Friday, October 19, 2012

And then it just hit me.

My life is really amazing. Not just right now, but right now especially.

I have an incredibly supportive family that includes some of the best friends a girl could ever wish for and in 8 days, I'm marrying the man I love. And by "love" I mean respect, adore, laugh with, laugh at, get laughed at by, rely on for strength, offer my strength for, and so many other things I can't put into words.

I've been so caught up in a whirlwind of stuff and I think I lost sight of the amazing things happening around me. But this morning, I paused to take a breath, and it just hit me.

My life is amazing.

Holy crap, that's me.
(Thanks for the pic, Jane.)

[PS: Don't schedule your wedding 11 days after a professional conference you're helping to organize and host...especially if you're slated to give the opening talk. It's not a good idea.]

Friday, August 31, 2012

My 3am revelation

It's 3am and I'm awake. My alarm is going to go off in less than 2 hours and I'll have to get ready for and then go to work. It's going to be a beautiful day.

As I'm sitting at my laptop, playing Bejeweled, I see the 3 response cards I've received for our upcoming wedding and my mind starts to wander.

I made our wedding invitations. It's going to be a low-key picnic wedding, not a fancy affair, so it seemed appropriate. I put a lot of time and thought and care into making them. Of course Danny (DBF went from "Dear BoyFriend to DannyBoy Fiance...but at 3am he's just Danny) had a say, but he knows how particular I am about the things I create and he pretty much let me do what I wanted. One of the many reasons I love him...he gets me.

When I mailed them out, I was very happy with them. Excited about them, even. I thought they were clever and very us and perfect for the event. I was proud of them.

And then, when Danny got the first text from a friend saying he had received the invite, I started to worry. What did he think? Did he like it? Did he think it was stupid? Oh my gosh, he must think I'm an idiot to have made our wedding invitations...and like that? What was I thinking?!?!?!

And that's the 3am revelation...that's the same thought process I have about myself and that, my friends, is my social anxiety problem.

Ultimately, I care what people think about me. I tell myself that I try not to let it define who I am or dictate how I behave, but really I do to some degree. Danny's different. He is who he is and he's comfortable in his own skin. His attitude about what people think of who he is and how he behaves is, literally, "if they don't like it, fuck 'em." He makes no apologies for who he is and I admire that about him.

I, however, am like those wedding invitations. Despite what I think about myself, if someone doesn't like me or thinks I'm silly or not pretty or too fat or inappropriately dressed...I feel like I've failed.

And that is why I stay away from a lot of social situations. Not to stay away from other people, but to avoid the potential of even one person disliking or disapproving of anything about me...even the stuff I can't control.

Now that I've started worrying about what people will think about me when they read this...all the ways they'll find fault or think I'm being stupid or narcissistic or childish...deep breath...I'm going to post this before I chicken out.

And in case you're wondering about why I thought the invitation might be seen as stupid, here it is.

Friday, July 13, 2012

...and then this happened.

I was all set to get back on track with the blogging and actually doing the wedding things that I had just been making lists for...

Me...doin' stuff.

...when this happened.

That, my friends, is the 200-year-old oak tree that Derecho 2012 decided to bring down across my road and drop squarely in my driveway. It's also the tree that snapped a high-voltage power line resulting in not one, but TWO explosions...and a fireball, but that came later.

Explosion one came when the line snapped. I happened to be staring out the bedroom window at the exact moment the line snapped sparks were flying everywhere...well not everywhere but mostly in front of our neighbor's house. I was very afraid their house would catch on fire so I screamed at DBF to call them and tell them to get out. As I'm yelling, there was another larger and much louder explosion that lit the whole house bright orange for a few seconds.

This was the result. A hole in a 4" thick concrete driveway where the high-voltage line landed.

Electricity will win every time.

Thankfully our neighbors were fine and their house was relatively unscathed. Funny thing about ground wires to your house, though, they're not picky about which way they send the current. They'll send that current into your house just as readily as they'll send it out of your house.

It took 5 days before the city got out to clean up that tree. So our road was closed at our driveway for 5 days. For us to leave, DBF had to take his truck off-roading across our front yard, around the downed power lines, and in between a tree and the damaged telephone pole.

Do you know how a power company (or at least our power company) tests the lines? They make them live and see what happens. Do you know what happens when you make a high-voltage power line live when one end of it is sitting in a pile of tree debris? Fireball.

I wasn't present for the fireball, so I have no pictures. But I imagined it looked something like this.

But I do have a hyperactive imagination, so there's a very slight chance that it looked nothing like that and I really just wanted to include a picture of an explosion in my blog. Mission accomplished.

Anyway...the fire department came out but, since it was an electrical fire, they had to get the power company to turn off the power they turned on which caused the fireball. That took a while, so the neighborhood gathered to watch the fire since that was pretty much the only thing going on.

This thing that DBF is holding was in our front yard. It used to be on the telephone pole.

