Friday, May 29, 2009

"...we'll run away together, we'll spend some time forever..."

Our little jaunt to the Laurel Highlands was lovely.

It was peaceful and quiet.

We sat on a porch swing and drank coffee.

We hiked in the woods in Ohiopyle.

We visited Fallingwater.

We got drunk at a brewery in Deep Creek, MD while watching the Penguins win the Eastern Conference Championship. We were the only people there.

For breakfast, I had my first ever sausage and country gravy over biscuits. Jason was in disbelief that I'd never had this delicacy before. ("Are you kidding? WHY?") I had my reservations but it was delicious and honestly, I'll eat anything he cooks for me.

The more I'm with Jason, the more I realize how much quiet moments mean to me. A usual vacation for me involves running around from morning til night and being dog-tired when I get back home.

Now I realize that I can actually just laze around for three days and be just as happy. I wasn't even (that) panicky that there wasn't cell phone reception where we stayed Wednesday night. I WAS OFF THE GRID FOR 14 HRS AND SURVIVED!


Monday, May 25, 2009

"...feels like home to me..."

My Pap-Pap was a soldier in WWII. He served in Europe ("We'd be in Germany and they'd tell us, 'Wake up! You're walking to Croatia today!'") and the Pacific.

He died from lung cancer when I was 8. I wish I had a picture in digital form to share with all of you. He was tall and broad shouldered with thick black hair and bright blue eyes - a Croat through and through. In he and Gram's wedding picture, he looks like a handsome movie star.

I think about him often and wish he was still alive for many reasons. Given that my college career involved alot of talk about warfare and WWII war theory, I know we would have had alot to talk about had he lived to see me as an adult.

I've asked my dad throughout the years if Pap talked much about the war. Dad said that he never talked about the bad stuff, only the good stuff - the people he met, the things he saw - but even then, the stories were few and far between.

One night years and years ago as we were sitting around after a family dinner, drinking after-dinner drinks and sipping coffee, my dad told a story Pap had told him about being in Croatia.

I won't do this story justice. I'm not a storyteller like my dad and Pap. And I'm already starting to get teary-eyed. But here we go...

Pap lied about his age to enlist in the army. He was only 17. He shipped out to Europe and spent alot of time in Croatia. He knew little Croatian because his mother, an immigrant who came to the US from Croatia at the age of 5, insisted that all of her 8 children speak only English so they'd fit in.

A kid himself, Pap was a favorite with the young Croat guys in the villages the American soldiers went to to pass out aid. Pap's company of soldiers stayed in this one town by Zagreb for about a week. Pap was able to communicate to the group of Croat teenagers that he was Croatian and that his mom was from this area but left to come to America when she was very small.

The Croat boys asked what his family name was and what his mother's name was. Pap told them. They raced off and Pap went back to his duties.

The next day, Pap's company was to leave for their next post. The Croat boys came to see him and told him that he had to go with them to see something. Nervous, Pap followed the boys down a dirt path in the village to an old shack. They told him to go in, go see the old lady who lives there.

The tiny old lady, sitting by herself on a dirt floor looked up and sized Pap up with her blue eyes. It was his maternal grandmother. Thrown together by war, my Pap and my great-great-great Grandma PT were able to meet.

The story is so heartbreakingly beautiful and when my father tells it, as I often ask him to do, there is never a dry eye in the house when he gets to the end.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. I hope you and your families have a beautiful story to tell today.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"...let the pious rise above, we'll go down in our sweet love..."

Jason and I are finally going away for a few days. I'm working today and tomorrow (Happy Memorial Day!) and I'll be off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It feels so decadent.

And I'm really excited to be taking a little trip. It's nothing big - just a short jaunt to a friend's cabin by Fallingwater. Mostly the Fallingwater house tour and some vineyard tours are the only thing on the menu, aside from lots of sleep and runs by the lake and late mornings in bed.

But I'm also terrified about being away from work. I haven't taken time off in over a year. I definately need it but there's a horrible fear I have that like, I'm going to get a "YOU SCREWED UP! GET BACK HERE NOW OR YOU'RE FIRED!" phone call from the powers that be.

Jason made a good point when I expressed these fears to him:

"Well, you shouldn't worry. You have all of your things done. And besides, the cabin is completely out of cell phone range for AT&T customers. So they can try to call you all they want while you're off. Your phone will never ring."


::PT dances around like the Peanuts characters in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special::

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

" was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin'-purple-people-eater..."

Let me just say that my outfit this morning is a hot mess. In a really, terribly bad way.

Let's just do a head-to-toe rundown of what I'm wearing...

