Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wasted Day?

Here is what I did today:
1. Spent 6 hours writing and distributing press releases for the Angels and their journey to Raleigh
2. Created a myspace page for the Pittsburgh Angels
3. Made butternut squash soup. Yum!
4. Didn't brush my teeth
5. Didn't get dressed
6. Watched hours of Real World/Road Rules Challenge episodes on mtv.com
7. Moved the pile of my homework from the office table to the sofa next to me to the floor as a foot rest
8. Finally took a shower at 430 PM
9. Sent out the flipping Save the Date for my wedding! Hurrah!
10. Began to panic at the thought of having a wedding and a national championship and decided to get a little bit drunk on red wine

Now I'm off to tutor! Won't that be productive? (Don't worry. I'll brush my teeth on the way out the door and consider putting on pants)

Monday, October 30, 2006

More from the Weekend

My thumb is not broken. Just sprained tendons, which is excellent because it can be treated with "pain management" rather than splints or casts that render me unplayable at nationals. Excellent.

I couldn't sleep last night. I kept replaying the weekend again in my head. For every awesome thing that happened, I did a ridiculous idiotic thing to counter it. Perhaps I suffered a head injury?

While dressed as Super Mario, I challenged a 14-year-old girl to a DDR bout at the bowling alley. She was there in mesh shorts and a tank top, clearly not a novice. I thought I could take her or at least keep up. She slugged in the tokens and went right for the "heavy" level. In front of 30 teammates and supporters, I made an enormous ass of myself. Later, Lori and Lemme tried to make me feel better by pointing out that she plays DDR like I play rugby. This only made me want to practice harder.

Then, I discovered that a rather uncouth expulsion of air from my body was loudly picked up on the dvd of the men's playoff game against Buffalo, along with everyone on my team loudly discussing its disgustingness. Everyone knows! I'm so full of shame.

THEN, for reasons known only to Satan, I phoned the tight five room and implied that they were all big fatties. Why? Why did I do this?

There we were, surrounded by people who subsidize our bowling excursions and stand in the freezing cold to cheer for us. People who drove 190 miles to stand guard over our Steinlager tent only to lose it to a wind gust anyway. We get texts and supportive messages from other teams in our league who root for us and yet I cannot stop being an idiot. Are we all idiots? Is rugby a big conglomerate of idiots who manage to hide their idiocy for 80 minutes each weekend (or, on some weekends, 160 minutes)?

Perhaps it is just me and my teammates put up with me because that is the rugby way: to love our players because of their oddities and not despite them.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Raleigh Bound

We won the Midwest Championship!!! My team is going to nationals in Raleigh in two weeks. This feels enormous. My team went to nationals every year in college. Penn State is a perennial top dawg in college rugby. The thing is, I wasn't a starter until my senior year and I didn't feel as much a part of those victories. Now, I feel so actively involved in our success. I wear each game on the marks on my legs and, now, the sprained tendons in my thumb.

I was so unbelievably angry yesterday. I did a "shopping cart" move and went into contact upright with my hands out, as if to push away the defense with the pads of my thumbs. I heard loud popping and felt enormous pain and had to come out of the game. I cried like a baby because I was angry, angry, angry to be hurt doing something so stupid. Luckily, we have enormous depth and we went on to beat Detroit soundly to secure a berth in the national championship. I taped that sucker up and played today against the corn-fed, enormously strong Minnesota Menagerie.

This post is turning into a big litany of things I am excited about for Pittsburgh rugby, but whatever. This weekend was idylic. A bunch of members of the men's team drove out to Columbus to support us. AND they knew about the team bonding costumed sober bowling trip later in the evening. We had Mr. Incredible, Mario, a can of red bull, and a Mexican dude show up in support. Their presence meant so much to me. This weekend was the first time I really knew I have a family here in Pittsburgh. It was remarkable.

The last thing that was amazing was that 25 players traveled with us. 25 ladies Cipped and eligible to play, who have been to practice consistently through disastrous weather and tortuous sprinting sessions. We came this far as a family, our women's and men's team, all together. It sounds so mushy, but it's true. I am on top of the world right now. I heart rugby!

PS--due to the numerous doctors and nurses on my team I scored a 9am doctor's appointment for x-rays, etc. for the thumb!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Communal Laundry

I think the neighbors know it's me who fills the washing machine with mud each Thursday night. I got caught last week. It was our muddiest practice yet and Landis and I ended the whole thing with a few lovely belly slides through the mud, me with my arms tucked in and head held high like a seal. Every single thing I had on my body was disgusting, and it was cold out so there were lots of things.

