Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme

Tonight I went to my new house. No, it's not finished yet, and no, it won't be for a couple weeks (I knew those contractors were jumping the gun—Uncle Plumber hasn't been able to work on it as much as he'd like because of other stuff, and the wind has delayed the concrete and stucco color coat), but it's wonderful. I went in as it was getting dark and turned on all the lights (except for the ceiling fans, because I have to get different bulbs for those in the morning). My house is beautiful! I know I've been saying that all along, but the lights make a vast difference. I love the Tiffany pendant in my dormer, and the chandelier in my dining room—it's so small and cute! And mostly, I love the recessed cans in the kitchen and over the fireplace. They give everything this warm glow, and it makes the house seem so cozy and inviting, even though I don't even have carpet yet. Or blinds (which really are a priority). But I do have some of the window sills, and the rest are coming tomorrow, along with my kitchen appliances (I'm saving for the old washer and dryer). It really is a dream come true, and yes, Reuben, I'll get you some more pictures one of these days. But you can't even imagine how much fun I'm having, planning my decorating and entertaining pursuits. Ahh. This is what life is all about.

Really, this has been an idyllic day. I woke up this morning and did some office stuff—a little paperwork, helped a few customers, etc. And then, in something completely out of the ordinary, my dad/boss let my mother and me off the hook for the afternoon so we could go to Albuquerque and pick up some pictures of my little sister, the newly-crowned Miss Central New Mexico, from her triumphant pageant. It was so unexpected, and so lovely. Mom and I drove downtown, and I got reacquainted with historic Albuquerque. I mean, I normally go downtown once or twice a year. OK—big resolution here! Spend LOTS OF TIME downtown. It was great. Walking around reminded me of the good old days of working in downtown Salt Lake. And this photographer's office oozed sophistication. I think I might be a little in love—with his office, because the photog is married (though maybe the perfect example of exactly what I'm looking for in a man—artsy, cause-y, brooding and friendly at the same time… sheer perfection). But the office—It was on the second floor, and had these high ceilings and plaster walls and wood floors. If you actually had to work there, it might be death because of maintenance problems. But it reminded me of Europe—of the internet cafes in Lublin, and this random guy's apartment in Madrid—can't remember his name. Anyway, something about it made me decide that if I ever leave the insulation business and start something new, I'd better get an office in downtown ABQ. Or maybe it was just the guy. Meeting artistic people always emboldens me to channel my creativity.
But anyway, the rest of the afternoon was nice, too. We just went to Costco (do they have really great stuff or what?! The other day I bought these canned-food organizers I'm in love with) and to the Hobby Lobby where I bought some candlesticks at 90 percent off. And then I came home and had dinner with my family—a pesto, tomato and basil pizza, which tasted like the most delicious thing on earth. Maybe it's the pending change of season, but everything seems possible and positive today.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In the Immortal words of Wilt Chamberlain...

I have some exciting news—looks like I'll be moving into my house in just a few weeks! Seriously. I was talking to my pops about it tonight, and he said that was the case. I didn't believe him, though. It's been such a long process, and now everything is just speeding along. I went to the house tonight to check out my new countertops (can I just say the cabinets are GORGEOUS?!?!?!?!?) and I talked to my contractor who said he figured everything but the carpet and last-minute trim should be done by this time next week. My guess is still that I've got about three weeks till I move, though. My cute little plumber—my uncle and arguably the best plumber in the state—will want to make sure everything is right as well. This means extra time. But it also means the house will be closer to perfection. I don't want to rush it. When I moved into my condo in Provo a few years ago, I was moving boxes in before everything was settled, and it made getting things fixed and in working order a nightmare. Of course, the contractors I'm working with are angelic and knowledgeable and professional, so I probably don't have any worries there, but I also want to take my time moving everything in just the way I want it before I bunk down.

Plus also, I'm freaking out a little bit about things I'll need to buy. A mattress and box springs, for one. Blinds and curtain rods (got the sheers already). A mailbox. Cleaning supplies. Toilet paper. Food. Gosh, I haven't REALLY had to buy food in months. I feel very poor, and like I'll never travel again. I know that's an exaggeration, but knowing that I'm going to need a new ironing board (not to mention a washer and dryer—which I'm saving for, along with the bookshelves) makes skipping the country a lot harder. Or crossing the state line, for that matter. Oh well. I have a house, and you folks will all just need to come see me. You'll love it. I do.

