Back in the day, my brother and I used to play opposite day. Basically the game consisted of saying something that was the opposite of true.
Yes, it got old quick.
Since I had grand plans for this past weekend, none of which included my sweet-ass dustbuster (unless I used it naked, per Laef), I thought I’d recap our super exciting weekend.
The bad news: I did not eat 7-11 Nachos.
The good news: I stayed up past 1 a.m.
On Friday night Laef and I went to our friend Allie and Greg’s for dinner. Allie is pregnant and Greg is an Oregon grad who pretty much only wants to discuss Oregon football. He and Laef also share an affinity for watching Dave Chappelle DVDs, so the night started off with fish tacos and Chappelle show archives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s some funny stuff, but Me+Full Belly+Vodka+Comfy Couch+TV=Sleeping within 5 minutes.
Greg yelled at me every two minutes about how lame I was, so I rallied. It was kind of like when the tennis instructor told me I was lazy. I hit my next forehand as hard as I could and aimed for his balls. Greg telling me I was lame, flipped the switch.
Then we stayed up until 1 a.m. watching Oregon football highlight videos (that sounds a lot lamer than it really is). Laef set a PR for Bud Lites so we walked home arguing about who the best Oregon quarterback of all time is.
The next morning things were a little fuzzy. But since my tolerance level is that of a 21-year-old slut, I was up and at ‘em by 9 a.m. By 10 a.m., I hadn’t heard a peep from Laef, so I went to check on him.
Me: “Do you want pancakes?”
Laef: “Ugh. No.”
Laef: “Not yet.”
And just like that, it was opposite day in our house. I was hoping Laef could rally so we could go to the beach, but for some reason sitting in the blazing sun with a wicked headache was at the bottom of his to-do list.
I will admit that we mopped the floor on Sunday morning, but then we went to the beach and walked around Santa Monica as opposed to sitting at home marveling at how cute Sanch is and how he looks cute on the balcony.
Laef and I had planned to spend our last weekend in Manhattan Beach lounging around, swimming in the ocean, soakin’ up some rays and bidding farewell to our home of the last 3 years. Unfortunately, not only was it cloudy last weekend, it also rained on Sunday. There is a silver lining to the whole thing, however. It forced us to stay in and pack up most of our belongings. We are now basically ready to load the U-Haul on Saturday morning without having to spend much time packing.
To date, the saddest part of the whole moving process was watching a young family come by our house to buy our beloved Weber Grill. We are not allowed to have a bbq at our new place, which is common practice for apartment buildings. A little piece of me died inside watching them wheel it down the driveway. What’s summertime without a little smell of coal and lighter fluid? What’s summertime without watching Laef grill a peach and proclaim, “Dessert time!” What’s summertime without hitting up Whole Foods with Nick Dozier to buy giant scallops and fresh sea bass to grill while drinking beers? What’s summertime without a Weber Grill?
As you can see, I’m taking it well.
Anyway, today the sun finally came out. It’s a gorgeous day in LA. A perfect summer day for sitting behind a desk in an office with no windows. As I drove into work this morning I heard the forecast for the week: Hot today, hotter tomorrow and triple digits by the weekend.
Are you fucking kidding me? I mean, I am all for summer and the sun. But, moving boxes up and down stairs in triple degree weather does not seem like a fun activity. I immediately think of my good pal, Erin, who has graciously offered to help us move. Erin is hot when it’s 45 degrees. Erin puts ice packs on her head and neck while sitting motionless on the couch during summer days. Erin moving around with heavy objects during a heatwave makes my life. I am currently seeing if I can have a Japanese Ice Suit FedExed to LA by Friday. My 8 ball tells me outcome not so good, so maybe we’ll have to go with Plan B.
Despite the weather forecast, we are beyond excited to be moving. We are already getting familiar with our new neighborhood by starting tennis lessons at a Rec Center down the street from our new place. Last night was the first lesson, and it was not quite what I was expecting. For starters, I was expecting an Andy Roddick lookalike as our instructor. Nope. Our instructor had dreadlocks, and might have been 20 years older than Andy. Secondly, I thought there’d be some old people in the class. Not so. I am probably the oldest person in the class. Which isn’t as bad as Laef’s dilemma: HE IS THE ONLY BOY IN THE CLASS. Yes, it’s 7 girls and one tall ass dude shanking balls all over the Barrington Rec Center.