As I often do, I tried to rinse everything in the laundry sink before washing. This time, the drain was clogged before I got through one cleat. Soon, I was up to my elbows in brown water with pieces of clover floating around me. I just gave up and threw it all in the washer, ran it through twice, and tried to sneak out of the laundry room but GOT CAUGHT! Late at night, I figured I was safe from the other tenants. But no, I had to pretend I was just going upstairs for some Drano and the plunger and then I had to offer up four replacement quarters to Suzanne when she had to run the washer empty to rinse it out. As if I wanted to spend twenty minutes plunging a sink drain!

The moment I felt myself having those thoughts, I felt so elitist and pathetic. Why the hell shouldn't I plunge my mud mess? I guess maybe because I rent? When Corey and I had our own, quarter-free washing machine in Jersey I would just run it a few times and be done with it, clean my own mess because I knew there was nobody else to do it. I've become lazy and mean since moving into a multi-unit building. I am a sinner. I leave rugby mess for others to deal with and I do it DELIBERATELY.

I think I take sick pleasure in being irresponsible for a second, just one second, each week. I like thinking someone else out there has to be the grown-up and I leave my mud behind so I can sit on the sofa and drink beer. Or maybe I'm just an asshole.

For some reason, I find it incredibly cute that Corey was that someone last night. He stayed up until 4am doing laundry. This is because he waits to do laundry until there isn't another possible thing from eighth grade he could wear and has 10+ loads. He becomes a machine, folding his items more carefully than I used to fold the kids' tees at K-mart. I wake up to stations spaced around the apartment with neatly folded piles of things, faintly ringed with silty rings from the scuz I leave behind from practice gear.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wooden Shoe People

Because I use a Mac, for some reason the hyperlink function is not available to me. So I can't link you to my friend Seriouslyemily.blogspot.com's page when I say she has inspired this morning's post. Poor Emily suffers from what I call Wooden Shoe neighbors. I coined this term my junior year of college, when the people who lived upstairs could not have possibly worn anything but that clunky Dutch footwear to stomp around their apartment.

I used to lie away in bed, elbowing Corey in the ribs to see if he could hear the stomping, the noise, the screaming. They were so effing loud just remembering it makes me upset. I was certain they were moving furniture up there all the time. I passive-aggressively suffered through the noise for months until one night before a rugby game. Don't EVEN keep me up late the night before a rugby game when I am trying to mentally prepare and get enough rest. I have called the police on prank phone callers who disturb me after 9pm.

So the WSP were just getting going around that time. I lay awake, certain they were kidding and would eventually stop. It got louder and louder. There were no explanations for what they could be doing. I boiled in rage and threw on a bathrobe. I marched up the stairs and pounded on their door. They knocked back at me. This made me so much more angry I couldn't see.

I pounded. They pounded. Giggling. They opened the door and everything became immediately clear to me. I stopped hating and started laughing, though I still wished they would stop.

They had removed all the furniture from their living room (Perhaps dragged it down the hallway?) and constructed a skateboard halfpipe. They were skateboarders. Banned from the sidewalks and bus stops outside, they were doing flips and tricks in the living room. No wooden shoes. Hard rubber wheels.

I asked them nicely if they could just be a little more quiet. They offered me a joint. I scuttled back downstairs to laugh miserably in bed while the skating continued above me until I moved out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Burny Smells

When I baked the pumpkin pies last weekend (and devoured them both basically on my own) I spilled a little filling in the oven. The apartment has been smelling grossly of burnt pumpkin ever since. So I was really excited to come home from my field trip to smell burning olive oil and chicken parts. Corey tried to make himself chicken parm while I was away. Isn't that cute? He pulled out his "romantic meal" for himself while I was away, only he used Pasta Roni as sauce and had a bit of a disaster with the hot oil.

I was ok sitting in the living room with the stink. Sort of. But when I climbed into my bed and my pillow smelled like smokey diner, I got upset.

So how do I detox the house? How can it smell nice in here again? I have been burning a pumpkin spice candle simultaneously with the blueberry candle. It just smells like a diner that's baking pies. It's too cold to open the windows. Something must be done in here or I am going to cry.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I am re-reading Fast Food Nation for class. I'm on chapter one, where Schlosser analyzes marketing technigques targeted at children. He mentioned Tamagachis in Happy Meals and BOY! did that take me back.