Aside from the overwhelmingly frightening prospect of paying off a crazy housing debt (I'm not even comfortable borrowing money for a sandwich), utilities, taxes, insurance, etc., etc., etc., I'm still really stoked about moving back into my own place. I've loved living with my parents, of course, except for one minor thing… the marriage lecture. Yes, I know. You've all heard me complain about this before, but I thank you in advance for the catharsis.

So the other day I was having lunch with the whole family—Ma and Pa, Brother and Sister-in-law, and Sister and her boyfriend of 2+ years. A special shout-out to the cavemen who invented the wheel, but I'm not too keen on being the 7th, you know? Anyway, it wasn't long before the same old song-and-dance started in again: "Rachel, you're too picky." "Rachel, you're what, almost 26? You know, the older you get, the fewer available men there are." "Rachel, if you want to have children, you need to get married now." "We know Rachel! Why don't you date….?" HOLY COW! Can't my family talk about anything else? How about my sister's upcoming beauty pageant? My brother and sister-in-law's honeymoon? Global warming? Tonight I told my father that if he keeps up with the daily lectures (and I do mean daily—I don't think I've missed one since July, with the exception of my parents' cruise to Alaska and trip to Hawaii), then I'd have no chance but to quote the legendary Wilt Chamberlain, who, when my father asked him for an autograph at LAX decades ago said with a disgusted look on his face, "Don't bug me, man."

Still, I guess if this is my biggest beef with the family, I'm pretty lucky. Except for a cold, which is a souvenir from the honeymoon couple. Fortunately, they also brought me a table runner and a lot of Johnny Depp paraphernalia.

Also, there was a bit of brouhaha with Sears and my appliances the other day—but I'm very pleased to say that they came through, and I whole-heartedly endorse their service. Come see the softer side.

Other than that, things are quiet. Like I said, I'm living for my house. The tile is down around the pellet stove, and the wood floor is down in the dining room. My electrician is hanging lights and the sidewalks are being poured tomorrow. Next week is the color coat on the stucco, all the plumbing fixtures in, the countertops and other marble stuff for the bathrooms and window sills, the delivery and hookup of the propane tank and appliances, the vents, painting the garage floor, and all those other little things. I can't wait to have a party!! (Rephrase: I can't wait to be moved in, organized, not busy and able to afford to have a party!! But I think it will be sooner rather than later now). Come visit me!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My funny Valentine

I know this is a bit early, but why not celebrate love all the time, right?
The other day I got an email from my good old pal Eric. We'll call him Hot Eric #2, for lack of a better name. Hot Eric #1 is his roommate, and collectively they are known as "The Erics" or "The Mean Erics." They are actually not mean, but they are handsome and funny. Eric No.1 has red hair and plays the piano, and has the most wonderfully over-the-top-while-still-employing-the-facade-of-a-dry-sense-of-humor mannerisms. H. Eric No. 2 is a brooding, Russian-speaking genius with an obsession with chins (and Democrats). Naturally, I find them both intoxicating.
My last year at the BYU, the Erics gave me the gift of the most wonderful Valentine's Day ever. I went to their apartment, watched "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" and then danced with Hot Eric 1 to "Lady in Red," as recorded by our mutual idol Andrew "T-Rex" Jones. I think they also gave me a flower. Could there be a more perfect day? Every day is Valentine's Day, though, when you are friends with the Erics.
I must say, though, that my sweet little 19-year-old boyfriend/fiance/decoy also has done a mighty fine job of making this week of love memorable for me. Last night he gave me a lovely little sonnet, painstakingly penned, mounted on red, pink and white paper, and then doused with Curve (which actually smells like my dad, but it's ok). For your pleasure, I share with you my darling little Jacob's words (and I hope he doesn't beat me up later):
Rachel's Sonnet
If beauty had a name, yours would be it.
If I was able to describe, I would attempt.
Indeed, no words in the world would fit.
Such beauty is yours, thus grateful I am exempt.
And still I try to define
What effect your flesh and physical substance has on my mind.
To think that you, this most perfect of creations are mine.
I must thank my God for being so kind.
Yet as I think upon your appeal, my mind blinded by my eyes,
I remember your spirit, the reason for my love.
This mortal vision of mine, to think that it lies!
Making me forget your soul as the blessing from above.
The joy that you bring into my life is not merely from sight,
But the magic that emits from you, my one true delight.
Ok, can we give the kid some props for that? Between Jacob's poem, Scott's flowers (don't forget my 18-year-old boyfriend), and the memory of the Erics' fabulous night of diversion, how can I not enjoy the next 48 hours of over-the-top, sticky sweet love all around me? And that, my friends, is why it is just fine to be single as the day is long on Valentine's Day... there's still a lot of love out there.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stepping up production

