Monday, June 30, 2014

Back at it

I arrived back in Detroit at 11:30 on Friday night and it feels like I have been running around ever since.

The work that I was having done on my condo -- hardwood floors! A hot water heater! -- was finished while I was gone so it has been full steam ahead on project: moving. Mom and I spent time this weekend installing a ceiling fan (it was an oddly successful endeavor) and doing a bit of painting and cleaning and all of those little things that must be done. I am hoping to get movers hired to haul all of my furniture out of Liz's basement sometime this week. Finally.

I also had two soccer games on Sunday. Fascinating fact: watching World Cup soccer for 10 days doesn't keep you in shape and it doesn't make you any better of a soccer player. 

Now I'm back at work.

And surprisingly sad that my vacation is over. For a trip that I had to actively talk myself into committing to, it was a damn good experience. I had such a wonderful time and met so many fantastic people. Brazil was beautiful and fun and different and everything I thought it would be and nothing at all how I expected, too. I bitched about them, yes, but Meg and Caity were overall pretty great travelling companions.  

I'll share some pictures once Meg gets back with her camera (she and Caity stayed for a few extra days) but I think that I will skip over the full, detailed, intense recap. Certain things are just better off living in your memory. 

Because my words really couldn't do our trip justice.      


Friday, June 27, 2014

And then I travel for 20 hours

Finished the trip on a high note. I am leaving for the airport now. And I technically met my goal of being kissed by three dudes, so there's that.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Checking in from Brazil

I can't sleep late here. It gets bright really early. I'm up every morning at 6:00.

I don't mind because it gives me an hour to drink coffee and check my email and send text messages and sit by the pool. And have some time to myself.

Meg and I got in a full-on spat yesterday. She's a dick. I am very practiced at dancing around my sister. It's like I subconsciously know how to steer situations to keep her happy. But it is exhausting. And she was rude to me. So I told her.

Things are still a little tense.

Meg's friend, Caity, also had a spell when she was a little cross yesterday. It just wasn't the best day of our trip, I suppose. It also featured a lovely rain squall at the beach, which dampened (literally!) that excursion.

Oh, and that heartbreaking last-second goal in the USA/Portugal goal. Perhaps you've heard about it?

I am complaining and, at the same time, I don't even care. We're still having a great time. Tonight, we'll see Mexico/Croatia and first thing tomorrow morning we're hopping on a bus and driving up the coast of Brazil to see Italy/Uruguay.

And check this out:

I found the library!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I love it here

It isn't South Africa, but it is pretty damn lovely.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I have arrived

We made it to Brazil.

The travel was fine. Long but fine. We had two connections. It took 20 hours. I'm pretty sure we could have gotten there with just one layover. I let Meg book the flights.

When we got to the hotel, we dropped our bags in our tiny room, we changed out clothes and we went to the pool.

A couple of caipirinhas and a few appetizers later: we were ready to venture out in search of our tickets. And dinner. Food here is pretty expensive so it's a shame I like to eat as much as I do.

The only annoying part of this trip so far has been how much Meg and her friend expect me to do. Like, everything. I guess I must seem more okay doing the awkward broken English/Portuguese exchanges but, c'mon you guys.

I almost lost it last night when I forgot Meg's wallet on my bed when we went out. I forgot it because her friend asked me to do something for her at the same time. Meg was nice about the wallet. She was happy to let me buy for her. But I wanted to scream. So I need to find a gentle way to push them to help me out a little.

Today, we're going to the Italy/Costa Rica game. Finally some soccer! And I already leave for home a week from today. Boo.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Mad Dash

In a day's time, I will be en route to Brazil. 

You know how you think you have everything all ready to travel and then, right before your trip, you come up with 100 more things you need to do?

That's totally not me. I never thought that I was ready and my to-do list is a mile long.

The important stuff will get done. The less important stuff won't. And anything else I'm leaving for my mother. Such as coordinating the contractor so that the floors in my condo are done by the time that I get home. (If you wouldn't mind crossing my fingers on that one, I would appreciate it.)