My sister Betsy had a Tamagachi. On the outside, I relentlessly chided her for the ridiculous pink dog that pooped and barked but never grew. I told her repeatedly how stupid she was for liking that thing. Inside, I longed for one of my own. I wanted to be cool enough that I didn't have to feel uncool for wanting something my kid sister had.

When Betsy went to the beach or camp or some other thing forcing her to be away from the pink electronic dog, she left it in my care. It beeped. I fed it. I played with it. I cleaned up its electronic poop. Bliss! I took it with me to work at K-mart, lodged happily in my red vest pocket with the box cutter. On one woeful Saturday, my line was long and cranky. I had no opportunity to stop and feed the little guy. I did not clean up his poop. He passed away into the afterlife of electronic puppy heaven.

Betsy didn't speak to me for a long time. She thought I killed her dog on purpose, given my yatchy behavior toward her and my outward disapproval of its existence. Where is that Tamagachi now, I wonder? Does it survive in the mess of clothing and makeup in her room? Has she hidden it in a shoebox on a closet shelf with her other treasures? On Thanksgiving break, I would love to crack that sucker open and see how long it will take us to kill it again.

TV Star?

Here is what I wore: Cute cropped pants that were peach and browny-green striped with a white cami and a peach v-neck three-quarter length sleeved shirt and an orange necklace and mascara.

The television people were 45 minutes late to interview me, which anyone who knows me at all knows made me livid and freak-outy. I was rocking my brains off when they showed up. I didn't really feel like expanding much on anything.

Then I rowed in sweatpants for EVER while they got lots of shots. Which was good because I needed a nice workout to get over the stress of waiting 45 minutes. All in all, I would say I don't need a big television career. Not an A+ experience one bit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Big Debut

I'm going to be filmed for tv tomorrow. Fancy, huh? Here's what happened: a woman I freelanced an article for is friends with a television producer-type person who was in need of a college or graduate student with lots of loan debt and consolidation savvy. That's me! So the news people are setting up a segment tomorrow afternoon to quiz me about interest rates and how it is that I am comfortable having a loan repayment program that extends into the time period when my children will most likely be starting college. (I never thought of it that way until they asked the question...)

After they rack my brains about debt, they are going to film me working out on the erg. They wanted to film me at work, but everyone decided it was for the best if we don't a) disrupt the athletes while I am trying to tutor them and b) show them on television being tutored. Hence, the rowing.

My big problem right now is what to wear. I don't own any makeup and it's been a million years since I got my eyebrows waxed. I got all prepped for autumn weather and tomorrow is supposed to be in the high sixties. I'm thinking of going with hair down, a cute skirt and a brightly colored top (since I look nice in bright colors). But the worst part is what do I wear during the rowing?? Dare I show my thighs on television? I certainly can't wear spandex pants and long baggy pants will get caught in the runners on the seat and be generally in the way. An obvious solution is to do some other sort of working out...but that would be untrue to me. Can't they just come to rugby practice? I'm ok in shorts paired with tall socks. I'm comfortable on the rugby pitch. I glide like a duck in water (if ducks were to thunder around hitting people and bellowing). It's everywhere else on the planet that I don't seem to be able to move or dress appropriately.

How un-feminist is it of me to worry about my appearance for my tv spot? Clearly I should be more concerned with the brilliance of my discussion. But no. That which is unconfident bubbles to the surface and I am dwelling only on my lumpy white thighs. Perhaps it would be better for them to film me at work after all...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pumpkin Pie

I just wrote a whole post about pumpkin pie and autumn and how I ate a whole pie yesterday and blogger did something and it went away. So now, since I've been tutoring forms today, I will write pumpkin haikus instead.

