Today is my last day at the job that I've bitched and moaned about in this space for four years now. And as ecstatic as that fact should make me, I'm actually a little sad. It's amazing that you can become attached to anything after enough exposure to it.
In the same way that some criminals don't want to leave prison, I'm feeling reluctant to shed the safety blanket (albeit, the wooly itchy safety blanket) that this job has become. It has fed me, clothed me poorly (more my fault than the job's) and supported my rock star trip for almost a half a decade. And for that I'm grateful.
So, thanks job.....you bastard.
P.S. There may be no journal for a few days due to Ladywife Sarah's and my move on Monday to Rochester.
The move is creeping up. Actually, the move is not so much creeping up as it is barreling directly at Sarah and I like a runaway freight train.
I. Hate. Moving.
I mean, everyone hates moving, but I think I would rather be impaled on a rusty spike than pack up a house. I actually get to the point where I say things like "Hmmm, this bed is pretty heavy.....Do we really need it?"
I'm pretty sure that if left to my own devices I wouldn't ever own anything of value simply because of my aversion to the idea of ever having to move it.
Luckily, I married a woman who fully understands this. Together we came up with the compromise that post-wedding I would keep working at my miserable job and she would pack the house.
People, Last night Ladywife Sarah, myself, Brendo Frendo and Captain Jack went out to have a last meal together before the big move. I'd like to say that it was emotional and we professed our great love for each other, but that would simply not be true. I think between the wedding and the band breaking up that there's been plenty of that "emotions" crap floating around and everyone is just tired of it. And so instead we gave in to our worst natures and talked about everyone we hate and why we hate them. The reasons were predictably petty and ranged from "when I say hi it takes her too long to say hi back" to "she has a big can and that's a deal breaker." Good fun was had by all. We ate at Bertucci's, a restaurant whose food I actually don't like that much. However, their dinner rolls are unreal. I go to eat the rolls and then end up buying some overpriced and not that tasty entree out of a sense of guilt. Thanks, Catholic upbringing. Oh well, I slipped a few rolls in my bag and so, in my own way, I feel like I win. Six days until I move away. I am, in a word, freaking the fuck out.
The ceremony started with music. We had a brass quintet in the balcony of the theater, playing all Beatles tunes. So people entered the theater and found their seats to the hits of the Fab Four just the way they would have played them, had the Fab Four been a fab five and played large brass instruments instead of guitars.
Once people were seated the movie began. As I may have mentioned once, or maybe one hundred times, I worked my ass off on this thing. And the hard work paid off. I mean, you can't go wrong with baby pictures, but I don't think there was a dry eye in the house besides mine.
Of course, my dry eyes weren't meant to last. After the movie, MCat, Brendo and Maura all processed down the aisle and got ready. A minute later, to the strains of "Penny Lane," I entered with my mom and dad.
Then, boom. Pow. Kapowie. Zing. The band struck up "Here, There and Everywhere" and Sarah walked down the aisle. Damn. Hot damn. Jeru the Damager.
Sarah was dressed like a god damn movie star and looked amazing. I started weeping like a little girl who just lost a lollipop the second I saw her. Of course, she did too and so it was one big sobfest. That theater hasn't seen crying like this since they had the Terms of Endearmentmarathon back in '89.
Anyway, Sarah came down to me and the rest is kind of a blur. Gordon sang a song, my friend Amy read a poem and Sarah's friend Ted read a short short story. Sarah said some amazing wonderful things about me that I would love to believe are true and I said some nice things about her that I know couldn't be more true. We exchanged our rings and then we were officially married. Damn.
The events of the day were such a whirlwind that there are bits and pieces that I know I've forgotten. But it's nice in a way, because every once in a while another memory from the ceremony will trickle back to me and bring a smile and an "oh yeah" to my face.