This was a good, productive, and happy weekend. I like getting things done.
I visited my aunt and uncle and cousin in southeastern NM, and had a grand time. Auntie finds all kinds of furniture for me at yard sales and such, so I worked a bit on the refurbishment of a few pieces. I painted a buffet this fantastic green and re-covered some chairs for the dining room. Plus also we did a little antique-shopping and I found some new pieces to add to the ever-growing collection of Boleslawiec Polish Pottery. Spoko! Note: Anyone trying to get on my good side can start by giving me Polish stuff.
Then yesterday, after sailing home (I only did about 90 the whole way... back roads, you know), I got in a nice little workout and then had the loveliest time dancing last night. Not only is 19-year-old boyfriend charming as ever (despite the fact that he tells me he worries that I won't be able to deliver 12 sons because I'm practically menapausal), but also I found I was completely popular with myriad inappropriate men. In fact, today at church, a nice 18-year-old little boy brought me flowers for Valentine's Day. I was hoping that 19 would pick a fight with 18 in the name of honor or something, but no such luck. Well, that's neither here nor there. Back to dancing. I danced and danced. Went for a walk with my friend Mo, which provided a nice little break, until our friend Ivan told me he was going to start calling me "Poly-mama" because I'm always with another dude. Actually, I was quite popular with boys I don't want to go out with. One boy asked me out, but I already had plans (truly) and one boy with very good hair invited me to his so-called rock 'n' roll concert this week (alas and alack, I have plans again). But 19-year-old made it up to me by giving me a balloon, so the evening, on the whole, was stellar. Rounded off the evening by dancing to some Do-Wap (another favorite thing... I love do-wap. And swing-sets).
And tonight I started a new little business venture. I wrote a paper for my cousin. 20 bucks for a rhetorical analysis essay on President Kennedy's inaugural speech. I get an extra 10 if he gets an A (in the bag). It's shady, but in the future I think I'm just going to edit papers. Let me know if I can be of service.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Wedded Bliss... And Relief

My little brother got married yesterday. I'm now the proud posessor of something I've never had before-- a sister-in-law. I love her.
The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a blast-- I danced with all my uncles. It couldn't have been any better, I think, but I'm pretty relieved it's all over. Who knew these things were so much work? I've been the wedding planner/travel agent/florist/best man combo, and I'm pooped. I dropped off my little bro's tux this afternoon after church and found he'd left an old pair of dirty socks in the bag, so they're in my purse. Gross, but I guess it comes with the job. Happily, the arch I decorated during the 10-hour marathon reception prep turned out well, and it makes me grateful for the two semesters of floral design at BYU. And I only had a few people say things like, "We thought SURELY you'd be the first to get married, Rachel" and "I'm going to give your phone number to my daughter-in-law's cousins when I go visit this spring," etc. Of course, now that the wedding is over, my parents are back to harping at me about not dating this guy they like, how I'm not getting any younger, and how I'm too picky. My dad thinks the nickname "The Shrew" is really clever as well. Oh well, I'm moving out soon. And my little bro owes me, so I'm going to have him weld a big pipe fence so I can lock people out when they call me by so-called "clever" Shakespearean nicknames.
Really, though, it's been a great weekend. I'm ready for bed, though. Goodnight!