Libby's canned pumpkin
Orange joy cold and chewy fresh
enough for two pies

Pumpkin Pie Blizzards
numbing my hands post rugby
a perfect cool-down

Oh! That yummy squash
Stuck to corners of my mouth
I love to indulge

Crispy leaves and co-
zy autumn clothing be damned
just give me pumpkin

Sunday, October 15, 2006

mmmmmmm fun weekend

I ate the most delicious food in the entire world on Friday night. Corey and Leeann and I went to Spice Island and pigged out. (Thank heaven I took some good food advice from Eastside Girl!) We had three courses and drank more wine than was appropriate. The best part is that we somehow ended up with all the leftovers. There is nothing wrong with eating satay and curry for breakfast! Especially when it comes from that place. Mmmmmm mmmmm. I can't decide if the evening was super fun because we got to see Leeann and then later Brian and Freya or because that restaurant has such nice ambiance and amazing food. Either way, we had an inexpensive and delicious time. I feel like I am somehow writing an advertisement for the restaurant, but it was seriously amazing. Plus our waitress was really fun and friendly. I wanted to offer her some of our wine since she was so quick with everything.

I love it when a meal is so good you have no choice afterward but to return to your apartment and lay on the futon with your pants unzippered, desperately trying to convince yourself that it is NOT a good idea to dig into the leftovers until you become less full.

Later in the weekend, I convinced Corey to come to the rugby bar and he joined the men's team for a game of flip cup. It was so funny to watch them all discover Corey. "Dude! This guy is ALL BUSINESS!!!!" they were screaming. Sometimes people aren't prepared for Corey, who can only focus on one thing at a time and thus does not engage in conversation or waste motions when playing games of skill. He sat on his stool until his turn, downed the beer in one sip and flipped the cup with one hand, one finger, one motion. Then he returned to his stool. I love it. Everyone loves it! In no time at all, KJ had everyone singing "He's a Core Man" to the Soul Man tune. He's a hit!

Weekends like this one are how weekends are supposed to be. I feel totally refreshed! I can forget for a small moment that I have to write a thesis and plan a wedding and tutor stressful students. God bless Asian cuisine and flip cup!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Woo Hoo?

The Pittsburgh Angels are league champions. We are 6-0 and one game away from a national championship tournament. So why does this victory feel so empty? The team in our way this weekend was supposed to be Rochester. We had one game left, one more chance to prove ourselves after all the freaking hard work we've done since August. But they forfeited. As they always do. As I suspected they would.

We were most likely going to obliterate them anyway if we played. Last time, we traveled there with only 12 of 15 players and beat them by nearly 100 points. It would probably have been a similar outcome this weekend. There is just something to be said for actually proving your strength. Are you really a good team if you win by default?

Obviously I understand that beating Detroit was the real championship, the real achievement for my team. But now we have a major competition in two weeks and no game to keep us limber, to keep our heads in battle mode. I hate winning by default more than I hate losing.

A few weeks ago at practice I showed up ready to work my ass off. I was so excited to be opposite my friend PH for 2v1s because I know she is damn near impossible to tackle. In the drill, I laid her out, smashed her out of bounds and everyone cheered. The intensity was turned on for the drill. Woo. Great. But she wasn't concentrating on running hard. She was focused on the pass and that's why I tackled her. I have not tackled PH for real, so I don't feel excited about it.

That is how I feel right now about our "win" this weekend. Until we do it for real, I can't get happy about it. I need to store up this frustration for a few more weeks until we go to Columbus. When we win there, I will feel as though we have earned it. Right now I'm disappointed.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

More Problems All Around

I think a lot every day about what the proactive solution is to the problems I see in my job. I don't feel ready to go to the mattresses about it, mostly because it would put the facility where I work under scruntiny. And the academic counselors at the University are not the problem. In the academic support services, I think we try our best to solve these problems. The students show up here with attitudes and lack of preparedness. Whether they belong in college, whether they are prepared for college is irrelevant to us. They are here and we have to help them.

I spend 20 hours every week walking these students through assignments that take the typical freshman under 15 minutes. Extra credit worksheets, film reviews, free-verse poems...these all take my students multiple hours of intense concentration. The problem starts not with the NCAA but far earlier, when these folks are crammed into 35+ student classrooms where teachers replace education with behavior management.

I watched this season's THE WIRE in its entirety and it made me physically sick. The athletically gifted students I work with on a daily basis are fortunate in that they have individual tutoring to catch them up. For each one of my students, 1,000 students with the same lack of educational foundation lingers behind to follow a perpetual circle of poor education leading to crappy jobs leading to low-income poverty conditions which create home environments unproductive for their children's education. I don't even know what to do.