Would anyone like to bet on the one really important thing that I forget to pack? 

Would anyone like to bet on the number of men who I make out with while I am in Brazil?

Would anyone like to stop by and double check my suitcase?

The plan is to blog while I'm gone. I couldn't be any more spotty than I've been the last few weeks, so I think that this is a worthy goal. Plus it keeps me from dragging out travel recaps for six months, at which time they're torture to write and torture to read. 

I'm not going to do that to us, you guys. We're in this together.

Onward! Brazil!

Monday, June 16, 2014

We made it

I spent the last part of the week up to my eyes in Anna's bridal shower.

But I survived. We all survived. No tears. No major arguments. No food poisoning or kitchen fires or natural disasters.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that I had fun but, you know. It was okay. I'm still quite sick and prone to being crabby. And I don't love bridal showers on a good day.

Also I showed up in a blue dress and a yellow cardigan only to find my mom wearing a periwinkle dress and a greenish-yellow cardigan. Awkward.  

She changed.

Merriment was had.

Anna's Special Day leading up to her More Special Day was beautiful and I'm so glad that it's over. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


For years now -- since I finished college, basically -- it has felt like I have lived out of bags.

I survey my bags before leave for work in the morning. Handbag. Work bag. Lunch bag. Maybe my soccer bag. Or my hockey bag. Or my gym bag. Or a bag of clothes to change in to before I go to Lucy's house. And the bag that contains the dessert I'm bringing to Lucy's house. Or the one filled with various items I need to return to my mother. Or grandmother. Or sister. Or all three.

I am so excited to lose the bags.

When I move: the bags become obsolete. Or at least they become less critical. I can leave my soccer equipment at home without it meaning that I won't make my game. I can stop by my condo and change my clothes before going to Lucy's house on a Friday night. I don't have to remember every little tiny thing that I may or may not need over the course of a day because my life is so spread out and scheduled so tightly.

Just the thought of that is liberating. I am thrilled to give up that mental space. I can't wait to dedicate that energy to something worthwhile. Not whether or not I packed up a sufficient number of sports bras to get me through a two-game Sunday.

My world is getting smaller. In a good way.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Playing Games

When we were in elementary school, the neighborhood kids would stage epic games of kickball and capture the flag. We would break ourselves into teams and play until a huge argument broke out, someone had to go home for dinner or we found an adult to supervise our swimming.*

My younger sister, Meg, would never play.

Meg, who excelled in softball and volleyball and soccer and ice hockey and any other sport she attempted, absolutely hated the disorganized chaos of our neighborhood games.

And she hated to lose these meaningless games even more. So she refused. If Meg is anything, it is stubborn. She always refused.

While researching our Brazil trip earlier this evening, I stumbled upon some drop-in soccer matches. All ages and skill levels, Brazilians and foreigners alike. Just for fun.

The Brazilian soccer equivalent to our neighborhood kickball games, basically. I should have known.

I emailed the information to Meg anyway. She immediately responded with her refusal.

I'm glad that I don't take myself that seriously.

*If there is ever a rule that is not to be broken when growing up on the lake, it is the rule forbidding you from swimming without an adult present. It was drilled into us and, as far as I can remember, not one of us ever broke that rule.

Monday, June 09, 2014


I was feeling very impatient. Impatient to move in to my condo. Impatient to have the floors refinished and the walls painted. Impatient to get my cousin Anna's wedding shower over and done with. Impatient about Father's Day plans. Impatient about boys. Impatient with my sister. Impatient to receive a shirt I ordered for my trip to Brazil. Impatient to get a reply to an email I sent about soccer. Impatient to make plans for Lucy's birthday. Impatient for Chet to make plans for Lucy's birthday. Impatient about getting a bunch of work squared away before I left for vacation. Impatient about vacation in general. 

Then I went and caught myself some sort of cold/allergy devil's hybrid. 

