Sunday, July 29, 2007

"You Look More Relaxed. Today."

I'm sitting here at registration on the third and final day of the BlogHer conference and it is nice and low-key and mellow, and does not involve me running from Point A to, oh, I dunno, Point Q382.

I miss you, blog.

The conference has gone very, very well. I think. That's what people keep saying, and I think they are being truthful, except if I were them and you were me, and you looked like your makeup was falling off your face and your hair was especially "whimsical" and I noticed that you tried to hold the phone up to your ear even though your bluetooth was already in that ear, I would probably say nice things to you, too.

Honestly, I have never been more stressed, nor have I ever worked harder in my whole life. And it still wasn't perfect. Yeah, there were some issues -- there always are -- but I try and remind myself I just can't control everything, and something WILL go wrong, and it's my job to fix it as quickly and quietly as possible.

And sometimes it's just not that possible.

So when some woman came up to me and asked, "Are you the Kristy that's in charge of everything?" I almost burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of that idea, and wanted to say something like, "NO I THINK SHE LEFT A FEW HOURS AGO, YAMMERING SOMETHING ABOUT JUMPING IN THE LAKE" except that would maybe be unprofessional and also not instill the kind of confidence in me that an attendee would perhaps want.

But!

Things are, really, mostly good, and I am looking forward to reading the re-caps and seeing the photos and processing everything and incorporating it all into one big picture of what actually happened at BlogHer 07. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hello From Chicago and My Enormous Martini

after about 10 hours of traveling (which is ridiculous, because chicago just isn't THAT far away), and with very little sleep i am essentially coasting on the fumes of adrenaline and um, and odwalla bar i managed to eat despite that i was crammed into a window seat next to two very large men who didn't really seem to care if i could move my arms or not.

which is to say i am tired and depleted, but i am in chicago for the blogher conference, which starts in something like 12 seconds.

but!

room service just delivered me a martini, which is making the 64 (that's a literal number, i sifted through the others) pressing emails that have surfaced in the last few hours seem a lot more approachable.

i think the next few days are going to be amazing and complete and utter insanity (when this is over remember to ask me about the blueberries), and on sunday night -- when everyone else has left and i am again alone in my room, able to bathe and breathe at whatever pace i want without feeling tethered to my inbox -- you'd better believe i have a date with a very hot young man.

well not like "hot" in the inappropriate way.

i just mean that sunday night is all about me, a bath, no email, no bluetooth, a couple glasses of wine, and some very quality alone time with a certain mr. potter.

catch ya' on the flip!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cracking Wise

I started this post after the last trip Ish and I took into Somplace Time Sort Of Forgot so that he could perform comedy for an audience who does not understand why he's not making poop jokes. It's kind of character building, I guess. We took another such trip this past weekend, incidentally.
I'll write about that when I can muster the strength.



Ish had a comedy show on Saturday night in a rural town a few hours north of San Francisco. At the last minute, our friends Ben and Emily decided to join us. They stayed overnight in the same hotel, and we made a day of the return trip by stopping at a few wineries.

This morning, I called their room to coordinate our schedule:

Me: Hey, so we'll be ready to check out in about a half hour. Does that work for you guys?

Ben: Yeah, no problem. We're just watching Ghostbusters Two.

Me: Okay.

I hang up the phone. Then I turn to Ish.

Me: They say sure. And Ghostbusters Two is on.

Six minutes later, the room phone rings. I'm in the bathroom applying mascara, and hear Ish answer.

Ish: Yes?

pause

Ish, yelling to me: Emmy is calling to find because she wants to know how Sigourney Weaver went from being a cellist in the first movie to working in a museum now.

Me, yelling to Ish: TELL HER THE SAME WAY RICK MORANIS WENT FROM BEING AN ACCOUNTANT TO BEING A LAWYER.

pause

Ish: SHE SAYS GOOD ANSWER.


* * *

Later, we found ourselves at some lovely little wineries in and around the Russian River Valley. Charming and quaint, and far less touristy than Napa or Sonoma.

At one particularly intimate and cozy winery, we tasted a few very big reds. And the pourer, eager to hear our reaction, could not have expected a response so very...New Jersey.

Ben: Wow!

Pourer: Pretty nice, huh?

Ben: That wine smacks you in the mouth like a backhand with a pinkie ring!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Play Dates

It's true.

My a cappella group -- The Loose Interpretations -- is about to become hugely famous.

(Or you know, sort of maybe recognizeable in a magazine. Whichever.)

The point is, you should run out and get a copy of the August Issue of:



And then you should open it, and pay close attention to this article in the table of contents:


And then you should scrunch your face up at that picture of the "play date" that took place in San Francisco and see if you recognize anyone.

Real Simple hasn't hit newsstands in California yet, so I cannot comment on the article or photo. However, if it's anything like the proofs I got, I will have MUCH to say as soon as I see it.

On the plus side, hey! The Loose Interpretations are in Real Simple Magazine!!!! WOOHOO!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Picturesque

As something of an addendum to the post below, I thought I'd add just a few quick snapshots of the weekend in Maine. Because I hardly ever post pictures. And having just gone through the 200+ images my sister, Sam, uploaded, I figured why not.

In no real order...


