Friday, September 28, 2007

It's Official

These two nutjobs will be united in my home for a few days in October. Katy, I'm officially calling for back up.

P.S. Joe, I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to have you here in the city. AND, it's about f-in' time you came to see us!! Love you!

my first run with my bday present!

So I'm pathetically slow, and it says FIVE runs but it's just one. Ha. I'm sorry Nike.

But! So fun!

A Week Early, A Week Late

So last Friday Sam got a bunch of our nearest and dearest together to celebrate my birthday. Of course, it wasn't my birthday, but rather one week and one day BEFORE my birthday.


But those of you who know me, know I suck every single celebration I can out of September - and as a sign of how good our friends are here, none of them batted an eye over it. We started out in the plaza outside my work, as everyone slowly trickled in from various parts of the city. There was a moment when we took up four tables, everyone laughing and talking over each other, ordering drinks and passing around appetizers, when I looked around and thought to myself, "I cannot believe I'm this lucky."

When I moved here I had no idea what woudl happen. Sure I knew a couple people, but I'm not so good at making new friends. I honestly wasn't sure I would - but last week sitting in the dusk surrounded by laughter and stories and general fun, I realized this really has become home. Home in that way where it's not just about an address, or a job - or even just about me and Sam (though that's a huge, huge part). It's about findign a place where I can sit and feel comfortable and happy and, well, feel loved.

We know some amazing people here. People I want to bottle up and take with me if we ever leave. People I want to have you meet. That have become such a vital part of my life and well-being, I don't know how to even categorize them anymore. We're our own little family here in this concrete city, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

But! back to the birthday! We forgot to take pictures in the courtyard, but Sam did pull out the camera at dinner. We went to this great little place in our neighborhood called "Druids" (it was pointed out that OF COURSE we'd go to a pub named Druid's fo rmy brithday - which I found hilarious) - it's a small bar on tenth avenue not far from our apartment with the most amazing back patio. All covered with trinkets and art and little white christmas lights. The best part, last week, was we could even see stars. Which, well, was present enough, honestly.

So, back to the pictures, Sam began taking some memories of all who were there, and then we all got distracted and it never happened - but we did get these:

This is Sarah. I adore her. We see her, on average, four times a year. This picture marked the second time in two weeks. We've promised to make this whole "seeing each other often" thing a habit. This makes me very very happy. Sam, too, as you can see.

Mikki was there, too, of course. Surprisngly she wasn't sick of me - even though we work together every day now. :) But as Sam's BFF and my Cretaive Life Partner, well, it seemed only proper she come out. That and she's SU-PERRRR.

One person we used to only see from time to time that's become a regular habit nowadays is Katy. I can honestly say having her around more often makes my life better. She's planning to move away soon, and this breaks my heart a little. Thank god Sam took such great pics of her.

You know. For memories.

Ha. Regardless, drinks and dinner had my cheeks sore from laughing so much.

And then, the few that were left climbed the four flights of stairs to our apartment for one last celebratory act: BIRTHDAY CAKE. Yummy, beautiful, wonderful chocolate hazelnut BIRTHDAY CAKE.

Dear lord, it was good. Magical, even. ;) My friend Andrea made it fo rme, and I can't even begin to describe how delicious it was. (IS - I still have some, I've been hoarding the last few pieces - I even stuck two in my freezer.)

Overall, awesome birthday. And it wasn't even my birthday! Have I mentioned the lucky-girlness of my life recently?

'Cause, well, LUCKY.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Little Leslie of the Caribbean

Last weekend was a great few days. Pretty much entirely attributed to those extra two people in that photo right up there.

It's the time of year for Les and Andy to come on back home and hang with those of us they left behind in the city when they moved down to paradise. And it's one of my favorite annual events. Sam and I miss those two like crazy, and the fun we have when they're around makes my cheeks hurt.

We usually spend the weekend eatting yummy food, seeing movies (usually involving Andy, Tracy and Sam laughing so hard and loud it gets to be as hilarious as the movies themselves) and generally just hanging out, talking and remembering why - yet again - New York City shouldn't be so very far away.