It. Is. Fucking. Priceless.
More blogs to come on tennis lessons. Since we pretty much learned how to hold the racket, pick up balls and ran 2 laps yesterday, there’s not too much to report on Class 1. I However, I think some good material will be coming.
Yesterday morning – at an hour that used to be their bed time – Amy and Andrew Longeteig welcomed a little peep to the world.
Her name is Leila Grace Longeteig.
She is precious. I thought for certain she’d be an adorable little ginger like her daddy, but luckily for her, she has her mommy’s looks, and a head full of beautiful black hair.
I don’t know what it is about the Longeteig’s having a baby that makes me feel like I want one a lot more than I used to. It’s not that I ever didn’t want kids, it’s just that I still had friends who didn’t have them, and as I spiraled out of my youth and into my mid-30′s (FUCK that is hard to write), I sort of started to think that I might be able to live without babies.
I have never had a biological clock issue. Then again, I never really visualized myself getting married and was certain that Amy L. and I would be single, 29 and drinking Cosmos for our entire existence. Somehow, I just sort of do what comes my way and don’t live by any sort of rules (i.e. married by 23, a baby girl by 25, a baby boy by 27, a Lexus by 30 and a house in suburbia by 33).
However, this little Longeteig peep stabbed me right in the baby-maker. I am completely and totally in love with her after only one photo.
The Longeteig’s have been friends for 12 years. I have seen Andrew barf on himself, Amy fall down no fewer than 10 times, and have helped them move 14 times. On the flip side, Amy has catered to my dozens of requests for Taco Bell and visits to Rennies, even though BOTH were against her religion. Andrew is like a brother from another (ginge) mother who I adore to pieces.
I can not believe they have a precious little peep. The jury is still out on whether they’ll allow me Auntie rights, but hopefully they can look past my checkered past.
And because of this little peep, I think I might be able to try it. I just wanted Amy to try it first and let me know how it goes.
As you’re probably aware, I’m currently on a Friday Night Lights binge.
I am almost done with Season 2. I have forsaken all of my other shows. They sit, in the DVR, waiting for the bender to end.
And, yes, I’m also running a marathon.
These are the things that keep my mind occupied. They are my escape from long days at a cubicle. The escape from taking orders, battling traffic and wondering if I could be doing more with my professional life. Wondering why the fuck my numbers never come up in the lottery.
Yesterday was one of those particularly rough days. During the drive home, I told myself to let it go. Be over it by the time I walk in the door. Let it go so that I have the evening to salvage what’s left of the day and enjoy it.
I never know what each day will be like, so I always savor the last 5 minutes in bed before getting up. And, I savor the last 5 minutes before I fall asleep. Somehow, I know that those moments could potentially be the best part of my day. I want to remember them. They are what carry me through.
When I got home last night, I was still trying to snap out of the funk when I noticed a piece of mail from the Longeteig house.
First of all: How exciting is it to receive mail that isn’t a bank statement or a pack of coupons? With email and facebook and cell phones, real mail has become SO exciting.
Inside was a CD of songs from a band that does a lot of the songs on Friday Night Lights. There was a note. Just a quick note to say “I miss you.”
And just like that, the best part of my day started.
As I think about starting a new decade, I can’t help but think about all of the wonderful things that happened to me over the last 10 years. In short, I became an auntie four times over, I got married, I worked a wonderful job that allowed me to travel to Hawaii, Chicago, Miami and many places in between. I graduated from college.
I turned 30.
I lost some of my baggage.
And, I had a great group of friends who have been with me since the beginning of that decade.
That means, 10 years of memories. 10 years of good times and bad times. Many times of them holding my hand as I try to stagger home from Rennies. Many times of them wiping my tears while I cried over a broken relationship. Many times of tolerating my good sides and my bad sides.
