Monday, May 30, 2011
Ok, remember how I said my grandmother had gotten sick and taken a turn for the worst in April? (I know, this is a pretty craptastic way to start a blog with 'comedy' in the title, hang in there...) I flew down after Future Husband left town for the second, longer leg of tour. I got to visit my Grandmother for what could have been the last time (it wasn't, thank goodness!) and while I was out there for a long weekend, had Sunday dinner with my Future In-Laws.

Let me just say that both Future Husband and I are incredibly lucky. We both have In-Laws that are easy to get along with and adore us. My parents have been crazy about FH since he beat my mother at Scrabble many, many years ago (she had been undefeated for 30 years previously) and his parents have loved me since they realized I was intelligent and sane. (Which, compared to his previous girlfriends, is a vast improvement.)

So while I was having dinner with them that first Sunday in April, I ran the idea past them of me potentially coming out to Arizona at the end of May/beginning of June to surprise Future Husband. He and I had discussed me flying out for a weekend to visit him, but then when we crunched the numbers, we realized a round trip flight, a few motel rooms and food would end up costing what me being away for a whole month of the next tour would be, and it just didn't seem logical. But it got my wheels turning. I scrimped and saved, and since April was a three pay day month, I was able to buy a one way ticket out to Arizona.

I waited until Mother's Day to bring it up again, and let the In-Laws know I had indeed purchased a ticket, and reminded them of our conversation in early April. They said that of course it would be alright for me to fly out and spend a day or two with them before Future Husband rolled into town.

The surprise is my goal. Yes, we'll be reunited two whole weeks sooner than originally planned. Which is effing fantastic. But it's the element of surprise I'm most excited about. It's so ridiculously hard for me to keep a secret from Future Husband, even with things like Christmas and Birthday presents. So the fact that I've been able to keep my mouth shut this whole time, and not accidentally give him any hints, is well... awesome. I'm very proud of myself.

So since April 19th I've been sitting on this secret visit of mine. Diligently counting down the days with FH until I got to see him again, while all the while keeping a real countdown simultaneously. I was going to fly out to Arizona on May 28th, and made sure my visit was on a need-to-know basis. The cousin that picked me up from the Airport, and the cousin that would drop me off at the In-Laws. A few friends got informed over the weekend, but told to keep it under the strictest of secrets. Mainly, to maintain Facebook and Twitter silence. (Oh, this modern world of ours!)

The day finally came. I woke up at 5:30am after a three and a half hour nap (after a 37 hour day) and caught a bus to the airport. By noon I was landing in Phoenix, and later that night I was staying with a cousin. Doing my best to not let on to Future Husband that I was in Arizona, spinning a web of little whites lies about what I was doing. "Oh, I'm talking to my cousin." Hoping he would assume on the phone or online, and not in her living room.

So Sunday evening I had this cousin drop me off at the In-Laws' house. As we were pulling up and I was giving directions I said, "My sister in law's car should be out front." But it wasn't. I had her drop me off anyway (as I'd talked to my Father in Law on Thursday and reminded him of my secret visit.) No one was home, so I just assumed that they were out at the store, or perhaps some sort of car event, and would be back soon. So I sat down on a seat on the porch, plugged in my laptop, and caught up on some articles.

Then I got a call from Future Husband...

Without a preceding text or two asking what I was up to, if I was available for a call, etc.. We usually check with each other to make sure batteries and surroundings are ready for what might turn into a lengthy call. He began his call with, "So I just got off the phone with my dad..."

My heart sank. I could hear the weirdness in FH's voice. I just knew his dad had let something slip about my presence in Arizona.

"...and he and mom are in San Diego." A mixture of feelings erupted in me. 'Yes! He doesn't know I'm in Arizona!' and very quickly followed by, 'Crap! I'm locked out of the house and I really have to pee!'

I composed myself quickly and said, "Oh, no! I just reminded him earlier this week that you'd be in town!"

While I was talking to Future Husband, I got a text response from his sister, since I'd asked her if she was having dinner with her parents that night. Her text told me the same as FH just had. I shot a text back quickly, "Oh no! I'm on their front porch waiting for them! Don't tell Future Husband!!"

While FH and I discussed how he could get into the house (Sister in Law has a key, and was going to come by Monday evening to take care of the animals) I got another text from her. Luckily, the first band started playing just then, so Future Husband ended his call (after we'd brainstormed that he would have to go pick up the key from her before going back out to his parents' house.) I called her right away.

I quickly explained the situation, and that it was a surprise for Future Husband. She agreed to bring the key out to me, and we schemed about the cover story we'd tell FH. Just as we settled on the idea that we'd tell him there was a key under the mat, when really there was just a future wife in the house to let him in, FH sent me a grumpy text, telling me that G didn't want to make a 40 mile detour.

For a moment I was stuck. I couldn't say anything that might give away my unique position to help him, but I had to depend on Future Sister in Law to not accidentally spill the beans. I told FH to call FSiL and see if she could work something out.

A few moments later, he replied that he'd just spoken to her, and she told him the cover story she and I had discussed earlier. With a triumphant, "Yes! She rules!" text, I was finally able to rest easy.

