Friday, August 31, 2012

Acridity (with a pinch of sugar)

Well, readers, summer is officially over, so naturally I've begun tallying my grievances--as one inevitably does at the end of anything.  Or as one inevitably does when one is perpetually irritable and/or of an unnaturally bad disposition.  Which I am.  I'm sorry, maybe I should start over.  Hi, my name is Wendy, have we met?  Well you're reading this blog, so probably.

Anyways, after much consideration, I have deemed that my grumblings are noteworthy enough to itemize here because you clearly haven't read enough lists on my blog.  Or suffered through enough complaining.  You are wholeheartedly welcome.

List of current gripes:

#1: Summer is donso. (I thought I would jazz up this tragedy with a little outdated lingo.) 

Do you know how I know that summer is over?  No, it's not because of any shift in the weather.  It's still 80 degrees too hot to wear my fall fashion (this gripe to be continued...)  It's because all of those glorious hours of nail painting and Bravo t.v. watching have been replaced with ambivalently staring at my computer screen, typing out handouts and lesson plans and trying my absolute gosh-darn hardest to stave off the indecisiveness that plagues my very being.

So far, the results have been mixed.  Bottom line is: I am happy to be teaching again but deeply mourning the loss of all my free time.  I know, I know, my martyr badge is showing.  Did you see its new coat of polish?

#2: Jillian Michaels is a bitch.

It's okay.  She said in week three of her Ripped in 30 DVDs that we could call her that.  And I have. Many times. What can I say?  Exercise gives me tourrettes.  It also apparently gives me back problems.  Maybe I am just getting old because of all the injuries I have sustained over the years as a soccer player, lacrosse player, dancer, and gymnast, positively NONE of them have been back related.  And now I have to lather on the icy-hot and travel to and fro with an orthopedic pillow.  Like the old men puttering around the first aid section of Walgreens.

#3: Icy hot is disgusting.

That is all.

#4: Bad Money Management + New School Clothes - Money = Poverty

Remember those times when summer was the season in which you made the most money?  Neither do I because for the past several years, the summer months have been my least lucrative.  Mostly because I'm not teaching.  That usually also means that August is the diciest month because by then, I've used up what little savings I started out the summer with.  But this doesn't stop me from going back to school shopping, every day, during the first week of classes.  It's really a Kozak tradition--one that I alone uphold.  And on some version of steroids (I'm pretty sure that I was allowed one pair of new shoes, not four.) Unfortunately, what this means is that I am a horrible, irresponsible, materialist mess of a lass.  Go ahead and get your torches and pitchforks ready, because I'm pretty sure that in normal-being-a-good-person terms, that qualifies as a monster.

#5: My DSW coupon has expired

Yes.  The one I have been saving all summer to buy running shoes when I "had money again."  Note that this problem of not having money did not stop me from making my 45 other purchases.  The discount Gods are clearly punishing me for my hypocrisy.

#6: People keep feeding my cake

I don't know when it happened, but sometime over the past few months I totally ceased craving junk food.  Now I eat greek yogurt for dessert which is UNHEARD of in the food diaries of Wendy Kozak.  Alas, this past week, we have been brought cake in our office at work on several separate occasions and I feel obligated to partake in a celebratory slice.  It's like a toast, right?  You have to take a sip or else you're just being rude.  But for once in my life I don't particularly want that piece of cake and I almost always feel gross after I consume it.  What's a homie to do?

You know what?  Don't answer that.

#7: No labor day weekend jet setting for Wendy

Moses and I were planning on camping in the grand canyon.  Those plans fell through.  Moses and I were planning on a weekend getaway to San Clemente.  Those plans through.  The most I can hope for at this point is a stay-cation.  Although that word makes me want to smash things.


On the brighter side of things:

Relax, no one has hijacked my blog.  This is just a healthy dose of honey to my vinegar.  Or however that saying goes...

#1: This summer was pretty good

Traveling, wine drinking, horseback riding, ocean kayaking, death defying (I rode some rides at a county fair where they didn't check your safety harness before they shot you upside, through the air...not like those pansies at Disney)

#2: I have a tan! 

