipher your vague email requests than you spent watching the COMPLETE RUNNING TIME OF THE SHOW please just kill me KTHANXBAI."


I'm seriously starting to think about messing' with this parent's head and kickin' it "Missy the Lost Cat" style. (<---Missy the Lost Cat is fake, but brilliantly accurate when it comes to these sorts of discussions. Oh, man, when I read that I nearly peed myself. I haven't been that validated since a videographer friend sent me a link to Clients from Hell.

Now I'm just procrastinating.

Maybe I should design a poster. "Sigh II: When Ennui Attacks!"

Friday, July 09, 2010

Gwen's Shower: Starring Badly PhotoShopped Kelly

Last month Shannon and Alissa threw Gwen an awesome pre-nuptial party at Shannon's house in DC. It was an absolute blast, featuring water balloon fights, tug of war, hula hooping, old school relays and seriously good food.

You can see all of the photos here. This past weekend, Gwen had a shower in our hometown, which I could not attend since we had plans over the Fourth for the annual Plotner-Gaul beach trip/crab-feast/ with a special reunion-memorial this year that was truly touching and peaceful and just right. (More on that coming later.)

I was sad to miss out on the Lancaster shower, but I did get to go to at least one of the celebrations. Kelly, on the other hand, was greatly missed, but she *will* be flying 3,000 miles to be at the wedding so that will be awesome. Usually when one of us can't attend something like this, we find another way to have fun. This time... I'm introducing "Badly Photoshopped Kelly!"

The bride-to-be and Badly PhotoShopped Kelly enjoy delicious sangria. And wine. And a margarita.

Gwen and Badly PhotoShopped Kelly catch hula hoops thrown by Gaby.

Badly PhotoShopped Kelly gives H and Amanda the extra oomph they need to win tug of war!

Gaby and Badly PhotoShopped Kelly bombard Gwen with Badly PhotoShopped Water Balloons.

Badly PhotoShopped Kelly points out that Amanda has dropped her Lifesaver.

Molly navigates around Badly PhotoShopped Kelly's stupendous bow hat, which makes them both thirsty.

Hee! I love you both. Happy Less Than Two Months 'Til The Wedding! :)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

In Case Heaven Has Wi-Fi

New Viewer's Guide to This Entry: I had a friend who was like a big brother to me since I was five. His mom is my mom's best friend. We celebrate every holiday together and vacation together every year at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware every year. His name was Brad. He had muscular dystrophy. He died in December. I got to be there to help him pass, bringing him slushies and providing a lot of his care. It was beautiful and awful and I write about him with great love and some caution because his story is not mine to tell, though it's pretty much What I'm Workin' Through for the past six months. We were both avid fans of the TV show Lost. I wrote the first part of this entry right after the Lost Finale. Joel and I are in the car right now driving down to the beach. His best friends from college and high school and childhood are all coming down for fireworks and beach fun and on Monday, we will scatter his ashes where he asked us to.

Hi. You should have been here tonight. More specifically, I should have driven home to E. Pete and brought you a Coke slushy and we would have watched it all from the 7:30 p.m. preview on and Killian would have made herself a lap dog even though she's really ginormous when she sits on you, well, me, but I never would have pushed her off. I should be walking home to the place I now call "my parents' house," flip flops slapping up C@roline and P@rkridge Drives, passing in and out of yellow pools of light from faintly humming streetlamps with the smell of ginkgo trees in the air.

But to wish for that would be to wish for you to still be in pain, bored and frail. I hated that for you, but still, I wish you were still here for this. For all of it. Saying "I miss you" is inadequate.

Oh, it hurt to see that character of Christian Shepherd. Oh, it hurt to see him alive and whole and free of his demons, helping his son realize that in order for them to be embracing and talking then they must both be dead.

No one dies alone, I suppose, was the thing with the dog at the end. And you didn't. I never would have let that happen, which is probably why you picked me.

Lost the Finale: not for dog-lovers or the recently bereaved. Kleenex says bless you.

Thank you for that. Thank you for picking me. Have I ever thanked you for that in any of "our talks" where I just talk and hope that you listen and then hope that I'm not stopping you from playing tackle football or riding a motorcycle or whatever it is that you get to do in the afterlife that's cooler than watching your friends and family cry because we just don't get how fucking cool it is where you are yet.