Here is a photo of one of the "trails" on the island. Doesn't really get more New England-y than this:




Well, or this:




Here's the dock at sunset:




There are almost no real cars on the island, so the preferred method of getting from one end to the other is via golf cart. Here we have my sister, Healy, with her son, Charlie. My bro-in-law, Brian, is hanging on in the back. In the driver's seat is my dad's friend, Tom (aka "Duck"). Duck and my dad had known each other since middle school:




Charlie is cute:




I don't know which day this was, but here's a picture of a sofa in the gorgeous summer home/cabin we stayed in. The cast of characters includes my cousin, Matt, my sort-of/would-be/might-be/long-story cousin, Liz, Sam and Ish. Given that time sort of stops when you're on the island, the expression "It's 5 o'clock somewhere" holds especially true. So the drinking tends to begin at "whenever o'clock," as such:




Eventually, the drinking catches up with us and we decide to be silly. And um, Newspaper Sea Captains:


(Ish has maybe had some gin.)


I can't get my hat to stay on right, so I do Newspaper Hat all gangsta:


(OMG it does not get whiter than this.)


There are very few recent photos of just me and my sisters, probably because each time I see them I discover I have gained more weight and my head is inflating at an increasingly frightening pace:


(I swear, my head is not usually so flat and wide.)



(Nice cleavage, too. HOW VERY APPROPRIATE.)


Here's the gang, just before our makeshift "ceremony" at sunset:




Sam and Mike are now thinking about possibly getting married on the island. They're cute, too:




AND FINALLY...

(because what sort-of-near-my-birthday-blog-post-with-pictures would be complete without a shot of my perma-inflated rear-end? NONE, that's what.)

...here is a picture from May '06, the night of my dad's actual funeral. It is late, and we are exhausted, and also maybe a little crazy. Healy has taken to hopping around and singing and dancing like a lunatic. Because we may have had our share of sadness, but gosh. We are fun.


Ole!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cliff

In addition to the conference planning --

[Which, hi, btw:
.

Yikes. And I know all/most of you understand why planning an event like this is stressful, but in case you're all like "what's the big deal," I will just say it's kind of like trying to plan a wedding for 700 people that lasts two-and-a-half days. 3 receptions, 4 meals, 2 breaks, 150 speakers, 30 sponsors, swag bags, brochures, signage, shuttles...]

-- and my birthday shenanigans, which were awesome --

--Ish and I flew out to the East Coast for a few days to finally bury my father.

Because you know and I know that that is just how life goes. Just when you think it can't get any busier or more challenging, you find yourself going from a crazy, eleventeen-hour workday rush to a silent island off the coast of Maine.

Just, whisk!

[Like this post. I start a typical entry about conference planning, and next thing you know I'm discussing my dad's death.]

Almost as if from out of nowhere I was suddenly surrounded by family and friends I don't see nearly enough. On an island. Without paved roads. Where water is rationed, and the atmosphere is saltwater fresh and misty and you can't always tell if the hum is coming from insects in the woods or motorboats on the ocean. There seems to be more sky there, too. More air to breathe.

I haven't been to the island since the 4th of July weekend five years ago. When we buried my mom.

So.

There is lots to say about it all, and I don't really have the energy or skill to do it in one post, or even a specific series. It'll just come out, I think.

Because how do you write about a parental burial that was...um...fun? I mean, it was. Fun.

And oh, the closure. It's been over a year since he died and I thought I had a pretty damn good handle on my grieving. I had no idea how good it could feel to cry again, a lot. To relive the stories and jokes in a pseudo-ceremonious way that didn't involve wearing black or seating arrangements or casseroles. Instead we had a sunset and booze, games and laughter, and a damn fine grill.

It was fantastic to do something like that, a year later. The services when he died were everything they should have been, and, rightly so, they were cloaked in grief.

This was something else.

* * *

Forgive me. I never write like this, and I know it might come out all funny. But I believe what I'm about to write, and I have never told a soul.

Something small and black formed inside me. It started when my parents lost their house and moved to New Hampshire, and nothing was ever, ever the same again.

I felt it, this black thing, starting to grow when my mom got sick. Like my own kind of cancer. Black and scary and vile. Fear, regret, preparatory grieving. Stoicism, even. A horrid, bilious blackness, forming in the depths of me, my stomach, my soul.

No, I never write like this.

My marriage fell apart and my mom got sicker and sicker and my dad had less money and there was less and less to hold on to. There was no safety anywhere. I knew it was going to be bad.

And it was bad. The black, I think it is despair.

Things got better.

But the black stayed, because I knew it wasn't over. Me and my sisters were working hard to find our ways, and doing okay. And Dad, too. He recouped some and moved and found a new love and his footing. Almost.

But when he started getting sicker, I knew the black would stay until the end. His end. It had never completely gone away.

He died, and the black just sat there.

You know the feeling, the fear you feel in the pit of your stomach when you realize something is awry. I have had that pit, buried inside and constantly churning, for years. I actually believe that it has made me sick, too. My weight has clung to me and I to it because it -- maybe literally -- provides a cushion between the black hole and me.

In some ways, I have moved and done things and been alive and energetic and positive. But I have had this weight inside me, too, making me not work right.

I have not been depressed (not as we know it and understand it today, at least). But I believe that this black ball of despair -- growing, sitting, churning, whatever it has been doing in my core -- has wreaked havoc on my body chemistry. In the last several years, I have felt stuck. Slow. Immobilized. As though my body has been in a constant state of just maintaining itself.

As though I've been living with a severe injury that could not heal completely.

Except, slowly, that's been changing. Just in the last few months, the black has been receding. I have heard people say, "You seem happy." And I have not heard that in...in a long, long time.

This weekend, unexpectedly, I found closure. And discovered that the black has gone.