Huge square silver filiagree earrings, I'm talking 2inches in diameter (in addition to the 2nd and 3rd whole earrings I always have on.) Huge silver Barton Perreira sunglasses on my head. Pink Cardigan over a white dress and black leggings. Ginormous silver and druzy stone ring on the left hand, my great-aunt's wedding ring on my right ring finger (never taken off since the day she died three years ago) and chunky silver bangle on the right wrist.

And, wait for it... bedazzled gladiator sandals.

So far a few people who see me on the regular have seen me today and the general reaction has been "What the balls are you wearing?"

Let's just say the accessorizing may be over the top today compared to my usual style.

Hot. Mess.

I actually jangle when I walk. I'll admit that it secretly thrills me. :-D

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"...I thought of you and where you'd gone and the world spins madly on..."

I've been a reader of Lemon Gloria for about a year.

She just lost her dad. When I read her post about it this morning, I started to leak weepy, sad tears - the kind of tears that just keep coming out no matter how much you try to blot them away with your Kleenex. And I know there are countless invisible friends of Lisa's who are doing the same thing right now.

My parents came to visit yesterday and I'll admit that I was really ready for them to leave when they left.

After they left, I told Jason that I love them so deeply but get so irritated by them sometimes (and I'm sure I'm loved and irritate them in much the same way.)

I can't imagine my life without them. They are, to this day, the glue that keeps me together when I'm falling apart. My dad is always a quiet force of strength and reason who helps me compartmentalize. And my mom is the one who turns into an emotional wreck with me when I'm an emotional wreck.

And at the age of 26, I'm terrified at the thought of facing a world in which my parents are no longer with me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"...well shake it up baby (shake it up baby) twist and shout..."

I've said it before and I'll say it again... if men suffered from menstrual cramps, working-men world-wide would get 3-7 days off from work every month to lay in bed and nurse their aching, twisting, shouting innards.

This is not to say that I hate being a woman or hate menstruation. Quite the opposite really. Being that I'm now of that "perfect age for baby-making" (25-28 for true ovum quality, so I hear) I'm like, weepy when I see babies and like to hold peoples' babies and think about how I really just might want to be a mom after all.

I could just do without the horrible cramps is all.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"...and I, I love it when you give me things..."

There's a new, shiny key on my keyring today - that big gold one on the left.

And it unlocks Jason's front door.

And that's all I have to say about that.

::PT giggles, scampers off to Jason's house::

Monday, May 11, 2009

"...and I'll follow you into the dark..."

Jason moved into his house this weekend.

Much can be said about it and him. But I think a small anecdote (i.e. - long and winded, like everything PT writes) will sum things up...

The front of his house has a porch with a shingled roof and a tiny bird's nest is now at home in one corner of the roof. When you walk out of the front door and onto the porch you can see the nest perched between a support beam and the underside of the roof. We'd noticed for a few days that the nest has been getting bigger, but we'd never see Mama Bird.

Friday as we were moving things, I flung the front door open and shuffled outside to get another box out of Jason's truck and Mama Bird was there! Of course, I scared the stuffing out of her and she flew off with an angry chirp.

I scared her again Saturday morning when I again flung open the door and rushed outside when I left for work.

I was home for the weekend to be with my family and came back late last night.

I went to Jason's house and when I walked up to the front porch I was quiet so Mama Bird wouldn't get pissed off. Once I was inside, I looked out to see if she was in her nest. And she was! She didn't get scared!

I ran up the steps (his house is a split level - the living area is all upstairs) and told Jason how excited I was that Mama Bird wasn't afraid of me anymore.

He, who had gone out for beers with friends and was on clearly the other side of sober, excitedly started to tell me that all day Saturday and Sunday, he opened and closed the screen door on the porch a bunch of times and talked to the bird so she'd get used to us. And now, he was proud to annouce, she doesn't fly away when he goes onto the porch.

We went downstairs so that he could demonstrate. And sure enough, he talked to her and opened the door a few times and she just sat on her eggs and watched him. He looked at me with a big goofy, satisfied grin and with a high five, we went back upstairs.

You all know by now that I'm overly sentimental about a lot of things.

But the fact that my boyfriend spent time acclimating Mama Bird to the sound of his footstep and his voice is something I find so overwhelmingly endearing that I'm sitting here getting a bit teared up just thinking about it.

He is kind and gentle. And his house and the remodeling he has done are a perfect physical representation of the peaceful way he lives his life. That I get to be a part of it fills me up with good feelings.

Monday, May 4, 2009

"...Food glorious foooooood..."


A great Pittsburgh tradition each summer is the Greek Food Festivals at various churches throughout the city.

