Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson: Icon, Wedding Awesome-Maker

It seems everyone has written about, Tweeted, updated their status, and what have you regarding Michael Jackson's death. I'm posting quickly about it, because aside from his iconic status in my childhood, MJ contributed to one of the most fun, unexpectedly successful moments in my adult life.

I was 6 when Thriller hit it big, and of course my family had the album. I was devoted to MTV and the stars that dominated the channel. I had a door-sized poster of MJ in his awesome white tuxedo with yellow accents, and rolled up into my classroom one day with a T-shirt with the same image ironed-on to it. Every single kid that saw me that day gasped, "Wow! Michael Jackson!" without a hint of irony or sarcasm. EVERYONE loved Michael Jackson back then.

The 80s were a heady time in entertainment for youngsters.

Fast forward through the decades, the awkward times for MJ, the lawsuits, the tabloids, the shame. Fast forward to 2003, as my husband and I are planning the play list for our wedding.

Me: Here's what I want--I want a Soul Train line. Like when you line up on both sides and everyone dances down the line in pairs. This is what I want.

Tom: That sounds like fun. (This is why we are married.) What song?

Me: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." No! "Wanna be Startin' Somethin.'" That's it.

Tom: Yes! I'll tell Jose (the DJ).

So Tom told Jose and Jose was like "What?" He didn't think people would want to do it, that when you try to choreograph group things at events it never works and everyone is disappointed, etc. I asked him to at least try and if it didn't work that was OK.

November 1, 2003. Our wedding reception. We played a few songs, got everyone on the dance floor (thanks to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer." We're a diverse bunch.) and Jose announced the plan. Everyone kind of milled around, and then the first notes of "Wanna be Startin' Somethin'" started, and damned if the lines didn't form with the precision of a military operation. Everyone boogied their asses off -- young and old, single, coupled, too-cool and too-fool -- and it was awesome. The pictures from that moment are some of my favorites in our album.

(Note to self: find pics and post here. Liven up this blog already!)

I swear it would have never happened if we hadn't used that song.

Later in the evening, Jose gaves us props on pulling it off. People still bring it up when they mention our wedding. That dance is the stuff of legends. Much like Michael himself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Babe!

Today is my husband's birthday. So begins the summer birthday gauntlet!

I know I ragged on his planning skills in my vacation post; so in honor of the beginning of his 32nd year, here are some things I love about him instead:
  • Puts up with my crap, mostly. This is huge, as I am full of it.
  • Actually does plan when he wants to -- he's doing a great job of helping me investigate preschools for B.
  • Is a GREAT dad. A really, really great dad. When I watch him with B, my cold black heart grows three sizes.
  • Serves as House Husband during the summer when he's working fewer hours. Hello, clean bathrooms; how I love thee.
  • He always encourages me to go for whatever I'm interested in, even if it might make his life a pain in the ass for a while.
  • He cooks. And bakes. Real men do both of these things, and do them well.
  • After all these years, he's still cute. Seriously!
Anyway, that's just a short list of awesome things. Happy Birthday! I love you.

Something I Don't Talk About Often

So my husband and I like to check out PostSecret and when there's a theme, like Father's Day, we talk about how it seems like everyone has Daddy Issues. And how glad we are that we don't have those issues.

Except I do, kind of.

I don't know my biological father. He and my mom divorced when I was not even 2, I think? There were drugs involved on his part and my mom made the right decision to leave, obviously. I've seen maybe three pictures of him in my lifetime. His name is Mark. I don't know anything about him, save for an awkward run-in with his sister when I was 16 (she worked at a store that my mom and I popped into while back-to-school shopping). While I grabbed the nearest article of clothing and ran for a dressing room, my mom found out that he never remarried or had other children, and that he still lived in Maryland.

That's it. Lived so close, yet never wanted anything to do with me. I do wonder what the hell his deal was, and occasionally think, defiantly, about how much he's missing because he couldn't get himself together ... but I don't think about it much.

Because I have an awesome dad who came into my life shortly after my mom divorced. He is my real dad, adopting me once he married my mom. His name is Hank. He was the one who taught me how to ride a bike; ate my disgusting attempts at baking when I was younger; took me to just about every museum in DC when I would go to work with him; helped me with my homework (and notoriously helped me fail a math assignment, because he got confused about what we were doing. Thanks Dad!); took me out to lunch when I first started working in DC; and wouldn't let me lift a finger when I was pregnant. Now he's the proud grandfather who hogs my son when he visits--good luck getting a hug from B with my dad around.