A fantastic crew from Blue Bell, PA (3 hours away according to Google) hooked it back up:

While this guy, who actually works for our city, did this:
...a lot, in fact.

But there was some good in all of this.
  1. We were unhurt and we suffered no property damage (a miracle in and of itself).
  2. I got a really good workout cleaning up the tree debris.
  3. We got to know more of our neighbors and, as it turns out, most of them are pretty cool people.
I've also redeemed myself regarding yard work. I managed to clear a whole crapload of debris, plus a monster shrub, without breaking anything.

It's good to know that I am actually capable of operating yard tools without ending up in the hospital.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated

No, I'm not dead. Just lazy.

Well, lazy when it has come to blogging for the last 6 months. A lot has been going on, though, so let's work on getting caught up, shall we?

The once-broken foot is mended. I lost the toenail...a totally strange experience, btw, but it's growing back. Yay!

There has been absolutely no change in the Holmes magazine saga. Despite several attempts at recovering my partial subscription fee, I've received no word from either the publisher or the publishing house. Irritating for sure, but fortunately it was less than $10, so I'm not too put out. But you better believe that I will never subscribe to a Holmes Publishing Group publication again. Never ever ever.

I met my blogging idol. See? There she is, Jenny Lawson, on the left. And that's me on the right. And in the background is her security detail. 'Cuz we blog fans can get a little scary sometimes.

If you're looking for a laugh-out-loud funny book, read hers. I'm not usually one to literally laugh out loud when reading, but with Jenny's book, I just couldn't help it. DBF kept looking at me like I'd lost my happy mind until I'd read passages to him. Then he, too, was literally laughing out loud.

And speaking of DBF, we're now engaged. And us being us, the proposal was full of smart-assery and stolen one-liners from TV. 

Leela: I wish this moment could last forever.
Fry: Leela my love, will you marry….
Alien: Bernella my love, will you marry me?
Bernella: Blorg! Blorg! A thousand times blorg!
When we watched the "Reincarnation" episode of Futurama months before the proposal, I asked DBF if he'd lose his mind if, should he choose to propose, I responded with "Blorg! Blorg! A thousand times blorg!' We laughed about it, but that's really what happened.

And for us, it was perfect.

As it turns out, once you're engaged, wedding planning sort of takes over your life. Neither one of us really wanted anything big or fancy. I figured we'd head to the courthouse and then have a small gathering of family and friends to celebrate.

So the great home improvement project has been replaced by my biggest challenge ever:

How to plan a wedding in 145 days without losing your mind and with minimal bloodshed.

Wish us luck.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Can you see what Jill sees?

As I mentioned in my birthday post, I bought myself a subscription to the HOLMES Magazine: The magazine to make it right.

I didn't receive my December copy of the magazine,so I went to their website to see if there was a December issue. I was met with a surprising note to subscribers.
The Holmes Group regrets to announce that Dauphin Media Group has decided to cease publication of HOLMES magazine as of the December issue.
I almost cried. But instead, I kept reading and was slightly comforted that they plan on continuing publication once they find a publication house. I took a deep breath to exhale a sigh of relief, but then something struck me as being off.

If you have ever worked in publishing, you know that publishers produce the content and layout of a publication, but a production house prints and distributes it. Production houses are contractors hired by publishers. Again, production house = contractor.

If you have ever watched a show with Mike Holmes or read the magazine, you know that most of the nightmares he comes in to fix happen for one reason: Bad contractors.

See where this is going?

Now, the magazine features a regular column called "Can you see what Mike Sees?" This column shows a construction project, points out features that laymen would see, and then points out what Mike would see, highlighting potential problems with the project.

Lengthy set-up over.

Can you see what Jill sees?

So let me sum up:
The Holmes Group hired a contractor. They wound up in some kind of dispute that they apparently can't resolve. The contractor decided to stop doing the work, leaving the publisher in the lurch.

Sounds like the Holmes Group hired a bad contractor...the guy who has made his name by cleaning up after bad contractors has himself become the victim of one.

Hello, irony!

*I did eventually receive my December/January issue on January 5. The "Can you see what Mike sees?" column is all about Christmas-time safety. Timely.

There was also a little problem with the spine. The December 2011/January 2012 issue reads "November 2011." Oops.

The lesson here is that it really is important to do your homework when hiring a contractor...any contractor. Maybe next time Mike's people will follow his advice.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 in Review

'Tis a new year and as most people do at the beginning of a new year, I'm looking back on the last year and, well let's be honest, thanking the Universe that both the house and I survived.

Let's take a look at some important lessons, shall we?

I'm happy to report that I'm back on both feet, no more scooter, crutches, or orthotic boots. That means I'm gearing up to get into more stuff, which always means more hijinks.

And if you're wondering what I've been up to while I was off the foot...'cuz you know I can't just sit and heal...check out the barrage of baby blankets I've been cranking out.

Next up, why Mike Holmes should really take his own advice.

Happy new year!