Despite babies, weddings, moving, jobs and life’s general chaos, we have all remained in each others’ life.
So, it was the most perfect timing that the Oregon football team played in the Rose Bowl this year. A year that I happened to live in LA, and can actually afford to be a part of it. A year that doesn’t require me to buy a plane ticket anywhere, and where I can offer a small space in my tiny house for people who may not be able to come if hotel rooms were part of their travel expenses.
A year that allowed us to be together for the end of a decade that saw us through so many things together.
My last day of work was Friday, December 18. The very next night I was part of Lady Gaga’s little monster crew with my friend Annett in San Diego. I can’t think of a better way to start a two-week vacation than to scream every single Lady Gaga song while escaping from my reality for two hours. I dreamt of a life that was guided solely by my loves and inspirations. A life in which I could make a living doing things that I love.
Aside from inspiring me to sing Speechless at the top of my lungs for three days straight, she truly inspired me to think about what exactly it is that I love to do and trying to figure out a way to make that my reality.
I was still doing the little monster hand greeting as Laef and I headed up north to visit my family for Christmas. Thankfully, my nieces know what is up and actually enjoy dancing to Poker Face instead of whatever bullshit Miley Cyrus is putting out these days. (OK, I admit, I do secretly sing to Party in the U.S.A. if I hear it, but I can’t take her pole dancing and short black biker shorts).
After a few days with family, I headed back home to regroup and get ready for the Oregon peeps to arrive in LA for the Rose Bowl.
Even though our little house can barely handle Laef, Sanch and I, we had Chris and Alissa Hansen, my brother, and Amy Detwiler staying with us for a few days.
The Hansen’s were the first to arrive, coming in on Dec. 30. We took them downtown to Ercules in Manhattan Beach where we also met up with Michelle and Jeff Eberhart, Angie Sit and The McNamara’s.
For some reason Michelle kept saying that all she wanted was to be in the blog. But, I don’t know how to best explain to her that being in the blog usually means I make fun of you.
So this is what I will say about Michelle: She is the only grandma I know who wears knee-high boots with tassels. And, she is the craziest, most-fun 41-year 29-year old I know.
But, the line of the night goes to Chris Hansen.
I was talking about how I used to have a crush on this guy. And, it has recently been brought to my attention that said guy is “fat and bald”. I could barely contain my excitement over this new development when Chris said:
“So. He is fat? And bald? I am trying to figure out what is so wrong with that.”
We finished the night with some food and shots of Patron at Hennessey’s. It was a great way to start off the weekend.
The next day, New Year’s Eve, (OK, I need a minute. That seems like 4,980,343 brain cells ago) …
Chris, Alissa and I went to the UCLA men’s basketball to watch Laef in action. We tried to get him to do the “O” hand signal from the bench, but all we got was an eye roll. UCLA ended up holding on for a 2-point win over Arizona State so it was a good game to watch.
We raced back home to lay on the couch and watch The Hangover while re-energizing our already tired bodies. It’s amazing how two days of activities become much more difficult as life presses on.
Once Laef got home, the four of us headed to Sashi for our NYE dinner. It’s hard to put into words how amazing the meal was. The presentation of everything was so beautiful. The flavors were overwhelmingly good. Every bite seemed to have some larger purporse that left us baffled and wondering, “Exactly how does one come up with a Kobe Beef Cone thingy?” Or, “How do you make a red pepper ribbon?”
So, we not only ate, but we talked about food and took pictures and marveled at how decedent everything was.
Amy Detwiler and my brother arrived that night, and we decided to stay home so that we could be up early for the Rose Bowl. We sat around the table and played the dice game. That was until a car crashed into a utility pole near our house and the power went out.
What else to do but stand on the corner in sweatpants, with the neighbors, watching a car explode?
And, that my friends, is how we rang in 2010.
Seeing as the power was out, Laef and I were unable to inflate the air mattress that we were going to sleep on. So, we slept on a deflated air mattress with as many blankets as we could muster, and did not feel a day over 84 when we woke up.
