Monday, January 31, 2011

2011: The Year of So Many Things

Loyal blog readers! You're back!

Well, we're back. And blogging. Because it's been a really, really long time. What have you missed? What do we have to catch you up on? Well, if you're reading this, you are most likely already aware that we've set the date and have begun the exciting, wonderful, fun, and only slightly stressful process of wedding planning. August 13th, here we come. tells us that the wedding is a mere 194 days away. 194 days. Away. Holy cow. I've bought my wedding dress, we've got our venue, caterer, and menu, and now there are only three million things left to do.

In January, I took a screenwriting class. Probably not my favorite class on earth, but that's okay. Now it's nearly spring semester, and this will be my busiest semester yet. (I'm taking The Novel, Waterstone: Fiction, and Advanced Fiction.)

Zach and I joined Weight Watchers on New Years, and we're having a lot of success with it. I'm a fan. I'm also a fan of the dark chocolate and raspberry Weight Watchers ice cream popsicles. YUM.

We celebrated our one-year anniversary a couple of weeks ago, and it was awesome. And Zach's awesome. And this whole year has been awesome. We are some very lucky people.

Now that you're all gagging a bit over the level of our adorablosity, I'll let you go. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An Engagement, A Kitten, A Busy Year

While Zach has been working on a post regarding our engagement, it seems that I'm first. So, for any who don't already know, WE'RE ENGAGED! I'm beyond excited. This guy is phenomenal. That's all there is to it.

It is also the one-week anniversary of our adoption of Beezus Beauregard, a beautiful two-month-old kitten. We adopted her from the Humane Society, but we hadn't set out to find a kitten. Really, we were there for a smoosh-faced nine-year-old British shorthair. I have this perpetual sadness over the fact that older cats never seem to get adopted. Or, at least, they don't get adopted with the frequency that kittens get adopted. That's why I adopted five-year-old Bean, who is now nine-year-old Bean, and that was why I had begged Zach to consider good ol' nine-year-old smoosh-faced Gracie. Shockingly, Gracie was gone when we arrived at the H.S. on Sunday. She had been adopted the day before. Alarming! And wonderful! So we looked around, and played with a couple of fabulous cats. (If you live near Woodbury, MN, please check them out.) As soon as we took "Mittens" out of her crate, however, it was love. She was sweet. She was adorable. We named her "Beezus," and took her home.

She's been with us for a full week now, and she and Bean are getting along amazingly well. (Bean isn't a cat person, usually.) They even share the bed together, as long as there is at least a foot of distance between them. Otherwise, Bean growls.

The wedding date is August 13th, 2011, and it seems impossibly close. It seems this way, in part, because every time either of us logs into, we are reminded of how many days away our wedding is. ("Your wedding is 350 days away! Your wedding is 349 days away!") So much to do, and just under a year to do it in. Today, we hit a bridal convention with our friend Erica, and we managed to have a blast while getting some great ideas and filing away photographers' and florists' business cards. (No, you read correctly. Zach came with us to the bridal convention. I did say he was phenomenal.) I'm hoping to share with you some seriously awesome venue news later this week.

Grad school is back in session, and I'm so glad. While it's a lot of work, it's amazing how much of my identity is wrapped up in being a writer and a student. I feel so much more like myself these days.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It happens every once in a while. I get really stuck for an idea. For ANY idea. It happens with short stories all the time, but I can (usually) muscle through those. When I need to start thinking about a novel-length thesis, that's when the "stuck" is the worst.

I'm about a quarter through the writing MFA at Hamline. The last year is the thesis year, and this coming year is the one where I develop the sorts of ideas that will lead to said thesis.

"You'll come up with something," Zach says, and I believe him, of course. But with a partner whose confidence in me is stunning in its awesomeness, I begin to develop this sureness that every idea I have will be fabulous, and I start to pluck the lamest moments of my day to hold up to a "could this be a novel?" light. (That's like a black light, but for thesis-writing, not fluid-detecting.)


I went to church with Z this morning, over at Hamline Methodist. We've been there twice now, and I think we both like it a lot. The pastor looks like a skinny Jason Statham. Bam. "Pastor-turned-sex traffic criminal fools his congregation and the police, but can he fool his obsessive-compulsive choir director?!"

We gave Pan, our hedgehog, a bath. Bam. "Baby hedgehog slips down the drain after a couple of distracted pet owners leave her in the bathtub. In a matter of weeks, the hedgehog has been exposed to all of the mutating chemicals the sewers have to offer, and she now wanders the streets of Falcon Heights, Minnesota with revenge on her mind."

I totally don't feel like getting up at 5:45 tomorrow morning for work. Bam. "Grad student questions futility of her working life, and opts to join a freak show. When it is clear that she doesn't have any especially freaky features, student bites a rabid bat and becomes Foamy McRodent, Flying Human Trapeze with a Contractable Disease."

In other words, this girl is stuck for ideas. But I'll get there.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tequila Reneé

Let me tell you a little story about a girl's call her Renée. Don't confuse this girl with the lovely co-author of this blog, as everybody knows that Reneé puts her accent in the wrong place. And I don't mean Boston. I would never tell embarrassing stories about that Reneé, because I love her very much, but this other Renée is fair game.