I wrote several papers about my work last year but have been reticent to submit them to journals or publications. After I read "The Ballad of Big Mike" in the New York Times two weeks ago, I was irate. The story of Mike is the story of each of my students. The New York Times dropped the tale when Mike arrives at Ole Miss, places him in the hands of tutors like me and leads the public to believe he is ok now because he is in college. Perhaps after graduation I will pick up the story of Big Mike and follow him around to math class and show how decidedly not ok he is once he hits the world of higher education.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Problems All Around

I have said before that I think the system of education is in need of reform in this country. I have said before that I think it is wrong to transform scholastic athletes into idols and prevent them from learning or developing their minds. I was reminded last night how desperately criminal the situation has become.

Imagine a math class with 30 students. Eighteen of those students are prominent athletes on a very prominent sports team at the school. The 18 students continually disrupt class, preventing learning from occurring in any capacity. Are so disruptive in fact that the teacher nearly called the police to intervene. This is a college math class with adult students over the age of 18. Things in the class worsen every day until the coach of the team is berated at an academic function. He promises to speak to the team and does and things do not improve. A proctor is hired to sit in on the class, to babysit. Things do not improve. This teacher would ordinarily eject the students from class and fail them for the semester. But these particular students must carry 12 credits to remain eligible to play their sport. So, buckling under enormous pressure to keep her position with the university, the teacher must bravely face every day in an unteachable environment, controlled by the good old boys.

These same students then politely come to the center for help with papers. We sit. For three hours we struggle through a paper one sentence at a time, desperately pulling for any remembered tidbit from class, for new ways to phrase ideas for which the students lack a lexicon.

Functional literacy. Intellectual curiosity. Analytical skills. These three skills should be honed in middle or high school to allow for higher development in college. Unfortunately, because of the scholastic athletic machine that drives through our nation, certain students are gathered up to run the treadmill powering the machine. They are used and abused, denied an opportunity to learn, given a glimpse over the top of the hill and then ejected from the ride when we have no further use for their bodies. They have the arrogant attitudes we taught them, fit bodies, and no education to speak of. Something is wrong. Something is very wrong and it needs to be fixed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean came to Pittsburgh last night and I met her! The woman who describes men by comparing them to sides of beef and who can add the word cracker and sparkle to any description, who traveled the world writing about female bull fighters and child beauty queens came to Pittsburgh! I bought Corey and I tickets for the event very early and we made a whole date out of it.

Corey drove the car (retrieved from the mechanic for only $350...with some lingering problems...) to Oakland and we planned to have a nice dinner at LuLu's noodles before walking over to the lecture. Only I got very nervous about time and being late and started to rock before they even brought us our water. My anal retentive need to be ten minutes early totally ruined dinner to the point where I was standing above him wearing my backpack as he crammed moo shoo pork in his mouth and glared at me. I was like a 5 year old child anxious about starting kindergarten. Only I was carrying a backpack full of books to sign and threatening to go in without him, taking the tickets with me. And we weren't even running late! Just not early. I was excited.

So then we found our seats and Susan started talking and everything was great. I had my perfect question all prepared for Q&A time: what was your first national publication and how did you pitch the editor of that publication?" Isn't that a good question? She didn't call on me! She took stupid, useless questions like "When did you know you were going to be a writer?" She even went over that in her talk. I was livid at the waste of question time. I had nothing to do but force my way to the front of the signing line and ask her myself. Out of turn!

Things were going well until there was a gas leak in the lecture hall and they moved Susan into the art museum. The neatly controlled line was released helter skelter into the masses who cut in line and herded toward her new post. I had to work very hard to regain my position. By this time two of my classmates were near me and (I think) slightly amazed (horrified?) at my frenzy to ask Susan Orlean a question. I finally got up to the front, holding my Post-It that Susan's aide wrote my name on to verify spelling and lack of personal interaction. I slid the book across the desk and smiled at her and froze! I almost dropped the ball, standing there speechless as she read from the Post-It. I started to back away, desperate, and finally blurted out my question all in one breath.

She laughed and told me the answer: A concert review for Rolling Stone. She kind of knew the editor and he called her for the piece. So there was her break. A concert review. I need to stop going to see writers and start paying attention to the music scene.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Perfect Weekend

This weekend was the best one I've had in eons. Which surprises me because it was chock full and should have been stressful in terms of getting work and chores done.