The day I got married I woke up at about 4:30 in the AM. The sun wasn't up yet, and I hadn't slept more than three hours, but I knew the night was over for me. It was strange to be so anxious because it was an anxiety whose root cause I couldn't pin down. I knew getting married was absolutely the right decision and I knew everything in the ceremony would go well, but I still felt like vomiting.
There's no greater anti-emetic than the motorcycle though, and so I strapped on my leathers and hit the highway. The 90 mile per hour wind in my face certainly helped for a while, but the second I stepped off the bike I was climbing up the walls again.
A few hours later I headed over to the movie theater and set all the A/V stuff up with Brendo Frendo. MCat, the officiant, took this time to gulp down a huge cup of coffee and two Valium. As anyone who knows MCat can surmise, he also had a case of the nerves and, quite possibly, the poops.
Finally, everything was set up, working and ready to go. The lights were hit and the movie was started. This part of the ceremony was really gratifying to me. I worked my ass off trying to make a poignant visual memoir of Sarah's and my respective lives and by the end I had no idea whether it was good or a huge steaming turd. Happily, by people's reactions I gauged that it was a non-turd.
Oh hell, it looks like the good stuff will have to wait until Monday, as I just got my ass swamped with a load of dumb work. Arg.
Today I was going to continue discussing my wedding, arguably the most important day of my life so far. However, at the insistence of a number of baseball moms I need to devote today's entry to the continuing saga of the Concord/Carlisle little leaguers. And people, you do not want to piss off the baseball moms. Trust me.
I've been hitting the games like they were a kitten who wouldn't behave (kidding, sweetheart) this week, so here are some highlights:
- Kris Ann bought me Mexican food two nights in a row. For someone who loves tacos and burritos and doesn't terribly mind going to the bathroom it was like a gift from some tortilla-filled Mexican heaven.
- There was further movement in the efforts of the girls to save dogs and Honduras. Specifically, I showed up the game on Tuesday and there was no lanyard making going on.
Me: Gracie, what's going on? Where are the lanyards? Grace: (blank stare) Me: The lanyards, so dogs get homes and Hondurans get....something. Grace: We don't do that anymore. Me: Why? Grace: (shrug)
President Bush, if you're reading, I think I found you the next leader of the Red Cross.
- I had to pee so badly at one of the games that I thought my bladder might explode, carrying everyone away on a river of partially digested Diet Coke. Thank god the former charity girls hadn't completely lost their spirit of helping. At this game they turned their generous natures to the assistance of people who had to go to the hard to find bathroom. I dubbed them the Pee Pee Patrol (other name options were the Tinkle Troop and the Wee Wee Brigade).
And so, imagine me walking across a playground holding hands with two girls under ten, with two more pulling at my shirt, all yelling "Come on, you can pee over here! We know where to go! We'll help you!" Honestly, I feel like even typing that sentence should get me three years in jail.
- As thanks, I bought each member of the Pee Pee Patrol a Giant Pixie Stick, thus ruining a number of dinners and cementing my reputation as a bad influence. Of course, I love Pixie Stix and somehow forgot to get myself one.
Me: Allie, can I have some of that? Allie: (scowling) No. Me: But I bought it.... Allie: So? Me (thought but not said): Fine. I wouldn't eat anything from your hands anyway, seeing as how covered in the blood of dogs and Hondurans they are.
- All the games were played next to parking lots. I can't even describe how much I was rooting for a broken windshield. Of course, all I got was no Pixie Stix, Mexican farts and a warrant out for my arrest for suspected pee pee abuse. Oh well.
Anyway, in all this talk of nonsense, we have gotten away from the team and the great game of baseball. In the course of all the above events, the CC'ers managed to win themselves a championship, complete with some chintzy trophies and a persistent sore throat for me.
So, now, a tribute to the team:
-Andrew (a.k.a. "Mandrew"): My main man, he smacked a number of clutch hits, including a huge triple. He catches like a future Pudge Rodriguez and overreacts to inside pitches like a future Manny Ramirez.
