Sunday, August 30, 2009

Erik Rimm 2009

Yesterday a dear friend of Kevin and Jon's from high school suddenly passed away on his 30th birthday. He was young, crazy handsome, and kind. He was very adventurous, despite or because he was losing his eyesight completely. He was a model in Europe, a martial arts instructor in Brazil, a surf instructor in Central America, and a survival skills instructor in the US. When Kevin heard he said, "If he were going to die young, I thought it would have been wrestling a bear, or something like that."

Stern Wedding 2008
Jon lovingly fixing Erik's tie at Jon's wedding

Stern Wedding 2008
Dancing with his girlfriend 

Update on the service: Kevin and Jon flew to Florida for the service. A bunch of Erik's friends painted Erik's tattoo on themselves as a tribute to him. Eric's family and friends gathered on a beach in Boca Raton and the ocean swelled with their tears.

Erik Rimm Memorial Slideshow

Friday, August 28, 2009

Things My Wife Complains About: #7 Not Having Opposable Toes

Last night, while struggling with something or other, my wife bemoaned her lack of opposable toes. When I pointed out that nobody has opposable toes, she declared, "Well, that just sucks."

I don't even know what to say about this one.

Possible Solutions!
1) Get lots more sleep.
2) Study captive chimps to learn their secrets.
3) Mate with a lower-level primate and hope that evolution blesses your child with opposable toes (hard).

Wychmere Harbor Club

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Romantic Signs

Tom Shovelton has put a fresh rose at his wife's bed every day for the 60 years they've been married. This makes me think of how Kevin brings me a glass of water every night so I don't wake up and complain I'm thirsty. Sometimes we forget to take away a glass before adding a new one and pretty soon his sweet gesture looks like that awesome scene in the movie Signs. I'm a lucky woman.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Trip to the Cape 2009

Spent a few days on the Cape with Jon, Becky, Ash, and Michele and visited with Kevin's mom. Did some beaching, BBQing, seafood and ice cream-eating. Your usual, perfect weekend. Until Ash went missing when she decided to go for a run and got lost. Bye Ash.

IMG_4374-new edit1 
All of us at Bayview Beach

Cape Cod 2009
Michele, Ash, and me

Cape Cod 2009
Michele made me my first Mrs. sandwich

Cape Cod 2009
Making dinner

Jon and Kevin

Cape Cod 2009 
The ladies

Cape Cod 2009
All of us outside Seafood Sams

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Things My Wife Complains About: #6 Posting Boring Updates to Her Blog

The Belle and Sebastian song "My Wandering Days Are Over" begins, "You know my wandering days are over / Does that mean that I'm getting boring?" It's a rhetorical question. Of course, the narrator is getting boring. If his wandering days were still going on, he might be a little not boring, but too bad they're over. Right now, he's probably writing a boring blog or reading a boring blog or having a boring conversation about reading or writing one. Those are the only options in the modern world.

Eventually, my wife will complain about Things My Wife Complains About, and things will get really meta. In the meantime, things have become only mildly meta, as I'm using her blog to register her complaint about how boring her blog is.

Proposed Solutions!

1) Resist the temptation to catalog ever trip, concert, athletic event, wedding, baptism, bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, quinceanera, spelling bee, parade, rave, exorcism, and intervention and only update the blog when something interesting happens.
2) Redirect the mission of the blog to documenting inherently interesting topics like unintentionally hilarious NFL apparel.
3) Only do not boring things all of the time (hard).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Red Sox and Love 2009

Toronto Blue Jays v. Red Sox 2008
Toronto Blue Jays v. Red Sox 2008
Earlier I mentioned that Kevin and I enjoy going to UVA sporting events. We also very occasionally go to professional games. Obviously, we've been to a Red Sox game at Fenway (against the Toronto Blue Jays), though shockingly only once in 2008. We also went to a Cubs game at Wrigley, and a Patriots v. Giants game at Giants Stadium with Jon and Becky. We had a fun time at each of the games.

Which is why this next confession is probably heart-breaking for my husband: I kind of hate the Red Sox.

Oh, sure, I was into them for a while. My first baseball game ever was the Red Sox at Fenway. I instantly fell in love with the handsome Nomar Garciaparra. Later, I got kind of psyched about the Nationals coming to DC and bought a little red hat with a big white W. Sometime after that I ran into the Red Sox World Series trophy at a bar in DC. It was on tour without any of the players accompanying it; it was a separate hero.

And yes, I admit, that when Kevin told me that he had a cat named Nomar, the first thing I said was "Like Garciaparra? I love Garciaparra!" Like any devoted girlfriend I tried to take an interest in Kevin's first love, baseball. No matter how much I tried I couldn't really wrap my mind around the more complicated rules and plays. I did start to learn the names of some of the more interesting players. Manny Ramirez, who had a good Hispanic name and was easy to remember because he was well, being Manny; Mike Lowell, my new baseball crush and a Cuban to boot; Gagne, who Kevin was constantly complaining was ruining the entire game of baseball; Matsusaka, Kevin's baseball crush; and Okajima, Matsuzaka's little buddy. I even bought Kevin a cool Matsuzaka shirt that said Red Sox in Japanese. And so what if Kevin watched hours and hours of baseball? I had law school homework to do. Though I warned that one day the homework would be over, and maybe so much baseball would be a bit too much.