Anyway, I guess my point is that yeah, you can have daddy issues--but they don't have to take over your life. I know I'm lucky to have a dad who loves me; not everyone gets that when they lose their father figure. So that's why I don't entertain that particular drama much.

Besides, why wonder about something that couldn't possibly be as fun and rewarding as being Hank's daughter? I love you, Dad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shopping Like I Actually Have Money

Hoo boy. My shopping habits have been INSANE lately. Recession what now?

In the last month, I have bought/ordered:
  • Our vacation: resort room, tickets to Busch Gardens
  • Father's Day gifts for my husband and Dad
  • A few birthday gifts for my son
  • A travel toddler bed for my son (for vacation, of course)
  • A few birthday gifts for my husband
  • Shoes for myself (you have to treat yourself, right?)
  • 50 million "little things" at Target that probably add up to more than the above items combined.
I still need to purchase birthday party supplies for my son's 2nd birthday in July; more birthday gifts for my husband, Dad, and mother in law; and some vacation clothes because the whole getting over myself and wearing seasonally-appropriate clothing thing? Would happen a whole lot faster if I owned some seasonally-appropriate clothing. For a resort. And then some more clothes for work. I'm keeping it cheap though - Target and Old Navy are my BFFs right now.

But still. For someone who sweats her budget constantly, this is really out of character for me. I can feel the foreboding credit card bill being printed as we speak.

Looks like I might need to implement a Damn Girl Stop Spending Plan.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Two Tickets to (Colonial) Paradise

I booked our family vacation this weekend.

Oh yeah, I said vacation. We're going to Williamsburg: short drive, nice resort, relaxing time mixed in with a theme park. I'm probably more excited about this than I should be, but you have to know our history of planning trips to know how significant this is. The history usually runs like this:

Me: Let's *do* something this summer.

Hubs: OK.

Me: Great! I'll look up some places and we can pick something.

Hubs: Cool.

**A month goes by, I'm the only one looking into anything, I get bitter and stop. We go nowhere.**

Lather, rinse, repeat for like a million years.

I HATE planning trips, for the above scenario plays out over and over every time I want to do something. We were on our way down this road again in the spring, when I wanted to plan a beach trip and everyone was on board with the notion as long as I did the research, booking, etc. So once again, I got bitter ...

... and bought a treadmill.

But then, like cockroaches and Speidi, the vacation notion just wouldn't die: My mom mentioned that there's a Sesame Street section of Busch Gardens, for smaller kids. So I started thinking about going down to Williamsburg, maybe staying somewhere nice, just doing one day at the park, etc. My little guy would have fun, but it wouldn't be too overwhelming. We could still relax. We kicked the idea around for about a week and it was starting to fizzle ...

And then my brain was like, "Aw HALE no, we are not getting robbed of a vacation again!" So while my husband took a nap on Saturday, I booked the entire trip--resort, tickets to the park, everything. By the time he woke up he was on his way to Williamsburg.

Yes, I had to do all the planning again. But I'm getting a trip. And my treadmill. See, ladies? Sometimes you can have it all. Try not to be jealous.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Usual

I have a a few post topics in my head, but life is kind of getting in the way right now:
  • I'm moving offices for the 7th time in 2 1/2 years. Hey, at least I get a window this time; I'll make sure to enjoy it before my next inevitable move!
  • We're trying to plan a short mini-trip to Williamsburg.
  • Work is stressful. That's all I'll say about it.
But hey, the ASP is rolling right along:
  • My little guy starts his first Beast class tonight. Should be fun and cute!
  • We're still doing the local food thing; dinner tonight is pasta with homemade pesto and sauteed zucchini and squash. Yes I realize that pesto is so 90s but it's also nice and summery, so back off food snobs!
The only ASP bummer I'm experiencing right now is that I still haven't heard anything about my treadmill coming, and it should be here later this week or early next week. Need to call and harass a SOLE customer rep, methinks.

Oh and somehow I got sucked back into the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I guess I'm just a sucker for the accents.