-Nick (a.k.a. "The Heater," "Nick the Stick") My second main man, he pitched like a younger, skinnier, shorter Randy Johnson. He also hit the ball like a madman and can beat my ass in Halo like nobody's business.
-Wyatt (a.k.a. "The Sheriff") Another favorite of mine because he has three things I had when young--he's blond, wears glasses and is skinny. I've lost one of those along the way, but I can still relate. Also, the Sheriff hits the ball like someone is whispering in his ear "Sheriff, get a hit here and no more puppies will ever have to die." Seriously, the boy hits everything.
-Phillip (a.k.a. "Phil-uh the Kill-uh") Possible the most mild-mannered, nicest kid I've ever met, the Killer also puts the hurt on the ball. He also throws some mean relief.
-Steven "Mo' Money" Yen - Steven tragically had his season cut short by breaking his thumb playing football. This is a shame, since the boy has a gun in the outfield. Seriously, I could be at home in Somerville and he could be in Concord and we could play catch.
-Zach (a.k.a. "Zach Attack") Zach had some monster hits and some excellent plays in the field. His name also begins with Z and that's just plain cool.
-Will (a.k.a. "Thriller") It may just be Human Nature, but I have to admire the six innings of masterful ball Thriller pitched last night. Seriously, he told the other team to Beat It. It was like Billie Jean against Bobby Riggs. He also already has groupies and they think he is one Pretty Young Thing (PYT).
-Tucker (a.k.a. "Tuck Tuck Goose") Another masterful pitcher, TTG would have been nicknamed "Rubber Tucky" if the tinklers had their way. Consider yourself lucky, young man.
-Patrick (a.k.a. "Pat the Bat") PTB had some serious plays in the field, a few monster hits and even a sweet turn at pitching. He's so versatile I'm having him do my taxes this year.
-Jake (a.k.a. "Jake and Bake") Jake gets a special shout out simply because he was the most into the whole nickname thing I had going on. I work hard, people, and a little recognition wouldn't kill you.
-Brendan (a.k.a. "Big Brendan Time") BBT is the Ortiz of the team in my mind. He always came up big in the clutch situations. He also never acknowledged me or smiled when I cheered him on. Frankly, I fear him.
-Chris (a.k.a. "Dinger") The only member of the team I saw hit a home run, Dinger also said I have a sick bike. You don't really have to do more than that to win points in my book. I'm that easy.
-Howard (a.k.a. "H-Bomb" "The Howitzer") The Howtizer was the coach of this squad and I admired his manner a great deal. He seemed to easily strike the difficult balance between encouraging the kids to win and teaching them to be good players and good sports. I never saw a Concord player showboat, argue a call or throw a tantrum. With ten year olds, this is a pretty big accomplishment. Hell, this would be an accomplishment for me, a world-reknowned terrible loser. It's especially impressive in light of how poorly some of the teams the boys played against behaved--pouting, taunting, valuing victory over solid baseball fundamentals, etc. So, hats off.
All in all, it was a pretty damn good season. I'll miss shouting at the top of my lungs and annoying everyone and they'll miss.... well, they probably won't miss me, but such is life.
After the rehearsal dinner, I headed home to Somerville. Basically I did this because what better way is there to say goodbye to the single life than in an apartment filled with mice and cockroaches that frequently smells like garbage? Also, MCat was there, and if there was ever an advertisement for leaving singlehood behind, he's it. I kid.
Anywho, I felt like a swarm of wasps had been let loose in my stomach as I sped home on the bike. I wasn't sure then why I was nervous, and I'm not really sure now, but I was one sorry anxious not-that-young man. And it was that kind of cloying anxiety that nothing gets rid of. I had some cigarettes, played some poker, had a wank - nothing. Finally I just hit the Tylenol PM and sacked out.
The next morning I was somehow MORE anxious, which I wasn't sure was possible. I got up, got dressed and rode down to the South Shore like a banshee, a banshee who is about to get married.
That's all I've got time for today, so tomorrow I will cover in great detail the actual ceremony.
