Thursday, October 21, 2010


So I've been. I went there. Here's the quick-n-dirty for those too impatient to wait for the ending: I got a job. I loved Roomie's family.

So, yes, in a way, the ending is written. But there's so much more. Like the rash. The rash! Yes, I got a rash.

As I returned from my job interview, a four-hour affair in which I was assured that the department I will work for is fun, funky, teasing and *diverse, I decided to take a nap. Roomie's mom was very understanding about my sleep deprivation and exhaustion, and was more than happy to wait out my short nap before she took me to the beach again (she lives four blocks from the beach. Swoon). So I took a short one, and woke refreshed.

After the nap, I stood with her in the kitchen, chatting, and absent-mindedly rubbed my right shoulder. And I realized something was off. Raised skin. I looked down. It looked like hives on my shoulder.

We inspected. It looked like maybe some heat rash. Now, I've been in much more extreme heat than this for longer periods, much hotter sun, but I was on vacation. Vacation does not entail polyester suits. So to me, this seemed like a reasonable reaction. (I have serious white people skin. My people are from the North.) So I went ahead and went out to dinner with Roomie's dad and stepmom and step brother (yes, they're adorable). On the way back to Roomom's, where I was staying, I noticed that The Rash had spread a bit. We hit the market for some Benadryl.

The next morning, I had an angry rash all over. My arms. My neck. My back. My face. And I had to get on an airplane soon. For 12 hours.

I called my mom. I may have cried. (I shouldn't tell you, but I once had scabies. It sucked. I was afraid I'd given it to grandma, whom we stopped by to meet after dinner [painfully adorable] and I was freaked out.)

Anyway, I could go on and on about the rash, but I finally saw a dermatologist: It's not contagious. Some sort of allergic reaction to something. The south? I hope not. Atlantic Ocean crab? Maybe. (FUCK)

But here's the short of the long (the long of the short, etc.): I got the job. Nailed it. I start Nov. 8. That means I have a very short time to wrap up my life, my job, my home, and go there.

So now that I've been there, what did I think?

The family is every bit as wonderful as I assumed they'd be. Roomie explained them all as I expected. They're charming, they're loving, they're wonderful. I don't think they paused long enough to wonder about me to think that I could be anything other than what they expected: I am the girl that their darling boy loves. So of course I'm great. And they are the people who raised my darling boy. There. Perfect. Done.

The place though? Well ... I don't know. It was a reality check. I think the job will be good. I'm not looking forward to my commute (Potentially more than an hour. One way. Every day), and the land? I was told that I would drive through some beautiful country on the way to the jobsite. I didn't see it. It looked like Mexico's countryside, which, in my view, is not so pretty.

I think there's a good chance I'll feel like a stranger in a strange land. But I'm trying to remember that I didn't like Bend at first, and now it's home. This browny sagey landscape is now so lovely, so deeply dry and crusty and dusty-lovely to me, I have to think that maybe I'll find a way to love this new home. Maybe I'll find friends like I have here -- OK, well. Maybe that's not so likely. I've had some ridiculous luck here.

So, here I go. I'm leaving in 7 days. I have to pack my home and my life and figure out how to make my dogs happy and how to make my new family get the smelly, difficult pack who will show up on their doorstep (in about 10 days) and quite suddenly be a part of their family. I have to say goodbye to my mom and my dad and my niece and nephew and my sister and so many friends, and I have to arrive ready to be a part of something new. I have to do this before Roomie arrives to support me.

But here I go. I'm packing now. We're going. We'll be there soon.

Love is effing crazy, you guys.

*By diverse, I mean there was a vegetarian and a British guy. I'll take it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coast's Clear

OK guys. Sorry about that. Those of you who missed it, here's the scoop on my absence: I'm interviewing for a job with a company that's fairly conservative. Like, it's safe to say that I won't be playfully calling anyone "bitches" while at work, at least until they really get to know me. Well, maybe not ever.

Which is fine. I'm all for new experiences, that's what this move is about.

But they wanted to see some of my blogging experience, and I was like, uhhh .... yeah ... OK, wait a second ....

then I exported this blog to another place with a nicer title, and deleted a bunch of posts, and edited swear words out of others ....

then I was like, "Yeah, you can totally see my personal blog, but it's just silly personal stuff. I'm not sure it's even relevant," and since I had so many other awesome writing samples (when I'm not blogging or on twitter or le Bookface, I actually tend to keep my verbal shit together, believe it or not), they didn't even bother to look at the shadow blog I spent hours culling.

Anyway. I'm getting encouragement to keep up the shadow blog, so I'm posting this one in both places, RBR and MOU until I decide what to do. That's sure to encourage loyal readership, right? Right?

Hmm. Probably not. Meh.

Anyway, I have tickets now. I am going to fly out to meet the prospective job peeps on Sunday. My flight leaves at 6:25 am. Which means I'm flying 12 hours, in three planes, across country the day after a two-day going away party. Sounds fun.

Also, I need a suit and I need to get my hair done. And work extra in preparation for taking two days off next week while I charm the pants off of some business folk as well as Roomie's mom, dad, grandma, step-mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, step-brother, step-sister and five-step-nieces and nephews.