Known to my circle of peeps as the "Summer Greek Food Circuit," the goal is to go to as many of these festivals as possible and load up on gyros, spanakopita and tiropita and these deep fried donut hole looking things that are coated in honey. We call them "honey balls" not because we are culturally insensitive to the Greek language but because our WASPy tongues literally can't say the word for these things ("Loukoumades" - we try to say it like the Greek ladies do, really we do. But it all falls apart after the "looookoooo" part. Fail.)

But I digress.

There are eleven of these festivals from May until September and one "Greek Day at Kennywood" (Kennywood is our local version of a Six Flags-type roller coaster park.)

This week marks the start of the Summer Greek Food Circuit. The first one is my favorite and has the best food. St. Nick's in Oakland is like, the Godfather of the Summer Greek Food Circuit. It's seriously that good. And thousands of people show up for it. It's crazy expensive (you can expect to kiss $20 bucks goodbye for a fancy Greek Food lunch) but it's so worth it.

While I always went to the St Nick's Festival, I never really new about the whole circuit til last year. A few friends brought me into their foodie circle and the rest is history.

The Summer Greek Food Circuit holds an extra special place in my heart for two reasons. One, because of the amazing food and the friendship element that goes along with it. And two, because I got to be around Jason alot during those festivals we went to last year with mutual friends before we were together as a couple. (Ahh the memory of car-pooling to the festival in Oakmont, cramed into a backseat next to Jason, trying not to look at him and blush.)

You can imagine how awkward this was. Jason was very shy around me and didn't say much. I, like every other girl who is around a guy she likes, was caught between my insatiable desire to hoover up Greek food but still look dainty and not eat around the guy she liked. Oh it makes me angsty just thinking about it! And I'm with him now! It still makes my heart race when I think about how we were when we were still pretending we didn't like either other in a naughty way.

I mentioned the Summer Greek Food Circuit to Jason last week. All I'll say is that he two has a special place in his heart for the circuit for the same two reasons.

This year, we'll be enjoying the honey balls while sitting next to each other as a couple, not as two awkward retards who were too old to be acting like shy teenagers last year.

Yay honey balls and love prevailing over social awkwardness!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

" you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts..."

You readers out there are smart so I'm sure you've noticed that I use song lyrics as post titles.

So when I saw this fun survey on the Facebook today, I had to partake.

Here it is. It was hard!

Using only song titles from ONE ARTIST, answer these questions.

Pick Your Artist: Tori Amos

Are you male or female: Cornflake Girl

Describe yourself: Happy Phantom

How do you feel about yourself: Silent All These Years

Describe where you currently live: Floating City

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Little Amsterdam

Your best friends are: Snow Cherries from France

Your favorite color is: Liquid Diamonds

What's the weather like: Cool on Your Island

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?: A Sorta Fairytale

What is life to you: Love Song

What is the best advice someone has given you: I'm Not Stupid

If you could change your name, what would it be?: Ophelia

Your favorite food is: Pancake

Your job is: The Beekeeper

"...I don't know what to believe in you don't know who I am..."

I'm a firm believer that the hardest growing pains to endure are not the ones you have when you're a teenager. It's the ones you have in your 20's that are the worst.

When you have those first growing pains, you're around people who've known you your whole life. And that makes it easier. Because they all know the real you and know that you're just going through a poopy-pants phases.

When you're in your 20's, you're mostly surrounded by people you haven't really known forever. You may have one or two friends that have known you since your awkward years but for the most part, your friends are someone you met in college or someone you currently work with. And the person you're currently dating is probably not someone who was around when you went through those embarrassing "I want curly hair so I'm going to get a perm" phases.

And while these people are all people you can't imagine not having in your life, part of you wonders if all of those things you went through before you met them (losing the v-card, first love, first heartbreak, frat parties, old hobbies you wish you still did, all those weekends going out clubbing and drinking, family struggles, etc) actually matter to these new people in your life.

I wonder these things alot lately.

I used to play tennis for about two hrs a day, everyday for four years in high school. Went I went to college, I still played every chance I could. After classes, on weekends, summers.

Tennis is only one example of something that was a huge part of my life that I don't do anymore.

This is all to say that I worry that I'm not a whole person with the new people in my life. I know friendships and relationships take time and that as you get to know someone, you start to reveal things about your past self that are important enough to talk about. I know all that.

...I'm just rambling at this point....

... It's just that I have this sick feeling that I'm on the verge of having some life-changing things happen to me soon and as such the verbal diarrhea tends to come in waves....

But to end on a happy note, Jason finished up work on his house early yesterday and had me take him to play tennis. It was nice and it awakened my overwhelming desire to be a competitive tennis player again.

Fashionista0921 and I will be going to a tennis clinic tomorrow in an effort to reclaim pieces of ourselves that we both actually have lost.

Maybe the playing tennis yesterday is what has me thrown off of my rotational axis.