The day before the wedding all the pertinent people headed to the movie theater (that's right, movie theater) to run a rehearsal. For those of you out of the loop, we decided to get married in a 19th century theater that was converted to a movie house. Why? Well, we had gone on many dates there when we were young and it's a special place for us. Also, getting married in a movie theater allowed us to show a movie documenting the course of our now 11-year romance. So there. This wedding was to be a bit of a technical nightmare. Being cheap and thinking myself somewhat mechanically inclined I decided to rig up the most bootleg A/V system in the history of the world to play the movie and broadcast the vows. It worked out, but it was stressful. I was a little nervous about whether or not it would actually work, but don't tell Sarah that.
And so the afternoon of the rehearsal found myself and Brendo Frendo furiously connecting guitar amps, mixing boards, DVD players and projectors in an attempt to make this beast run. You'd think that since getting married is stressful enough, you might want to hire someone to do this for you. You'd be right.Thankfully everything came together and the rehearsal was a smashing success. Ladybetrothed Sarah looked radiant in a beautiful dress and I looked pretty damn hip in seersucker pants and a linen shirt. We clean up good.After the rehearsal we hit the rehearsal dinner, where many people got drunk and I got a little case of the poops. Par for the course.
P.S. Alena, pictures are on their way. We'll do a little picture show some day this week.
This week is going to be dedicated to all things wedding and honeymoon-related. Starting tomorrow, I will give a fully detailed rundown of all the fun had and food eaten. Today, however, I want to start with some....
Getting married is a weird thing. By that I mean that by getting married you basically agree to change the way you live your life. For me, the decision to get married was really the first choice I've ever made in my life that has ramifications for the REST of my life. Before this, the longest chunk of time I've promised to someone was the 10 years I'm wed to my student loans. But, in getting married, I promised Ladywife Sarah that I will be her companion and support until I die (well, technically until either one of us dies, but who are we kidding here?). Making that kind of pledge forced me to actually think about the rest of my life in concrete terms, not just as some abstract concept of fifty years.
This kind of thinking is generally not good, especially if you're someone like me who thinks that he's a miserable failure at everything he does and will be at anything else he tries. That non-abstract fifty years starts to look like a loooooooooooooong time for these insecurities to fester. And so I worried about this.
It turned out I really didn't have to anxious. It turns out that once I confronted my mortality I realized that as long as LWS is with me it'll be okay. I know that sounds horribly trite and cliche, but it's true. I realized I made the right choice and now am much less daunted by the future.
I think Sarah and I did it right. We really thought about and worked on our relationship - bent it, broke it, cheated it, drove it into the ground and eventually put it back together better than before - and so everything about getting married felt right. This relationship has been built for the long haul, folks.
People have made some comments that getting married isn't very rock and roll and, honestly, there was a time when I agreed. But that concept is, of course, fucking ridiculous. To me, image is the stupidest thing about rock and roll. I am so far past irony that to me getting married (as well as quitting drinking and drugs) is the MOST rock and roll thing you can do. In the words of Cartman "I do what I want!" and if that isn't rock, I don't know what is.
Many folks, including the lovely and amazing Ladywife Sarah have been asking when the wedding summary is going up. The answer is on Monday.
There are a few reasons it is taking so long:
-I am lazy.
-People expect it be good, probably funny and poignant at the same time. That's a lot of pressure. It's a lot easier to write about being an asshole at Little League games.
-I will have to include pictures, which means I will have to learn more about computers and working with the internet. And learning, as we all know, is annoying. Stay away from that homework, kids.
-I will have to edit the whole overwhelming emotional experience into one digestible chunk, which is kind of like trying to push an entire block of Spam through the top of a Coke bottle. Point being, it's tough.
Anyway, despite these pressures I promise to drop the story in all its wonder on these pages on Monday. Get ready.
With the free time currently afforded me by not having to plan a wedding I have picked up some new hobbies. Chief among them is my new devotion to the Concord/Carlisle Boys Little League team.