Holy shit. That's like 15 interviews in two days.

So, you know. See you later. I'll try to update from the road.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The trailer

Oh dear. We're really doing this, aren't we?

We bought a trailer.

It's a white rectangle, about 10 by 8 by 8 (or something). My whole life basically has to fit into that thing (OK, there's also my trunk and the rocket box that'll go on top of my car but my car is small, y'all).

I knew before the trailer was purchased (By the way, if you're considering moving across country, and taking your time on the trip, be prepared: renting a trailer can cost almost as much as buying one. And it doubles as storage, and you can sell it when you arrive.) what size it would be, but still, when I look at it, the reality of the situation starts to sink in.

I'm getting ready to say goodbye to my bed, my dresser and tons of books. However, I refuse to give up my baking supplies or my dining table. I've enjoyed far too much the giant dinner parties with 12 to 16 people around my beautiful teak table (it has two full sized leaves) for me to imagine getting rid of it (and did I mention I paid $100 for it? Yeah. Don't lie. You're jealous.)
Perhaps most terrifying; I think I'm going to have to downsize my closet.

When I look in the generous closets I've had for the last two years, it makes me nervous. I mean, the luxuries of my current closet system are out far beyond what I deserve. I have, to myself, one double-wide dresser. A total of 8 drawers. I have one full-sized closet in which I hang work shirts and jackets, cute tops and dresses. In that closet hangs a shelving unit with 7 shelves for T-shirts and such. I have a built in storage area with two giant built-in drawers I use for workout clothes, PJs and sweaters. I also have a second full-sized closet where I hang pants, jeans and shoes. Oh and I also have a third, hallway-sized closet where I put all of my jackets, backpacks and clothes I'm thinking about selling.

How do people live with less? I have no idea. I really don't. I neeeeed all of my closets. All of my drawers--actually, no. That's not true. One drawer in the dresser is empty.

But I fear that very soon, I'll have to find out how all the rest of you live. I'm afraid.

Monday, August 30, 2010

More on feeding a southern boy

This week, I was shopping the Safeway discount meat bin (If you don't know what this is, you should. Look for it. At Safeway -- Vons in some parts of the country, I guess -- they have these bins in the meat department where they toss soon to be expired meat. It's usually 30-50% off. Oh yes. I eat expired bologna.), and I saw a small container with two veal cube steaks. I've had bad luck cooking veal, but I decided to try it again.

When Roomie came home, he saw what I was cooking and told me he'd never eaten veal.

"That's 'cause you're a good person," I said.

He agreed.

I had on hand some breadsticks I'd made (they were supposed to be baguettes). They were no good for regular eating, but they were perfectly cracker-ey for homemade bread crumbs. I had fresh mozzarella, a hunk of parm, eggs, pasta, and best yet I had everything I would need to make this Smitten Kitchen tomato sauce that I absolutely adore. (A note for my super foodie readers: The veal parm recipe also calls for fresh parsley and fresh basil, and while I had the parsley, I had no basil. I did have fresh tarragon on hand, and the tarragon substituted for the basil in a wholly surprising and totally transcendent way)

As we sat down for dinner, I realized R didn't have a knife to cut the meat. Fortunately, his fork was more than sufficient to cut the veal into bite-sized pieces. After the first bite, he looked at me, wide-eyed. Seriously, if cows had blue eyes .... I almost started to think I should feel guilty for cooking some poor, tortured creature and making this sweet, animal-loving, doe-eyed hippie enjoy his (or her -- do they make veal out of young heifers?) dead body. I offered all I could come up with as a remittance, an apology for making R realize how tasty animals can be when they're disallowed from ever feeling fresh air, from ever running, from ever getting the opportunity to be what they were born to be.

"I'm sorry I made that baby cow taste so delicious."

I think that's good enough.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two vignettes

Last night, I glanced at my phone and noticed a missed call from my Bestie. We've been trying to chat for a few days, but keep missing each other.

(It should be noted here that both Bestie and her mother, Itinerant Woman, are notorious Anglophiles -- especially on such an occasion that the Anglo is a goodlooking man. Bestie also so happens to have a mini wiener dog named Ralph.)

I had a dinner guest over, so I couldn't call back. I sent her a text (which was all true, by the way):

"Hi boo. I'd call you back but R and I have an Englishman over for dinner. His name is Ralph. I'm sure you understand."

Her reply:

"Of course. Carry on."

A friend of mine recently called me "demanding."

"You know I mean that with love, right?," she asked.

"I also demand love, so yes," I replied.

But later, I told R about it.

"Did I tell you Jules called me demanding? Do you think I'm demanding?"

He looked at me with some surprise.

"Of course. You didn't know that about yourself?"

Monday, August 16, 2010

It was a lot like a first date. I even shaved my legs.

One of the funny things about my moving plan is this: I agreed to move to R's ancestral home without having met, or even spoken to, any of his family.

Not-a-one. Not even on the phone.