It didn’t really matter because it was ROSE BOWL DAY!!!
I am not going to lie. I might have taken tailgating very seriously. I might have had one of the best days ever.
The game, as you might know, was a bummer. It wasn’t the Oregon offense we had seen for most of the year. It was frustrating to say the least.
I won’t say that it was a moral victory just being there. But, I will say, win or lose, I was taking in every bit of the experience in spite of fumbles, missed field goals and lack of possession time.
I met all sorts of people. The vibe was very pleasant. Duck fans seemed happy. OSU fans were very nice.
It was an amazing day.
It was the perfect end to a decade of memories with my peeps.
Sometimes I am embarrassed for whining about work.
Or whining about anything for that matter.
Because the truth is, my life is pretty solid.
Laef and I went to San Diego to see friends this weekend. I ran the AFC Half Marathon with Natalie and Erin. Laef drank Scotch with Sean on Friday, they went tot he movies on Saturday while Erin and I watched reality TV to make ourselves fall asleep by 9 p.m.
We got to see Ben and Annett for lunch on Sunday.
It was so nice to see people that can make you forget about petty work bullshit and remind you that life is so much bigger than that.
I set a new personal best, finishing the race in 2 hours and 8 minutes. I forgot my iPod, which scared me. I was afraid that my mind would venture off into complete nonsense for 13 miles. The thought of listening to my own jacked up thoughts for 2 hours totally motivated me to run faster.
But, I never really thought about anything except for the race. I was focusing on my pace, how I was feeling, how I knew I could push myself a little bit harder. By mile 10, I knew I could beat my time, and focused solely on ignoring my shins.
Now that I’m back to work, I realize that if I can just take each day as though it were the 11th mile – on a steep hill – and push through without letting my mind go down a dark path, I will be able to press on.
It only took 13 miles, five friends and two fish tacos to realize how good I actually have it.
The newly crowned Allison Morris is honeymooning with Laef in New York, rubbing elbows with the upper crust of society in Manhattan. (Tori Spelling was on their flight, which technically might not count as the “upper crust”, but she’s definitely crusty.) So as to not bog her down with the task of updating her legions of fans on every intimate detail of the wedding day / weekend while enjoying her first week of wedded bliss with her new husband, I volunteered to step in and post something on her behalf. I only hope that she doesn’t get kicked off the BlogHer Network for allowing someone with testicles to post something on her site, but as Laef pointed out, I’m married, so it really shouldn’t be a problem.
The weekend had so many highlights it’s hard to know where to begin. Check that, it’s easy to know where to begin (as you’ll soon find out), but where to go from there?
THE DANCE: For most couples, I think the first dance is one of the more nerve-racking parts of the wedding day (at least it was for me). Everyone’s looking at you, and there’s really only so much rocking back and forth you can subject your guests to. Those not lacking confidence – or rhythm – can opt for something a little more involved, like salsa or swing. Or, you can do what Laef and Allison did: make everyone think they were going the traditional route, but a minute in, change it up from Carrie Underwood to Lady GaGa. This was great on so many levels: anyone who really knows the couple wasn’t surprised that “Poker Face” made an appearance at the reception, but that Allison was able to talk Laef into doing this for their first dance; Allison did all the choreography herself (with a little help from the internet); almost everyone at the reception was completely in the dark that they were doing this, Allison only spilling the beans to a few of us after a shot of Patron unlocked the key to her vault on Thursday night. I’m going to stop trying to describe it because, quite frankly, whatever I say won’t be able to do it justice.
THE MILLIONAIRES: You know how most people with money are pretentious assholes? Well, we found evidence to the contrary on Saturday. The wedding party arrived to the beach a few hours before the ceremony so we could take some pictures, and as we hiked up and down the beach, sweating our collective balls off and getting sand in uncomfortable places, all while trying to look fresh and photogenic, Laef and Allison were constantly being congratulated by the locals. One particular group seemed very interested in when / where the ceremony would be, but honestly we didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to them. Hours later, when the limo parked a couple blocks up from the beach (there are only so many streets that a stretched Hummer can fit down), we had to walk down a pedestrian street nestled between multi-million dollar beachfront homes, and who should be waiting for us on their rooftop deck but the people from beach earlier in the day. We stopped to talk for a bit, and Allison jokingly asked to use their bathroom — along with like three of her bridesmaids. And they very graciously said yes and let the girls into the bathroom on the first floor of their house, then wished us well as we headed off to the ceremony. A couple houses later, there was another group of people who applauded as we walked by and even offered us beer, which we reluctantly declined.