Well, anyway. Thank you. For asking for me and then asking me to stay and letting me be the one to say the hard words, like, "I think I know where you'd like to have your ashes scattered. Would you like me to put it out there, and you say yes or no?"

Memorial planning on a notepad with your hero trach'ed and intubated. They never show THAT on the life insurance commercial with Grandpa Witherspoon, do they?

As this grief cycle turns and then turns again- I'm cycling back into nightmare mode, AGAIN, dont'cha know- I'm back at the point where I think, "I can never do that again. I can never be that strong for anyone else, can never help anyone else die. I emerged from that phase in February, thinking, "Well, maybe I could. For a loved one, a parent, Joel someday if I had to, but only when we're reallyreally old, please. But I could. I could do it again."

That was progress, back in February. I went screaming back to Hell To the No sometime last week when I started giving Mt. Laundry the side-eye and thinking about packing for the beach.

For the past six years you know what my favorite part of the beach house was? Getting to reposition you every night at 2 a.m. after I retired the laptop, savoring the solitude in the house full of sleeping parents and guests and friends, the only sounds that broke the sleeping hush were mine- clinking the recyclable beer bottles and loading the dishwasher for the morning breakfast rush- and yours- the hush-shush-shush of your bi-pap as I slid open your bedroom door, at your request.

That was awesome, Brad, getting to instantly make you feel so much better with a simple 10-second act of moving a blanket or flipping your pillow to the cool side. That was the best.

Anyway. I was staring down the laundry, thinking about what I should wash so I can pack, when I remembered with the shrieking brakes of a Mack truck trying not to hit a squirrel that you aren't going to be at the beach this year. Like, duh, right?

But to wish to have you back is to wish for you to be bored, in pain and frail, on the boardwalk with a book and not down in the waves or the sand or in line for the Haunted House with the kids. I will ride with Aiden so he won't be scared, because it was awesome when you did that for me, except now I WANT to be haunted. But I will go with the others to spread your ashes, because- just like spinning you at night- it's a ten-second act that I can do with the others, at your request.

Damn, your being dead just SUCKS.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Vague is the new black

I sound like a broken record, but I have a lot of things going on in my life, which- while not bad persay- are decidedly unbloggable. As an observer of human life and behavior, working in the wedding industry is a never-ending source comic bloggy goodness. My brides and grooms are almost uniformly awesome and THEY would probably greatly enjoy my take on, say, the high noon standoff at OK Corral that happens when a mother of the bride is forced to interact with a stepmother of the bride when the stepmother was one of the primary reasons her marriage ended, but it's just not prudent if I want to KEEP working in the wedding industry. Once upon a time, there was a wedding planner who PWNED the tacky wedding industrial complex on her killer blog and some of her clients found it... She is my cautionary tale. So there's that. But all in all, good times, good times.

Also, Joel and I have had this amazing blessing fall into our laps this past week in the form of an opportunity to help out someone who really needs us, and it's complex and touching and inspiring and hard and I so wish I could share this person's story with you, but then there's this whole respecting boundaries thing. So yeah. Maybe someday, with permission. I don't mean to sound all, "Nyah, nyah, nyah boo boo, I've got someone crashing on my couch that my pets are helping to heal and it's unfolding before my eyes with awesomeness but I'm not gonna tell you more!" but... it is what it is.

Meanwhile, people who work in children's theater can be incredibly mean (Lesley, holla!) and I'm so glad- but also unsettled- to learn that, like, mean people in children's theater is kind of a universal THING the way that the cutest guys with the biggest egos tend to play trumpets in marching bands everywhere. And I don't mean the kids. The kids are great! I practically wanted to load this one kid into my womb (in a non-creepy way, I assure you) during his lisp-y version of "Where is Love?" from the musical Oliver earlier today. It's the adults who drive you to the point of wanting to take your toys and send yourself home. It's getting better, though. Some people had to mark their territory by pissing on me, but I think we're good now. Probably. If we're not I PROBABLY WON'T BE ABLE TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT, AT LEAST NOT ON MY BLOOOOGGGG!

If a tree falls in the woods and a blogger can't write about it, did it really happen? I am lucky that this is my biggest problem right now. So lucky.

Anyway, I CAN link to the cool light grafiti project, which is here, though. Woot?

BONUS: I uploaded it! Blogger's viewer is incredibly wee, though. Best to click the link, I think.