Friday, March 13, 2009

Well That Was Fun.

So, my friends, this, my 29th year, has officially ended. At approximately 3:10 pm CST I will OFFICIALLY officially be out of my 20s, flipping the first number forward to a “3”. I’m sad to see my 20s go, as it was a decade of massive amounts of change and growth and blah and blah fill-in-psycho-babble-speak-here. And like any birthday, I look back and have a few thoughts about things I feel I may have missed out on, things I might have done differently, and things I wouldn’t change for the world because they were that much fun. However, while I’m sad to see the 20s go, I’m certainly not sorry. Because overall? There was a good chunk of time in there that was topsy-turvy, and not in a good way. (Some of it was in a great way, though, I will say.) Good grief, you can have the 20s. I expect that the 30s will also have a lot of topsy-turviness, but at least this time I know myself a little better. And I have more money. (Not a lot more, which isn’t hard, because who are we kidding? I think nuns on a vow of poverty make more than I did when I first started working.) So that’s always nice.

Though I didn’t have quite as many adventures as I’d hoped, I certainly had a lot, all of which were enjoyable. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I had experiencing and writing about them.

And before you get all teary-eyed that this is the last you’ll read of my scintillating tales, fear not. May I direct you to my new blog? Yes, I may: Come visit! Otherwise I’ll miss you, Interneters, which would make me sad, and possibly make me cry. And do you really want to make me cry? On my birthday? That’s just mean.

Goodbye, 29.

Helloooooo, 30, you sexy bastard, you.

Happy birthday, Me!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Secret Life of Bridesmaids

If ever anyone was qualified to write a book on such a subject as the title of this post suggests, it would be me. And in the book I would include such topics as, “I Will Never Wear This Again,” “That Color is Atrocious,” and “Why Don’t You Just Elope?”

Thankfully, I would never have to include a chapter on “Let Me Wear My Own Damn Shoes” because all of the brides I’ve attended have known better than to try and dictate footwear apparel. And all have been very flexible on hair and make up as well. Of the seven (7) times I have donned a special dress and stood up as a bridesmaid in weddings, I have lucked out and had no bridezillas. Most were just happy that you showed up, and most were mainly concerned not with what earrings are I was wearing and do they match my dress, but rather how much will pictures after the ceremony cut into the cocktail hour? Because new wifey needs a drink.

Needless to say, these were my kinds of brides.

But I’m happy to report to you, dear Interneters, that with only a couple weeks to go until I am officially out of my twentysomething years, I have accomplished one of my goals: to NOT be a bridesmaid in this, my 29th year.* I’ve been TO three weddings this year, but have at most done a reading, and otherwise simply showed up in support of the bride and groom. And I don’t plan on being in any weddings in the next two weeks-ish, baring any elopements that may happen between now and March 13, 2009, of course. But I’m not expecting any, and even if one of my friends did elope, I would probably not be involved, which is just fine by me. I’m always honored to be asked to stand up in someone’s wedding, but if you don’t ask me, I’m not going to be offended. I might even be relieved, frankly. I love you, dear friends, and I am very excited for you and your fiancĂ©, but trust me I do not equate the strength of our friendship to whether or not you ask me to wear an A-line dupioni silk dress with organza underlay. I do, however, equate the strength of our friendship to the bar package you choose at your reception. If you are truly my friend, you will have an open bar. And not just because cash bars are tacky.

I very much wanted to show you the array of ‘maids dresses I’ve worn over the years, but alas, most of those pictures come from the pre-digital camera age, and This Girl, sadly, doesn’t own a scanner. So instead I’ll just post some video from one of the weddings I went to this past year, and hope you enjoy watching me dance like the white girl I am.** And for the record, this “duet” is a time honored tradition between my friend Gina (the bride) and me. There’s a whole backstory and history to go along with it, but it’s not necessary here. What’s necessary is that I save myself from falling over completely, which I do, and which you will see, at about the 1:10 mark. I may have had a couple glasses of wine. No judging.

*I will, however, be one in my 30th year. Thanks for that, Mare Beh Beh.

**Or not. I can't seem to get the video to embed or link in here, so if you're super curious to see it, simply google "Gina and Molly sing Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" and the video should pop up. You're welcome.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear

In December, after four years and some months of payments, I finally paid off my car, Blue. Words alone can’t express the happiness I feel when I do not write a check to GMAC on the 27th of every month. I remember thinking when I bought him, “Oh my Christ, I will be 30 when this car is finally paid off. (Wrong-o, but close.) Thirty seems like terribly long way away when you’re 25. Turns out it’s not.

I love Blue, and he and I have had many adventures together, which is why I choose to express my feelings for him and this momentous occasion not simply in words, but in song. Particularly to the tune of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy," sung with full heart and voice.