Not to mention that it seems Les and I have married very similar co-horts - and I, for but three days, can share glances across the table with a woman WHO KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT I'M THINKING. And then we can each roll our eyes and/or smack the man next to us.

And I have to say, there really is nothing better than having friends you consider family come into town and stay awhile. My heart is always a little bit more full when they're here, and this city definitely feels more like home. When they leave, as they always do that Monday in September - there's a little empty space in this crowded city I have a real hard time explaining away.

But it's alright, cause tradition is tradition and we'll see them in October, for a fun-filled Bell family overloaded weekend at Disney. ('Cause, as I said, they are so very family.) So, Les and Andy? We miss you already - but we know it won't be long til we see you again. This time in your neck of the woods. So the missin' isn't so bad. We're practically packed already we're so looking forward to seeing you two again.

The question is - are YOU ready?

Or perhaps - are my parents truly prepared for the four of us?!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ya'll. Really?!

You're Roots by Alex Haley

While almost everyone agrees that you're brilliant, no one knows quite how to categorize you. Some say that you're a person with an amazing family tree. Some say that you're just a darn good storyteller. Others say that you're both and don't much care where to draw the line. What is known is that your people have been through a great number of trials and that you are where you are because of hard work. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Well, um, okay, I guess.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Because sometimes repeating yourself Makes Sense

I want to spin and spin in a crowded room, surrounded by friends. I want the music to be so loud we can't talk, but have to communicate with smiles and winks and absurd hand gestures.

I want my hair to fall in my face and have it brushed aside by his hand as he pulls me close as the music slows. I want to be able to lean into him and not have to worry about standing on my own. I want all my worries to be centered around where he'll put his hands when we dance, and where we'll go when they turn the lights back on.

I want all my friends in one place, safe and happy - filled with music and laughter.

I want our voices to be hoarse from yelling and our heads heavy from drink and adventure.

I want for my worries to be all about how we'll all manage to do this again in a few weeks. I want my future plans to only be concerned with thoughts of more music and close friends.

And where they sell good greasy food at four in the morning.

I want to sneak a cigarette at the bar as everyone else goes to check out the next floor of the club. I want bum a light and whisper conspiratorially as we hide in the corner, smoke coming out of our mouths and gin sloshing in our glasses.

I want to know once again, what it is to laugh until I cry. What it feels like when my cheeks are sore from smiling.

I don't want to know who our allies are. What country we plan on stomping through on our way to wage war. I want to stop counting those I know who are no longer here, but elsewhere in a sandy and strange desert. I don't want to turn the radio on in the morning wondering what the news will bring. I am tired of hearing the arguments and the rationalizations and reasons. I'm tired of the bright lights and complex systems.

I want to keep my loved ones close, in the darkness. I want us to dance until we can no longer stand, hold each other close and walk home. To a home that's safe, and right , and just.

I want midnight burritos and shots of tequila. I don't want these adult concerns and responsibilities.

I want peace.

(written 02.21.03)

Great Quote

“You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be.”

I saw this today and as trite as it might sound is was a bit of an epiphany for me. I keep trying to figure out who I am, what I should be doing - but the most success I have had lately is just simply working toward who I want to be.

A very small, but very important differentiation.

And one that is working for me, so far.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Happy First Week Birthday!

My sweetest sweetie sweet boy is now a big brother. And two of my very best friends in the world are parents for the second time.

There are no words. I can only tell you that when we turned and left the hospital room after saying goodbye, we had to stop so I could just sob over the fact that I'm not there, I'm not around - I'm not close by.

This little family makes my heart full, I love them so much. And when the (now!) 6 of us hang out I feel like there isn't a wrong in the world. I love how Sarah laughs at everything Sam says, how Phil always knows the perfect line to say to crack me up - how we're all friends. Wonderful, amazing, awesome friends.

And I want to see them today and wish Euston Happy First Week Birthday. I want to play transformers with Hagan and sit and talk and just hang out with Sarah. . . when my whole world is topsy turvy these people ca bring me straight back down to the ground, and make me feel at home. That's what it is - the six of us - in so many ways.


I love them all so much - words just fail me. Fail.

I want New York and Kansas to be closer. I need them to be.