Then Manny left. And with him went over 10% of my Red Sox knowledge. Matsuzaka started to suck (and became a great dishonor to his people). And of course, the homework ended. So lots of boring games + no personal interest in the players + every time they lose Kevin is sad. And then I am sad.

I know I married Kevin and that means that to some degree I married the Red Sox, but don't expect me to cheer unless Manny comes back.

Giants Stadium - Patriots v. Giants 2008
Patriots v. Giants 2008

Friday, August 14, 2009

Girls' Night- June 2009

Out with Ash and Michi at Bill's Gay Nineties. Awesome place despite the weird name. It's a 1920's speakeasy and piano bar.

Bill’s Gay Nineties 2009
Michele, me, and Ash after work

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things My Wife Complains About: #5 Trying to Win Competitions

Long after she had ensnared me, my wife extolled the virtues of being difficult, pronouncing that men enjoy competitions and, accordingly, working to earn the affections of women. She pointed out that this is why men enjoy playing sports, playing video games, etc. She seemed pretty pleased with herself. You can imagine my surprise, then, when my wife complained about my fulfilling the destiny she had determined for me. More precisely, she complained that I came in first in a Go Kart race, arguing that if I loved her, I would have committed myself to making sure she enjoyed her time Go Karting instead.

Here's what I like to do in a Go Kart: hang back until I get to a wide turn; jam my cart into the nose of the next cart, pushing it into the wall until it spins around and ideally begins smoking; win.

Here's what my wife likes to do in a Go Kart: take pictures; lose.

My wife also intimated that I came in first not because I enjoy winning but because I would rather spend time with the girls at the front of the race. Go Kart tracks are up there with art galleries and martini bars for the best places to score hot chicks.

Me: "That seat belt looks great on you."

Hot Chick: "Thank you. I can see that your advanced driving is suggestive of sexual performance."

Proposed solutions!

1) Cease to find pleasure in winning, committing myself to a life of mediocrity.
2) Drive backward to assure I can't win.
3) Bribe other drivers, including children who constitute most Go Kart drivers, to drive slowly and poorly, so wife can win (hard).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Upstate NY 2009

Just got back from a fun weekend in upstate New York with the nuclear fam. I haven't been to the house upstate since before I had a digital camera (yes, this is how I tell time now) so sometime before 2003. It was great to go up and stay at the house and see my parents. It was nice to spend a solid amount of time with Kevin since I've been working a lot lately. I had to work a little on Saturday and a lot on Sunday, but I was happy I didn't have to go into the office this weekend. I even tried my hand at gardening! The flowers will never ever forgive me.

Lake Placid 2009
Kevin and me at Placid

Lake Placid 2009
Dad, bear, and Kevin in Lake Placid

Mom and me in Keene Valley

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beautiful Music 2006 - 2009

Another thing we still frequently do is go to concerts of Kevin's choice because I don't usually suggest any. (I did go to Dr. Dog with my friend Michele, but he didn't get invited.) So anyway, we only go to concerts he picks, but we both enjoy them. And we definitely go to more and better concerts than if I were in charge.

Islands Concert 2006
Islands Concert, Charlottesville, VA, 2006

Our first concert together, and probably still my favorite, was the intimate Jose Gonzalez show where I sadly took no pictures, and where I my spilled drink and almost killed Jose in a slip-and-fall accident. Sorry, Jose. We had been dating less than two months and sat on the floor together, Kevin with his arm around me, and we listened to romantic guitar music. For a long time, I wanted "Remain" to be our wedding song, but it was too fast to be workable.

After that there was Islands, Camera Obscura, Deerhoof, The New York Philharmonic, The National, Magnetic Fields, Decemberists, Cat Power, and about a week ago, M. Ward.

Summerstage: M. Ward 2009
M. Ward Concert at Summer Stage, NYC, 2009

Ultimately, our wedding song was Cat Power's cover of Sea of Love, a well-known song from 1959. We liked her cover of I Found A Reason even more, but both her version and Lou Reed's original version were impossible to dance to. We tried and tried and tried! But picking songs and practicing to all of them was half the fun. Teaching Kevin to spin me was a little more painful.

Dancing to Sea of Love at our wedding, June 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

M. Ward at Summerstage 2009

Over the weekend we went to see M. Ward at Summerstage in Central Park. Becky got us the tickets because she works for Central Park, and we were supposed to go with Becky and Jon, but Becky's sister gave birth this week so she's off to meet her niece! Congrats!

M.Ward Concert 2009

M. Ward 2009

M. Ward 2009

Sadly, I had to go in to work on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Things My Wife Complains About: #4 Saving Lives

At the end of Denis Johnson's story "Emergency," an AWOL soldier asks the deranged hospital orderly purportedly driving him to the Canadian border what he does for a living, and the orderly answers, "I save lives."