Many of you who have met this other Renée may have also met Gin Renée, who is a strange and mysterious beast, rarely seen after her last triumphant outing. It was then that she somehow managed to simultaneously tell everybody my most intimate secrets while feeding a dog table scraps three feet from its owner and making loud "Shhhhh" noises at me while pointing at them as though they wouldn't know. Gin Renée is not particularly stealthy.

It may or may not have been on the same occasion that she asked, very seriously,
"Do you think Jesus spelled backwards is sausage?"
 I laughed, somewhat amused, but she was not to be deterred.
"No, no, see, God spelled backwards is Dog. And dogs eat sausage." 
I agreed that this made perfect sense and her impeccable logic could not be countered by my mere human intellect. It was easily 20 minutes later when from across the room I heard the saddest voice I've ever heard say quietly,
"Oh. Nevermind. I looked it up, and it's not 'sausage', it's 'sesuj'."
My heart broke for poor Gin Renée that night, but I don't think it hit her as hard as I thought, because moments later she was asking me,
"Do you think the guy who invented the toothbrush also invented fiber optics? Because they look the same."
And so it was that I somehow fell in love with Gin Renée and the fantastic world in which she lived. But that's nothing. I hear the last time she picked up some 17-year-old, tattooed, born-again Christian at a Wendy's drive-thru. So, you know, everything's relative.

Anyway, I thought I'd seen everything that the world of alcohol had to offer my dear friend Renée, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

Last Sunday, before leaving Michigan City bright and early the next morning (seriously, we were on the road by 5am), we went out to dinner with my mom and my sister. Renée had a couple of margaritas with my mom and nothing seemed particularly amiss as we rode back to the hotel in the back of my mom's car, though Renée was quieter than usual. I figured she was tired. It was only as we stepped out and said our goodbyes that I felt Renée clinging to my arm for dear life and heard her whisper, "I can barely stand up."

This was the night I would finally meet Tequila Renée, an altogether different creature from the Gin Renée we all know and love. Tequila Renée is wild and almost literally can't stop talking. She can't walk, stand, or really even lie on a bed without assistance. But it's the talking that has to be heard to be believed.

I tried to record her to play back for her later, but after 15 minutes of recording literally non-stop rambling on her part, my phone ran out of space and it seems to have corrupted the recording. I was trying not to sully the sample, so I mostly gave her a few non-commital grunts of agreement now and then just to assure her I was still listening as she continued on her merry verbal way.

The only thing I was able to get down on paper during the whole ordeal before she finally fell asleep was the following exchange, which came pretty much out of nowhere:

"Don't get stabbed like Tupac."
"Didn't he get shot?"
"So don't get stabbed from afar by bullets?"
"Yeah, and don't wear a band-aid on your head like Tupac."
"You mean a bandana?"
"Yeah. Who wears the band-aid? 50 Cent?"

A Post to Begin All Posts

We're going to make this first post a color-coordinated one. Bear with us.

As soon as Reneé suggested the color-coding, I immediately demanded to be green. She countered by demanding red. I was simply not going to have the first post in this blog laden with Christmas colors in the middle of August. Some of us have class. We compromised on green and purple. Very English countryside. And heterosexual, if you're wondering.

Unfortunately for Zach, I'm all about independent thinking. ("Independent thinking" in this case used in place of the more common "lying".) (It's only "lying" if I didn't have my fingers crossed when I told you I'd be purple.) Anyway, we've decided to begin a blog. For our sakes, because we're way too self-indulgent not to have one, and for the sakes of our far-away friends and family, because we love you guys (and ladies) like a panda cub in a bathrobe.

Unfortunately for Reneé, she doesn't realize she just told every middle-aged Vermont man in his underwear coming across this blog in the middle of the night while googling for information on a little-known Libertarian blog about government interference on free trade in the gold chain industry ("The Sin Tax on Bling", of course) that she loved him like a panda cub in a bathrobe. I don't think she really gets that everybody can read the Internet.

It seems that I am blogging (and co-habitating) with the Czar of Long Sentences. Okay. So, we got back yesterday from Indiana, where we attended Zach's ten-year high school reunion. I met his friends, grandmothers (so cute; I want to carry them both in my pocket), and sister, and got hella drunk at a Mexican restaurant. It was a good, good trip.

I'm going to write a separate post regarding the "Tequila Reneé" incident of Sunday night, but suffice it to say, she just casually glossed over what may well have been the highlight of the entire trip in but a few words. She's a keeper, this one. Anyway, yeah, the reunion was fun.

I did miss my cat. (Here's the thing. I've been told that I should refrain from writing about Bean in this blog. I have the tendency to talk and write about her so much that there exists a drinking game, thought up by Erica and Leah. A shot every time Reneé talks about her cat. So even though I promised Zach that I'd try to keep it in check, you might want to unlock your liquor cabinet at the beginning of these posts. Just sayin'.)

You know, if you remove the excessive parenthetical from that last statement, you sound like a crazy person.

You say the nicest things.

Anyway, thanks for reading our ridiculous diatribe. I can't promise we'll always be this entertaining, but I can promise you we'll use a lot of words trying. I've heard word count is all that matters when you die.

What he said. Thanks, guys.

What did I just say about word count?