When FSiL and her boyfriend arrived to let me in, the first thing she said as she got out of the car was, "I called dad and told him what happened, made him feel bad. He thought it was next weekend."

As I was telling my cousin earlier that very day, I was worried about FH's parents accidentally letting him know I was in town. They're both ridiculously intelligent people. Both well read and educated, clever and witty. Their awesome children are a product of their own awesomeness. But they are a little... flighty. I already refer to them as 'Ma and Pa' when I talk to them, and already care for them a great deal. I can honestly see myself growing very close to them over the next few years. Like I said, Future Husband and I really, really lucked out in the In-Law department. But still, I recognize that his parents are not always the most... attentive. That's a nice word for it. Really, it's probably just that they got involved in their own work and social lives and lost track of the dates. Lord knows I'm no stranger to that. Regardless, it makes for a pretty humorous story.

"That's okay!" I laughed. "I hope he doesn't feel too bad. It's actually kind of funny. And it worked out alright."

With a combination of the Future In-Laws losing track of the dates and G's somewhat justifiably douchebaggery; and after a panicky (yet hilarious) twenty minute period, I've come to see the silver lining; Future Husband and I get the whole house all to ourselves for our surprise reunion. I am a very happy Lori.

And now it's just a waiting game. Future Husband is currently somewhere between Albuquerque and Flagstaff, and I'm waiting anxiously, all alone, at his parents' house. Going over how I want to surprise him, trying to think of something clever and romantic to say when he walks in and unexpectedly sees me.

I'll let you know how it goes!
Friday, May 27, 2011
I am a terrible blogger.

I mean, I do pretty well with the writing part, it's the frequency with which I post, the varying subject matter (sometimes funny, sometimes introspective.) But I guess this just makes me Versatile, according to my lovely cousin Sara, who has awarded me with the Versatile Blogger award. I've gotten a few of these little awards before, but I'm horrible about actually posting these things that I'm supposed to. (An example of my bad bloggerhood.)

For these Award things, I'm supposed to post things about myself that you all may not know. Seven seems to be the most common number...

1 - I have three kidneys. You may have seen me mention this before (a la kidney stones last April). We found out when I was 14, amidst trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I started my freshman year of Highschool 5'7" and 180 lbs. Four months later in December, I was a 1/4" away from being 6' tall, and weighed 270. This was while I was running a mile every morning in PE, playing soccer after school, and eating very little because of my insane Prep School curriculum. Factor in the concern that I had a full C cup, all the normal hairy gifts puberty gives you, acne to rival a teenage boy's, but no monthly visit... Well, Mom and Dad realized something was quite wrong. We originally thought it was a thyroid thing, but after almost a year of doctor visits and blood tests and ultrasounds, they discovered it was something as simple as Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome. 10% of the female population has it. Yet my doctors looked into cancer and leukemia first. Go figure. One of those tests they put me through was a dye treatment and x-rays of my abdomen... in which we discovered my third kidney. Fully functional, too! So while I was anxiously awaiting puberty as a child, hoping for some flashy mutant power like Jubilee, or something useful like Jean Grey, my mutation only gives me the power to pee more frequently. Oh, well.

2 - I was almost in Forest Gump. I was a pretty little kid. I had a pretty long awkward phase (about 8-20) but I was cute as a button before my eighth birthday and some unfortunate hair decisions. My parents used to take me out to acting and modeling gigs and auditions. When I was a baby, my grandmother used to ask me, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" and I would proudly proclaim, "Actisss!" Because, you know, 13 month olds aren't so good with enunciation. My mother was an actress, and later director, so nepotism awarded me my earliest acting roles. Credits like, "Crying Child" and "Baby." But when I was 6 years old, my parents took me to a Cattle Call at a hotel in Phoenix. After the initial day there, making cut after cut, reading lines, looking cute and mugging for pictures, I was told to come back at a later date. It turns out I was in consideration for the role of Young Jenny. "Run, Forest! Run!" could have been my line. I was rejected, in the end, for being too tall. But it was between me, a little girl from South Carolina, and the girl that got the role.

See, I used to be cute.

3 - I got my first tattoo when I was only 15. My parents asked me what I wanted for my fifteenth birthday. I told them I wanted to get the cartilage in my ear pierced. They told me it was too dangerous. My mother had seen horror stories about infections that resulted in hearing loss and partial amputation of the ear. I tried to reason with them, but they still refused. As a counter offer my mother said, "How about a tattoo?" I was stunned for a moment, then said, "Wait, really?" To which my mother replied, "Sure! They're much safer, and if we go with you to the parlor, it's legal." I agreed wholeheartedly, and began researching artists and parlors and thinking about what I wanted. A few months later, I had an inch high treble clef on my right shoulder blade. It's so tiny that it's blurry now (I can't believe it's ten years old!) and I've added four more to my collection.