I hope I didn't just ruin the ending of one of the best short stories of the last twenty-five years.

Anyhow, I'm like that orderly. I save lives. Not in an abstract sense through literature, though that's also true, but in a concrete sense, via the several pints of blood I donate each year. It's an easy way to assuage my liberal/Catholic guilt over not planting trees or toweling off baby seals or something. I knew I loved my wife when I asked her to donate blood with me and she not only agreed but also almost passed out doing it. That's what I call commitment to a bit! More specifically, she turned pale and started shaking, and when the disinterested orderly-type person vaguely offered her blankets or juice, she shook them off bravely, insisting on filling her bag. If you don't fill your bag, you don't save any lives and you're just some loser missing a lot, though not quite enough, blood.

When you donate blood, they give you a sticker. Voting and blood letting are the only times anyone gives you a sticker after the age of eight.

Did my wife perform all this heroism without complaint? Of course not, though she was still in the complaint-masking stage of our relationship, so it was all pretty minor. I rewarded her by asking her to go steady, 1950s style. She hasn't been hot to donate blood since then.

Proposed solutions!

1) Find, or create, an oil slick and wipe clean all the baby seals
2) Travel somewhere exotic where you're not allowed to donate blood due to the communicable disease you almost certainly acquired.
3) Become a vampire and start taking blood. This only works if you donate the blood you take, not if you drink it (hard).

Key West 2007

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dates 3-5, 2006

Shenandoah National Park
Wednesday, August 9- Our third date was hiking at Shenandoah starting very early in the morning. We went to Brown's Gap, a long and lovely trail with three waterfalls. We brought coffee, oranges and nuts to snack on at the falls. The last thirty minutes back were very hot and I was getting bitten by mosquitoes, but I restrained my complaints because we had only just started dating. I wanted him to think I could hang with his hiking hobby.

Friday, August 11- He cooked me dinner and we watched Rushmore. After our second date I refused to go back to his place to watch a movie because at 11 PM, I said it was too late. So he had to make it a separate date and lure me over with dinner. We watched this because I rejected Briggs's "go-to" movie of Eternal Sunshine (sure to get girls in a romantic mood). We enjoyed watching the movie together and Kevin suggested we should rent a television show together (so as to have a regular excuse for dates, write that one down single men). We'd heard good things about Six Feet Under. Um, a show about death and funeral parlors?

Tuesday, August 15- So for our fifth date, we went to the nearby quaint town of Scottsville. Scottsville is a funny little place, and we enjoyed it enough to go back the next year, but I'm really not sure why. Then watched Six Feet Under together at my place. I think this was the first time he came to my place and was shocked when I offered him mango juice. He was dating a real Cuban.

I think it's best if Kevin explains our sixth date, although he's sure to do so in his own special way.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Things My Wife Complains About: #3 Planning Enjoyable Activities

Provincetown 2009
We have a fun little weekend planned. M. Ward in the sweet seats in Central Park then the Red Sox-Orioles game in Baltimore with friends from Charlottesville. A husband might feel pretty satisfied organizing these two events--satisfied, that is, until he learns his wife wishes neither event had been planned! It turns out wife is a busy bee, and all this fun hangs over her head like the sword of Damocles.

Proposed solutions!

1) Don't plan enjoyable activities.
2) Plan enjoyable activities that are certain to be derailed by natural disaster (pity we can't enjoy these 1989 World Series tickets, for example).
3) Plan enjoyable activities that don't actually exist so that when they're mysteriously cancelled, you benefit from planning them, as well as not having to go (moderately hard).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Second Date: Politics and Love 2006

Instead of waiting the requisite three days, the Tuesday after our Sunday first date, I get the following (excuse) email from Kevin:

Message from sender:
did you see this? the headline on today's herald reads: "miami streets burst with spontaneous joy." also: stay out of the sun! it's going to be insanely hot today. gelato can only be consumed with a straw.
INTERNATIONAL | July 31, 2006: Ailing Castro Gives Temporary Power to Brother

Nothing warms a girl's heart like talk of revolution, and pretty soon we were planning our second date- dinner at Continental Divide, a restaurant in Charlottesville that serves giant margaritas. After dinner that night, he said something crucial-- but to explain I have to go back a few years.

Paduch Visits 2008
In 2003, I started working at the soda lobby. I became interested in the politics of food. I decided that the government subsidization of corn (used in corn syrup in American sodas) was particularly diabolical for a number of reasons from health to the violation of international trade treaties. In 2004, when returning from an all-day drinking event of some kind (Wine Festival or Gold Cup), I turned around in my bus chair and got into an argument-to-the-death about corn subsidies with my friend's then-boyfriend. Sometime afterward my friend Aubree wrote on my Friendster wall, "... do not discuss corn subsidies with her."

On Thursday, August 3, 2006, we were walking back from dinner at Continental, when Kevin remarked how much he hated corn subsidies. That's when I knew.

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