After the ceremony was over, we had to walk back up that same street to get back to the limo, and the people from both houses were still outside waiting for us. The people that offered us beer had a bunch of 10ish-year old girls who were armed with rice to throw at Laef and Allison, which would have been the highlight of the walk back if it wasn’t for the other house. When we got to them, they were waiting outside with a tray of champagne glasses filled with Dom Perignon (think about that – having enough money to blow a $300 bottle of champagne on a group of strangers). We toasted with the guy that presumably owned the house, and he asked where they were going on their honeymoon, and they told him they were going to New York and staying at the Waldorf Astoria, to which he shouted to the people up on the deck, “Hey guys, did you hear that? That’s one of ours!” I have no idea what “one of ours” actually means, but needless to say, this guy probably throws away more money than most of us will ever make in our lifetime, and he and his family were super cool and extremely generous (even though some of them were USC alums). Really made our afternoon.
THE PEEPS: One of my biggest concerns when Annett and I got married was what George Costanza so accurately described as the “worlds colliding” phenomenon. You have family, friends from work, friends from school, friends from back home and friends of your parents, all who the bride and/or groom may be extremely close with, but not know that the other groups even exist. Now all of a sudden here’s this great celebration that they all are a part of, and will be a part of together. Will they get along, or will it be like a junior high dance with a bunch of little groups all over the place that look judgingly at everyone else and whisper about their outfits, or how much they’re drinking, or how stupid they look on the dancefloor or how obnoxious their kids are?
Once these different worlds did collide, something very special happened. Not only did people get along, but I think that some pretty good friendships came from the wedding activities. The bridal shower, the bachelor and bachelorette party were the bride’s and groom’s first line of defense: get everyone together a couple times, presumably with an adult beverage or twelve, and by the time the wedding rolls around, people should at least know each other well enough that small talk shouldn’t be a challenge (I know Annett couldn’t wait to see everyone from the bachelorette party and catch up). And let’s be honest – the other thing that Alli had going for her was this blog. She talks so often about her friends and her family that you feel like you know them before you ever met them.
So, as people started to trickle in and the weekend started to unfold: sushi on Thursday night followed by drinks at a couple bars, and then a midnight meal followed by more drinks at one more bar; the rehearsal dinner on Friday followed by drinks at the hotel bar; and then the wedding day marathon of activities that may as well have been sponsored by Corona and every brand of champagne priced under $10 at Vons. By the time we all parted ways on Sunday after breakfast, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the group felt like we were saying goodbye to friends and not just casual acquaintances.
THE CEREMONY: What more could Laef and Allison have asked for? Sunset on the beach (with the famous L.A. smog noticeably absent); an intimate gathering of 50 or so of their closest friends and family flanked by tiki torches; Sean rocking a bowtie and accompanying the ceremony with some selections on his acoustic guitar; some great sentiments by Neil, Allison’s brother-in-law who performed the ceremony; some adorable flower girls; and vows written by the bride and groom that were both funny and heartfelt, demonstrating that Laef and Allison truly are meant to be together … I’m pretty sure it was exactly what Allison had envisioned when she started planning things.
Like I said, it was an amazing weekend and Annett and I were both glad to be along for the ride. And now that it’s over, the next logical question is, “So, when are you going to start having kids?”
That’s just who I am. Say things. Keep the conversation going. Make people comfortable. Make friends.
But, I can’t find the words to say to my friend, Jo Gail. I don’t know how to tell her that the sudden, unexpected passing of her father somehow has meaning.