4 - I was a virgin until I was 23. It seems like super personal information, but I don't mind sharing it. (I hope you don't mind reading it.) It's something I'm rather proud of, now. When I was younger, and all of my friends were making foolish bedroom choices, I felt a little left behind. It wasn't so much that I hadn't had an opportunity to lose the V-card, but I'd chosen not to. Nevertheless, it left me feeling conflicted. Should I? Shouldn't I? I got my first offer at 17, and in the end said, "Thanks, but no thanks." I'd fooled around a bit all through my late teenage years and early twenties, but I just wasn't ready to sleep with someone I wasn't in love with. I wasn't ready to open myself up to that sort of emotional vulnerability. Factor in being pudgy and tall, with that aforementioned acne still lingering... yeah, not so much with the confidence and self esteem. A lot of people used to ask me if I was waiting for marriage, and I would always reply that I was simply waiting for love. So by the time I finally got some hours of the mattress tango on my resume, I'd already graduated High School, earned an AA degree, gotten three tattoos and had four novels written. I don't regret waiting at all, in fact, I'm very glad I did.

5 - I am allergic to Bell Peppers. It's the weirdest food allergy, I know. I've only come across one other person that has it, and even then, it was his wife, not the actual afflicted party. Strangely, my reactions aren't always the same. I've had the puffy, throat swelling, hive-y kind of reaction, but I've also accidentally ingested small amounts, and just had terrible indigestion. It seems the green ones are a more potent poison. Go figure.

6 - I love to cook. I'm sure I've mentioned this before. In fact, my cousin Jinxie has featured some of my recipes on her blog. I have my own food blog reserved, but I haven't posted on it. Yet. Once I do, I will definitely be promoting that shamelessly. Cooking for me is like another artform. I'm constantly thinking of new things I could try, looking up and tweaking recipes. When I lived with my parents, my father and I would just watch Food Network all day, and try out things we had seen for dinner that night. Food is an adventure. A tasty, tasty adventure.

7 - I want to be famous. Like, ridiculously famous. Girls screaming and bursting into tears when I walk into the room kind of famous. Boys staring at posters of me on their ceiling, famous. Basically, I think I want to be boy band famous. I know it will never happen, though. And that's because I'm not willing to do stupid shit, or compromise my morals, or give up my creative integrity for it. So I guess it balances out. Kind of like my teenage and early twenties years. I was the horniest virgin ever. I wanted so badly to be sweaty and naughty, but I wasn't willing to be promiscuous and risk my health/sanity/reputation. I know I'm never going to be famous for writing a blog. Chances are, I'll never be famous if/when any of my books get published. But that doesn't stop me from hoping. Or practicing my autograph.

Time to pass this along. I think I was supposed to pick fifteen, but jesus. No. I'll pick the blog I'm digging the most these days.

Mrs. Biscuit rocks my socks. She's seriously -so adorable.- She lives in Arizona, but she actually wants to be there, she wasn't trapped by birth or circumstance, like the rest of us were. (She must be just a little insane.) She's always posting links to adorable things on Etsy or cute stories about her cats or her new Husband (Mr. Muffin.)

But also make sure to check out The Frisky Virgin and Sara in Le Petit Village, who have both given me awards before.

I'll get back to the funny stuff soon, I promise!
Friday, May 6, 2011
One blustery day towards the end of March, while I had Future Husband home for a week between tours, our new friends Josh and Ali from JayLee Photography took us out and shot us.

With their cameras.

Sometime around Birthmas I had posted an ad on Craigslist, seeing if any budding photographers wanted to build up their portfolio with an Engagement Shoot. There was one fellow we were strongly considering, a photographer that had many years experience with architecture and nature shots, but was wanting to transition into the Wedding business. And then Josh and Ali came along. Already quite seasoned in the biz, they offered to do a shoot with us, and we couldn't resist after seeing their beautiful photography.

Having dabbled in photography in college, it's hard for me to not look at someone's work and immediately start critiquing it, even if I like it. I don't mean to imply that I could do any better, it's just simply that I know the technical side of what goes into a photograph, and it's hard for me to turn off the analytical part of my brain. I'll wish they'd used a different aperture, or shutter speed, or hadn't gone crazy with the photoshopping. With Josh and Ali's work, I don't do that. I look at it, and feel something first. So much so that it takes real effort for me to critique it. Their photos are full of whimsy and romance, and seem to capture the essence of the couples they work with. Their pictures aren't posed and plasticine. They are all little views into candid, happy moments with the couples they worked with.

Needless to say, Future Husband and I were massively excited about working with them. And we were not let down. Some of these pictures even moved me to tears, they so well captured FH and I.

You can see a nice selection of our shoot here. Though I highly recommend checking out their portfolio. You won't be disappointed.

We were so happy with the shoot, even if it was wet, cold and windy (it's Seattle, what else would it be?) and thrilled with the photos that came from it. Thank you so much, Josh and Ali!!!

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Seattle, United States
During this course of study, you will come to learn much about the strange eating, sleeping and mating habits of the Instrospective Lori under stress. We will observe as she moves halfway across the country to start a life with her own Captain Wentworth, takes a year off of work to pursue a writing career, and incessantly references Jane Austen.
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