And now I am too lethargic to feel impatient about anything. 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Housing Crisis, Part 16

It happened.

I signed away my life. (And brought along my mommy because I'm not that big of a grownup.)

My realtor took a picture.

I hung up a World Cup poster because I could, damnit.

My mom spent the afternoon with me at the condo and we got the bathroom and the kitchen all cleaned up. Then I returned home and pulled all of my kitchen stuff out of the basement only to find that my kitchen goods are more plentiful than I had realized. Like, two car loads plentiful.

I own a lot of mixing bowls.

And apparently a condominium. Crazy.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Housing Crisis, Part 15

Here we go, boys and girls.

I close on the condo tomorrow afternoon.

I will spend my weekend trying to keep myself from wanting to do absolutely everything rightthissecond. I'm having flooring installed before actually move in; I can't do much until the floors are finished.

There is no chance that I will be able to resist doing nothing. No chance whatsoever. Maybe I'll paint? The bathroom is the only room where I won't be replacing the flooring so I suppose I can get that all squared away.

But I what I really want to do is everything!

And I want to do it before I leave for Brazil.

In 13 days.

Before I catch that plane, I have four soccer games and Father's Day and Anna's bridal shower and, I don't know, my job.

I won't be moving before I leave for Brazil.

But I'm still hoping for a miracle and a really fast contractor and a free afternoon.

Big change from how this all started, right? I'm not digging my heels in any longer. I'm trying to hold myself back.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Fluff and substance

Blogging has been hard lately.

Maybe you can tell.

Ever since I wrote about The Coach's job that wasn't, I've felt a little raw. A little exposed.

It's like I've been blogging for all of this time without ever realizing exactly how much of my life I'm really putting out there. This is me! Here I am! With my problems and my bad decisions and my dresses! 

And then I wrote about The Coach's job that wasn't and finally got what blogging is all about and I forgot how to do it.

No. I didn't forget how to do it. I got scared.

I started being afraid to write about what's real.

But I'm also afraid to write about what's not. Because the occasional post about shorts or pie crusts is okay but that's not what this blog is about. That's not what I am about.

I like fluff. In moderation. But I love substance.

That's why I blog. The substance.

I'm working on getting back there. Thanks for hanging around in the meantime.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I need help

I carry a big purse.

I always carry a big purse.

I put a lot of things inside. Here is a sampling:

...among other things, which include: iPad, check book, a bottle of ibuprofen, hair ties, one of those six-foot CVS receipts, a pair of underwear, some jewelry and assorted notes to myself.

It's silly.

Over the weekend, I had an idea. I would wean myself off of my big purse!

I pulled a smaller purse out of my closet. It holds my wallet and my phone and my keys and a lip gloss and that's enough. I will tuck my small purse inside my big purse and then, when I'm feeling brave, I'll just carry the small purse.

Baby steps, right?

I thought that I was a genius for a few hours until I looked at the contents of my massive purse a little bit closer.

And there was the wristlet that I had started toting around the last time that I thought I could minimize the number of items that I tote around.

Proof that I had this great idea before. Proof that it failed.

So now I'm just carrying around all of it.

I need an intervention.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Gratitude: May

  • Patience. 
  • Sunscreen.
  • My insanely flexible work schedule. 
  • The wisdom of experience.
  • That Starbucks doesn't regularly run a Frapuccino Happy Hour special.
  • Road trips.
  • That one magical bottle of nail polish that happens to be the perfect color and extra-resistant to chipping.
  • An 86% shorter distance.
  • Giant inflatable couches.
  • Learning not to compulsively check my work email as soon as I get in.
  • Derby hats.
  • Lunchtime at the lake. 
  • Online shopping. With a good coupon code. Or free shipping. Or both.  
  • Wishes.
  • Inspired Mother's Day gifts. 
  • Plans and preparation (and cheerleader friends).
  • A well-organized inbox.      
  • Perspective. 
  • Short meetings. 
  • Long weekends.
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