For the first time in my life as an Irish/Pole/Albino, I do not resemble some creature bred in cave-like darkness.  I have color!  The undertone of my skin is no longer blue but a soft caramel.  It is wondrous!  In the course of my twenty-seven years of existence, I have never been able to sustain a long term tan.  My fair skin crisps in the sun to a hideous shade of lobster, turns brownish for one glorious hour and then quickly fades back into near transparency.

I think I have my perpetual summer sunburn to thank for my goddess-like bronzing. Sure I will probably look like a leather bag or a dehydrated peach by the season's end.  Might even have a few precancerous freckles to commemorate this momentous event.  But it's totally worth it.  Gloaty gloat gloat gloat.

#3: Survivor Man

It's been long enough now that I can enjoy this show again.  It even makes me feel slightly nostalgic for Moses' attic room at KDR, where we used to watch hours upon hours of this show before bed.  Netflix has all three seasons.  What bliss!

#4: Speaking of Moses...

I still like him even though it took him three weeks to read my blog about him.

#5: Teaching is pretty awesome

During a class discussion on thursday, one of my students said something so thoughtful that it made my grinchy teacher heart grow three sizes.  They are vaguely likable, aren't they!

#6: My fall outfits are fabulous

Even if my hair has been weird recently.

#7: And finally three words: three. day. weekend.

But, I will probably spend a good chunk of it lesson planning.

Let's face it, folks, it can't be all honey.  Look who you are talking to.

There she is.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ode to Monsieur Wilks

Last Tuesday marked the eighth year of Moses' and my coupledome and the third anniversary of my discovery of mascara.

Although the day is primarily devoted to celebrating mascara, I usually try to reserve five minutes or so to shake Moses' hand and wish him luck in the coming business year.

But since we're already on the topic and I abhor having to come up with clever transitions, I figure I will give a little more lip service to the man that I've shared the past quarter of my life with.

I'm fairly certain that all three of my regular readers are familiar with the narrative of how Wenoses or Mosendy (I'll let you decide which one is more obnoxious) came to be, but, on the off chance that someone happens upon the post while sampling blogs written by lush, sarcastic, and highly succesful twenty-seven year olds, I will retell the tale.  I think it's important for you to see how I've come to lead this glamorous life of mine...

Moses and I went to middle school together and except for a few glimpses of him in band (he played Saxophone, I played the trumpet) and the moderate fame that accompanied him when he was named "Most Musical" in the 8th grade year book, we didn't interact much.  Although I seem to vaguely recollect Moses being in the same study hall as me in the 7th grade.  But Mr. Kelly's study hall was of such a nature that I seemed to have blocked most of it.

Moses and I became friends in High School.  Since we were both overachieving bandits, we shared most of the same AP and honors classes.  Moses now finally admits that he always thought I was "a really cool renegade" (explanation forthcoming) and "awesomely hot" (I may have slightly tweaked the language on that last one but I'm the wordsmith, remember?)  I, on the other hand, pretty much always had a crush on Moses.  It's true.  My best friend Gwendolyn can corroborate.  The only thing that varied from year to year was the intensity of the crush.  It had reached its initial peak during junior year of High School when we were both in the same English class.  Not to brag, but I pretty much ruled that class.  I once got up in the middle of reading Walden and declared that I was sick of reading Thoreau, that it was pointless and stupid and that I was going to go get coffee.  I then, naturally, asked our teacher for money which he gave me, and returned 30 minutes later with a mocha latte. Yeah, that acutally happened.  And to Moses, this was one of the most epic things he had ever witnessed at IHS that he still speaks of it with a sense of awe.