For starters, Pittsburgh beat Detroit in rugby for the first time. The game felt phenomenal. I don't know whether I had a great game or not, but it felt like the best I've played in years. I was focused and felt proud of myself for my decisions and support. I even carried the ball a few times. There is nothing like coming together with 14 other women to pull out an important victory. We played as a TEAM, united and it was awesome. I just sat on the grass afterward staring at everyone and trying to identify why it was I loved them all so much. Why do I do this thing that breaks my toes and hurts? Why is this game so amazing? I don't know, but I love my teammates and play for them and it was awesome to win with them this weekend.

Which led me to go to the rugby bar to celebrate and Corey agreed to go with me! It was so exciting for him to come out and make an effort to socialize. I love when he's a social butterfly. When I got home from Detroit, he was wearing the "My Girl Plays Rugby" shirt I bought him. How cute is that? He's such a supporter. I made him flash his t-shirt for all the husbands at the bar. He was a hit. I think even better than having a passion for a sport such as I do is having a partner who supports my passion such as he does. Where would I be if I couldn't find a mate who understood why I had to leave him all weekend to be in Detroit freaking Michigan playing rugby on 8 Mile (literally on 8 mile! I'm so cool!)? Knowing that he loves my rugby passion makes me love him even more.

So that was my weekend. I exercised my passion and Corey is currently exercising his on a little night ride. And we support each other's loves and love each other because of our loves. This makes us mushy and disgusting. But it's just so darn comforting to know I have found someone who loves me because of my rugby fever and not despite it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Car

I am trying very hard to be a supportive partner. To love Corey and respect things he does and appreciate him, etc. Where would I be without him to deal with car problems? Stranded on the road. That's where I'd be. So I appreciate him. I really do. I just have noticed a pattern with him and car repair. I don't know if it's because he is from New Jersey or because I am cursed or what. But every time we take the Maxima for work, whichever state we live in, the person Corey selects to repair the car keeps it for more than three weeks.

I don't even want to relive the past car problems. I'm not even quite sure what is wrong this time. I know that when I went to Canada and said "How was your day? What did you do today?" he said "Oh. I took the car to the shop." The shop in Monroeville that his friend suggested. Monroeville that's a half hour away. (This is going to quickly get whiney. I need it.)

Now, weeks later, we still have no estimate of costs. (Apparently they just work away without calling for permission or verifying said procedures? Not sure about car etiquette, but that feels wrong and scary) We (meaning me) have to rearrange our schedules to somehow get to Monroeville during business hours but not when I am working or in class so we can retrieve the damn car. But we don't know when it will be done or what is even wrong with it or what it will cost to get back and why has he done this?? Why!

I feel like this is the most concrete example of the difference in Corey's and my background. Where I come from, you take cars to the guy your dad knows. He fixes them in his driveway in about a day or so and calls you to say what he's doing. You go get the car and stand in the driveway and look at it while drinking beer, resting assured that the friend has done a good and timely repair of your trusty vehicle. I have decided right now that we are not going forward with our relationship until we make friends with a mechanic located within 15 minutes of our apartment.

If you (or someone you know) are a mechanic living within 15 minutes of my apartment, please come over for dinner and begin being my friend. Then, go to Monroeville and get our damn car. Then, I can relax and stop exasperating at Corey.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

DDR photos

At long last:

THE PHOTO: http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/jlandis_2006/ddr.jpg

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wedding Weekend

I shouldn't be allowed to attend weddings between now and my own shindig. I went to my cousin's wedding this weekend and spent every second thinking either "Well, I'm not doing THAT at mine!" or "Hmm, that's pretty. I should think about that." There were no tears when I saw the bride. No feelings of love or excitedness for the couple. I was devoid of all emotion, simply taking note of all the things on my The Knot checklist and making comparisons.

The only moment of the whole day where I felt a twinge of feeling was during the mother/son dance when my Aunt and cousin danced to James Taylor's You Got A Friend. That was sweet. How could I be so heartless? At Adam's wedding, I cried my way through a box of tissues. Now, 200 days away from my big day, when I should be building up all these feelings and contemplating a unified life, etc, all I can think about is white tulle or ivory?

I'm such a consumer! I'm so selfish! Don't invite me to any joyous occasions for the next few months, because I won't appreciate them properly. This is not to say I won't enjoy the open bar and eat heartily of the appetizers. Just know that every second I am gazing, apparently awestruck, across the dancefloor I am really judging your centerpieces and wondering if my DJ will be more or less cheesy.