I don’t know how to tell her that she can do this. She can dig deep after supporting her mother – her best friend. Her mother, a two-time breast cancer survivor, who had back surgery and had a steel cage drilled into her spine after the cancer cells spread to her spine the second time around.
How can I tell a 23-year old who has a more impressive resume than I do at 35 to keep doing what she is doing. Keep pressing on. Keep your head up.
Jo’s mom, Kate: Always smiling. Always trying to get Laef to marry Jo. Always Cheering. Always supporting Jo.
Jo: Always striving. Persistent after suffering a horrific injury in her second game as an Oregon Duck. Went to Washington and got her Masters Degree. Went to New York to work for the Women’s Sports Foundation. Got a job in External Relations at Stanford.
Oh, and she played softball in the 2004 Olympics for Team Greece.
So, at this point, I have no words. I don’t know how she feels. I don’t know what it feels like. I don’t know how to tell her that, at 23, with her whole life ahead of her that she has to continue to be the person that she has always been.
Never before has the wedding seemed more real than it did this past weekend. All it took was 12 giggling girls and ample shots of tequila to make me realize that, holy balls, I am getting married, yo!
I always knew I had great friends. But, I don’t think I truly realized how much great friends actually mean until I was going through a major life event.
This crew of crazies each brought their A+++ game to my bachelorette party weekend. My sister was doing shots. Angie Sit was doing shots. Erin Shaner came through on night two even though I am sure her bed was calling her name. Amy Ross brought the pink and killer shoes. Amy Longetieg made the statement of the year: “My plan for having kids is this. I am going to party super hard all summer and then maybe try in the fall.”
Perhaps you had to be there to appreciate the fact that the emphasis was on the PARTY ALL SUMMER and her voiced trailed off a bit as she contemplated the “trying in the fall” part.
The Detwiler twins. Where to begin. Kim Detwiler’s Molly Shannon impersonation at 3 a.m. was so spot on that Erin wanted Kim to become her own personal Polly Pocket. Amy Detwiler’s domination in a lyrics contest at Whiskey Girl (thus winning our group an $80 bar tab) was nothing short of stellar.
Natalie Lara’s naked bed pose. Sarah Pilgrim going on a four mile run. After drinking a bloody mary. Annett Malone’s ability to take 412 pictures while holding a drink and dancing. Whitney Morris’ love for male pole dancers. Angie Sit putting the wrong dish soap (of course she was cleaning up and making things pretty) in our dishwasher causing a major outpoor of bubbles and scary sparks.
Despite the fact that there were multiple Amy’s, sisters, twins, sisters-in-law, strangers and random neighbor cats, the weekend could not have been more perfect.
You never know what you’re going to get when you put 12 random girls together in one house (that is only supposed to sleep 10), but the laughs never seemed to stop.
And whenever a random playa tried to front on our crew, this is pretty much how it went down:
They would come over. Try. Wait. Try again. Pretty sure Natalie and Annett never even acknowledged this guy. Pretty sure that when some random came up to Kim Detwiler, she stopped him before he even started by saying, “Um. No.”
UPDATE: Speaking of douchebag playas creeping on our crew and because of Kim’s description of a so-called male Chip and Dale dancer, I have decided to include a photo so you can all see just how NAST and NON Chip and Dale he was. THAT is why I curled up in the fetal position. I didn’t want sweat dropplings on my dress!
While I enjoyed the crazy nights out belting Lady Gaga, some of the best moments took place at the house. Late night hot tub sessions. Amy Longeteig crawling into bed while five of us watched her from outside. I guess you had to be there to see the look on her face when she made eye contact with her pillow.
Laef asked me what my favorite part of the weekend was.
It was this: When I was feeling like a hot mess on Saturday morning, I was lying in bed trying not to puke my face off and I heard everyone else awake. They were all laughing and giggling. It made me so happy to know that I have such sweet friends who can be thrown into any situation and laugh together after just one night out.
My second favorite moment was this: The 3 a.m. text from Laef on Friday.
“We’re getting married!”
Yep. And I know a group of girls who can’t wait to be there.