After graduation, Moses and I went through a brief period of despising one another.  I will call this the Pride and Prejudice portion of our courtship.  Moses would hate that but as we have already established, he doesn't read my blog, so I think we're good. You can go ahead and to refer to it as that from now on and he will be none the wiser.  Moses claims that he never actually disliked me and I am sure that I never truly hated him either but suffice it to say that with the help of a healthy dose of high school drama, Moses and I did not get along from about the summer of 2003 to the spring of 2004.  During our Pride and Prejudice phase, I would complain incessantly about Moses to all of my girlfriends.  My best friend Gwendolyn, clever but mostly sick of hearing all Moses-related griping, finally confronted me and asked me point blank if I liked Moses.  In that moment, talking on my cell phone on the top bunk of the bunk beds in my college dorm room that was double converted into a triple, surrounded by pictures of Sylvia Plath and Tori Amos, I had an epiphany.  I did like Moses.  I liked him more than I had ever liked anyone before.  And so began my summer missions: to win the heart of Moses Quinn Wilks.

Despite running in the same social circles, this task was not as easy as I initially thought. My first obstacle was ignorance.  I had never pursued anyone in my life so I wasn't entirely sure how to go about doing it.  My dating career was rather modest and all the boyfriends that I had had up until that point had pursued me (naturally.)  The only actual examples I had of a woman pursing a man came from romantic comedies and I was relatively certain that stalking, manipulating, and destroying Moses' life ala Julia Roberts in My Best Friends Wedding was not the way to go.  Well, fairly certain anyways.  The other unfortunate fact remained that I had never quite acquired the skill of flirtation.  If I had a crush on someone, which happened never,  I usually teased and/or was mercilessly sarcastic and then prayed that the lucky individual found that endearing.   But the situation with Moses was a delicate one.   I needed to be stealthy, even coy.  I didn't want to spook him.  I liked him far too much.

So when I spotted him at the next party the summer after freshman year of college, I gingerly approached him and said the suavest, subtlest thing I could think of: I want to date you. 

It was smooth.  So smooth in fact that Moses thought it was a joke and we continued the same game of bluntness and misinterpretation (my absolute favorite!) for what seemed like an infinite amount of time.

But on the night of August 14th, after performing with his funk band, we sat together in the dingy and decrepid college-town digs of our friend Sam, and I, like a shameless harlot, won my prize and Moses finally agreed to be my boyfriend, or something. 

And we've been together ever since.

The thing about Moses is that he is exactly the type of partner I've always wanted, except that I was never the sort of person to give any thought to what it was that I wanted in a mate, so it's almost like I've developed this retrospective/retroactive checklist based on all the things that I love about Moses.  Which is basically everything minus the video games and the leaving the peanut butter out, so it's a pretty long list.

For example:

Moses plans out loud--I love that.  Because I hate planning.  And anything that doesn't require painstakingly drawn decision making.

Moses makes me feel like the most intelligent, most talented, most beautiful, and most adored woman on the planet.  Just this past weekend, when we were going out to dinner for our anniversary, Moses told me I looked like a fancy prostitute.  And you better believe that I felt like the fanciest prostitute this side of 19th century Paris. (And Mom, just in case you are reading this and are appalled, he was 70% joking.)

Moses is incredibly logical and this makes me both less irrational and less neurotic.  All he has to do is give me a certain look and say "really?" and like a dog that has been reprovingly spritzed with water, I freeze instantly, stop what I am doing or saying, fill with shame, and scurry away.

Moses can also comfort me just as swiftly.

Moses is essentially a smarter, funnier, and more talented male version of me.  We laugh at the same jokes, like the same foods, dislike the same bands, hold the same political beliefs, subscribe to the same philosophies about life and humanity, sass to such a degree that it makes others wonder if we are really assholes, and share a secret language based entirely on inside jokes.  Naturally, we make one hell of a Taboo team.

There is really nothing about Moses that I don't admire and respect and I trust his opinion more than anyone's. Except for when he tells me that high-waisted jeans don't look good. Then, he's just wrong. Because they're fabulous.

And even though I'm a poor professor and he's an even poorer graduate student, we truly have the happiest life together.

I've had a crush on Moses since I was sixteen and I really don't foresee it ever ceasing.

I will leave you all now with some of my favorite snapshots from the past eight years.