So, to answer the obvious questions: 1) Yes, I know people on the team and am not just some old fart perv looking for kicks. My Halo pals and all-around good guys Andrew and Nick kick ass and take names for the mighty CC. 2) The other parents think I'm insane and pretty much a damn idiot and/or bad influence. Oh well.
Anyway, here's some highlights of my last couple weeks at the games:
-I've created nicknames for all the kids because I'm, well, really lame. Andrew become Pedrew when he pitches and Mandrew when he hits, Wyatt is now Wyatt Earp, Brendan is BBT (Big Brendan Time), Tucker is Tuck Tuck Goose, Phillip (#64) is 25 or 6 to 4....you get the idea.
-Both the coaches and kids look at me like I'm a god damn fool when I yell out various baseball catchphrases at completely inappropriate times. For example, yelling "Wait for yours, baby" on a 3-2 count, "Take two!" on an infield hit or "Play's at any base!" when the play is decidedly not at any base.
-Some of the players' sisters have a business where they make and sell those lanyard bracelets that every girl in the history of the western hemisphere makes at some point in her adolescence. Their schtick is that the proceeds will go to charity.
Me: What charity? Emma: Dogs. Me: The dogs charity? Emma: So they can have homes. Hailey: Honduras. Me: The dogs are in Honduras? Hailey: No, we're splitting it up between dogs and Honduras. Me: What happened in Honduras? Emma: Bad stuff. Me: Fair enough. How much have you made? Hailey: About five dollars. Me: Hmm. How much did the lanyard cost? Hailey: I don't know, my mom bought it.
Point being, if you're a dog waiting for a home or you live in the part of Honduras devastated by the bad stuff, well, I wouldn't hold your breath.
In my lifetime I have tried very hard to shake off a sheltered upbringing and embrace all different types of cultures and attitudes. I've made a great effort to separate the fact from fiction in stereotypes as well as to examine where my own prejudices (and their root causes) lie.
Overall, I think I've been pretty successful. I'll admit that I still do that horrible thing with the physically challenged where you act way too nice to show them that they don't creep you out, when, in fact, you're basically screaming that they do. Man, it must be so fucking annoying to have some goofy dipshit smiling like he just won the lottery while insisting that he hold open the door for you.
Anyway, yesterday on the motorcycle I discovered I still have one yet unvanquished prejudice. I've discovered that I hate the minority of handsome, well-coiffed, Hispanic homosexual men who ignore traffic conditions so that they can clap and scream along to Mariah Carey's "Someday," shaking their heads and not looking at the road at all while speeding and almost taking me out.
I'm working on it, but this one might be tough to get over.
(A full wedding report with pictures will be up soon. In the meantime, here's more of the usual nonsense.)
Last night I dreamt that I was a mobster. My area of crime had something to do with real estate - I was shaking people down or something like that.
Anyway, in the dream I ended up in a confrontation with another mobster, he being of a rival real estate shakedown syndicate. As we argued I couldn't shake the feeling that he was going to stab me in the throat. At one point I even asked him:
Me: Hey, are you going to stab me in the throat? Him: No. Me: That's cool, I just can't shake the feeling that you're going to stab me in the throat. Him: No, we're cool. I'm not going to stab you in the throat.
And so the end of the conversation came, and we seemed to have settled our differences peacefully. But, sure enough, just as he started to walk away the rival mobster turned around and stabbed me right in the throat.
I am back, I am married and I'm not going to take it anymore! Okay, perhaps that's a little extreme, but I am back in town after my glorious honeymoon and I am back at......work. Damn. You know, wedding planners should tell you that you really need a honeymoon to recover from your honeymoon, because I am woefully unprepared to be back at this desk.
Anyway, I'm going to try and post some pictures this week of the wedding festivities but before I do I still need to get adjusted to normal life again - and do the bitch pile of work left for me at my job. Arg.