And I'll be inheriting a brood. There's dad, there's mom, there's stepmom, there are uncles and aunts, a few cousins and there's a 93-year-old matriarch. All within probably a 50-mile radius.

I'm excited about it, for the most part. So far, they've been terribly sweet. This is good for me, because in the past (long past) I had a boyfriend whose mom thought I was stealing away her baby. It was a nightmare. That's not the case here. They all seem to be (judging by R's reports) genuinely delighted he's found a lady he likes enough to bring home, a lady who likes him enough she's agreed to cross the continent. Whenever he talks to his family back home, they always end the call with messages for me. "Tell Ells we said hi and can't wait to meet her!"

But I'm also kind of nervous. What if they don't like me? What if they don't think I'm pretty enough for him? What if they judge me? What if they hate my dog? I realize these are mostly asinine, insecure thoughts (with the exception of the dog concern. It's totally reasonable to think that she might cause problems), but I can't help it. Fears are fears, you can try to reason with them, but sometimes it's hard to make them go away.

So when R announced that one of his uncles was coming through town with his wife (not the uncle who works with my new internet friend, a different uncle, I was both excited and nervous. I started getting ready hours before our date at a local brewpub. I tried on multiple outfits, checking with my girlfriend, Q.

"Is this cute?" I asked, spinning in front of her in a blue cotton summer dress.

"Yeah, it's cute," Q said.

"Is it too much? I think it's too much."

"It's not too much, it's cute."

It was like a first date.

As we walked into the pub, Uncle was sitting at the table. I spotted R's sparkly blue eyes across the room. As we walked up, he was sort of stuck in the corner, so I reached over and shook his hand. As we chose seats, Auntie returned from the bathroom. She gave R a big hug and then turned to me.

"Hi, good to meet you," I said, putting out my hand.

She looked at my hand.

"Honey, if you're moving to South Carolina, you're going to have to get over shaking hands," she said as she folded me into a big hug.

Seems like a good sign to me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The internet is so awesome, you guys.

Oh, wow. Has it really been that long since I posted? What a jerk! And it’s not like I have nothing to write about. Hooboy and howdy do I.

Like the story about my first friend in Myrtle Beach.

Yeah, that’s right. I haven’t even been to the state and I have a friend.

How, you ask?

Well, it started a few years back. Four? Three? Not sure, but it was long enough ago that people I knew were blogging on LiveJournal. One day, I was bored, poking around on LJ when I ran across a woman whose userpic was a still from one of the best films of all time, Grey Gardens. And I’m not talking about the Drew Barrymore version (which, incidentally, I heartily endorse), I’m talking O.G. Grey Gardens.

“Here’s a blogger I could read,” I thought.

So I did. For years. Her name is Katie, and she now has several active blogs, none of which is on LiveJournal. She’s my first internet friend.

So when Katie joined Twitter, I was all over it. The thing is, Twitter sounds lame, but I actually think it’s fun. Really. It’s much less high-school-reunion-ey than Facebook. You can actually end up finding funny people and ridiculous links.

One of the followers I gained through Katie was JEKinard. Now, when I get a follower, I don’t always follow back. But JEK had some good Tweets, and she seemed more human than Spam-bot (always a big consideration on Twitter). So I followed her back. Over the last few months, she’s someone I’ve seen floating around on the internet. All I knew is that she was a budding attorney who lived in the south.

So when I announced that I was moving to Myrtle Beach, S.C., imagine my delight when JEK replied, “I work in Myrtle Beach and live just south of it. We can be pals. You won't get a twang and I'll help you find the culture.”

Naturally, I found her on Facebook and added her.

When she accepted my friend request (I realize that this story with all it’s Twitter and Facebook references is sort of boring up to this point, but if you're still reading, here’s where it gets crazy), and when she added me back, I decided to look at her info. She read good books, listened to good music, and liked good movies. Check, check and check.

Then I saw her employer.


What? No. Way. I sent her a note.

Subject: WAIT

Body: “Where do you work? For Bob R??”

Her reply:

Yes... I do. Should I be weirded out?”


I just can't believe what a small world it is! My boyfriend is R, Bob is his uncle. We've actually been trying to get a hold of Bob …”

“Dude!! I've met R's dad a couple times! …”

And on and on it goes. She knows of R, knows his family. Knows his cousins. And now JEK and I are friends and we will soon hang out, even though I’m totally the needy new friend who is constantly like, “What’s it like there? Are the bugs terrible? Will my hair be frizzy? Are you smart? Can we hang out?” She’s either patient or she’s faking it because she knows I’ll blog about it. Either way, I’ll take it because, according to Facebook, she wears cute outfits and quotes Margaret Atwood.

But seriously, y’all. The universe is tiny. Some random girl on Twitter who was cool enough to not get unfollowed (which I do with extreme prejudice ((I actually don’t know what ‘with extreme prejudice’ means, I just thought it sounded tough))) not only lives where I’m moving and is into a lot of the same stuff I like — including sharing a blogger friend whom neither of us has met — but she knows Roomie’s family. I haven’t met his family.

All’s I’m saying is, the internet is RAD, people.