Ode to Blue

No car payments any longer!
Now I own you free and clear!
Paid in full and four months early
Goals in my twenty ninth year.
You’ve been with me since that April
Since I lived in Chicagoland
Then we moved out to the District
Just inside the Beltway’s band

Baltimore has seen us often
So too have Ohio’s plains
My big fear of owning you
Are all repairs that cause me pains
Working turn signals, oil changes
All are very important
But so is my savings account
Which is currently quite scant

North or south or east or west
Sun, rain, sleet and even snow
Stuff you full of all my luggage
There is no place we won’t go
Back and forth DC to Chi-Town
We’ve made trips so many times
Highways, byways, tollbooths, back roads
Crossing various state lines.

(Big finish, ff)
Who knows where the road will lead us
Here is where the future starts
But I know you’re mine forever
Or until you fall apart!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Day

Hey, did you hear what happened yesterday?

Damien got kicked off the Biggest Loser! It was craziness! I totally thought Joelle was going to get the boot, but no such luck. That crazy woman is still on the show even though she is totally worthless in the gym and is making no effort.

Oh yeah, and a tall, skinny black guy with a funny name was sworn in as President of the United States.

Inauguration Extravaganza
For weeks now, hoopla speculation has been the talk of the town. And for once, the speculation indeed lived up to the hype. People poured in from all over the country, some even journeyed from outside of the country for this momentous occassion, many of them packing onto any available inch of the Mall on Tuesday morning. Most of these people were really nowhere near the Capitol and saw the event courtesy of many several Jumbotrons placed up and down the area, interspersed with the port-a-potties. (The port-a-potties were a hot subject leading up to the Inauguration; people estimated that there was 1 port-a-potty for every 6,000 people.)

I, however, was not one of the most of these people. That, combined with the fact that I get very irritated in crowds and tend to start elbowing and hip checking people out of my way when they are not moving quickly or in the direction enough to my liking, meant that I witnessed this historic event from the comfort and safety of my couch. (Other people's safety, that is, not mine.) And I have to say, it was a glorious way to watch such a happening.

But that's not to say I wasn't curious as to what was going on down on the Mall. I did want to see what it was like, see the decorations, see the unbridled attempt at capitalism as people sold everything and anything they could think of, so long as it had OBAMA slapped on it somewhere. So I went down to the Mall on Saturday afternoon, bundled up in 4 layers, camera in hand, before the mad rush of crowds arrived, and took some photos.

A lucky few (compared to the amount of others who showed up) got to sit with a spectacular view to watch the Inauguration.

See the plastic waving around the arch? Underneath the blue cage-looking thing? That is the entrance from which our new President emerged, a moment that gave many chills and great relief. Is all I'm saying.

So Inaugural-looking.

I was curious as to how they were keeping the port-a-potties secure until Tuesday. Turns out the doors were secrured shut with high-tech and heavy-duty...twist ties.

(A nod to my sister Elizabeth.)

You see, there's the Capitol....and then there's me.

This Inauguration is brought to you by Pepsi. And the letter O.

There was one event of this Inauguration that I was looking forward to: volunteering at the Illinois State Society Gala the night before the Inauguration. An interesting experience, but probably not one I would do again, unless asked very, very sweetly and plied with several bourbon and ginger ales. I stamped hands and checked tickets, and while it was easy work, the poor logistics of letting 6,000 people enter the 9th Street Rennaissance Hotel simultaneously made me want to hike up my dress and make a run for it. In my ticket-taking position, however, I did get to see all the ladies and gents in their finery, and I will now make two comments: A) When an event is black tie, that means you wear a tux, or at the least, and incredibly nice suit. You do not wear jeans and a Tshirt. 2) Some of the women who went all out and even had their hair done for the Gala should have gotten their money back. And possibly sued the salon.

But enough of that. Wouldn't you like to see a few pictures from the Gala? I thought so. Here you go:

You would think, having been a bridesmaid seven (7) times, soon to be eight (8), I would have a gown to wear. But no. Thankfully, the Nordstrom clearance rack had several. And I only saw one other person among the 6,000 wearing this same frock.

I feel like I'm going to Prom for Adults. Sans corsage.

I love a good ice sculpture.

This sign was hanging in the "Country Fair" area of the Gala. A young couple was sitting on a fake bale of hay (what?) underneath it, and as I snapped a picture they asked me, "Why do people keep stopping to take a picture of this sign?" "You haven't been following Illinois politics lately, have you?" I replied. Sadly, no, our esteemed governor did not attend the Gala, but our junior senator did make an appearance. He scooted by mid-way through the dinner. Very short, that man.

There was a "Route 66" area with various rooms designated to look like a riverboat casino, a Chicago pizzeria, and this one, a 50s Diner. Elvis is very excited to see me. After this stop, I made a beeline for the Chicago pizzeria room. It was only Uno's but that's as good as you'll get in this town, and on this night, it was enough to get me to kick off my shoes, sit down in the middle of the floor in my dress and shove two slices of deep dish in my mouth. All lady like an' classy an' shit.

Until 2012, my friends.