Geez, once I left school, its like I fell off of the edge of the earth!
I kind of went into hiding, without realizing it right away. There's so many people that I've neglected to keep in touch with on a regular basis, and I've been reminded, recently, by several people that this journal had not been updated in 44 weeks!!
A few people asked me if this means that nothing has happened in my life since then. In terms of my job or educational pursuits, they are correct, I'm stuck in a bad spot right now. Same old boring dead-end job where I know a lot more than the bosses (they call me with questions, I've even been in the company longer than most of them!). Other than that, quite a bit has happened.
I've moved twice.
After my last semester I moved back home with my family.
I then chose to move in with my friend Melissa in Amherst. I made up all these excuses as to why I did so, but the truth of it comes down to the fact that I was sick of the long-distance thing with Josh. I did mention that in my August 4th entry last year.
When 2004 arrived, it was time to decide what to do next.
Melissa and I are great friends, but were not the best of roommates, so staying there for another year might have damaged our friendship. I was contemplating the idea of returning to my parents.
2 out of 3 of Josh's roommates were going to graduate, and he's not great friends with the one who was staying. He was thinking of moving back into the dorms.
Then it happened.
We realized that we now had the opportunity to get a place together, and it was also the best option. We decided at the start of January that we would be living together by June. At that point, it was our little secret, but soon we told everyone we knew. Josh's family and our friends were very excited for us (most of them saying "it's about time!"
Then, of course, was the tough part.
Telling my parents.
More specifically -- telling my mother...
...my tradtional, Italian, Roman Catholic, mother.
To disappoint her would be to tear myself to peices, so I postponed the news for a while.
When I finally broke the news, my dad was happy and excited for me, my sister was laughing cause she already knew for months, and my mom (to my relief) gave her approval. She did, however, remind me that I had turned him down before, and asked if I had given up on the engagement ring. Of course, I did not. I (as well as many many other people) tease him all the time. We know we'll be married eventually, and that's what matters.
THE SUMMER 2004 SUMMARY
Josh and I moved into our place on June 4th. We had both moved out of our previous apartments before memorial day weekend. During the week in between, Josh stayed in Dartmouth and I stayed on the couch in my old place after Tina moved into my old room. I only took 2 days off -- the day I moved out and the day I moved in -- so I still needed to be in town to work.
The day we moved in was the first time I actually got to see our apartment. Strange, I know. We had only seen a sample apartment that was only a 1 bedroom, and that was back in February. I was surprised and very happy when I saw our new place. It had really paid off that we got our name as the first on the waiting list. Our apartment was a lot bigger than I thought it would be.
My dad said that no matter how hot and tired we all got from traveling up and down the 3 flights of stairs with all of our junk, I still had a big grin on my face. I didn't notice it. I don't know if it was from relief of finally seeing what our place looked like or if I was excited about the move in general. Probably both.
Josh spent the first few nights alone because I drove straight back to Dartmouth after we finished moving everything in. I didn't want to miss seeing my sister all dressed-up for her prom, which was the same day.
JULIA'S PROM AND GRADUATION
I hit a ton of traffic, but made it in the nick of time to see all of the photos being taken before my sister and her friends got into the limo. Her date has plans to attend Marist with a CS major! Lol. That was a weird coincidence. Most people in Dartmouth don't even know about Marist, nevermind starting off with the same major as I did. Her graduation was on the same weekend. I think I cried more than my mom did.
Her graduation party was later in the month. It was great because a lot of relatives were able to make it that I haven't seen in a long time. I got stuck with camera-duty and had some issues with my dad's digital. Somehow, in the middle of the party, all of the pictures got erased and the only one that I could retrieve was a close-up picture of Josh's nose that I did as a test shot. We had the rest of the party to catch up with the pictures. Of course I still saved the nose picture and had it printed.
I spent a good chunk of the summer (at least the weekends) driving back and forth between here and Dartmouth for various things related to my sister's graduation and Kathy's wedding. Preparing for her shower, the shower itself, dress alteration appointments, etc. She also chose to do all of the decorations by hand, which took up quite some time! I was only able to drive back to lend a hand on the crafts a few times. They always worked on it on weeknights, when I worked, and its over 2 hours to get from work to there. Most of it was done by Kathy and Gina, and they did a beautiful job! The trips back to Dartmouth for wedding prepartions were always worth it because it was so good to see everyone and to prepare for such a wonderful occasion.
The day before the wedding we decorated the church. It was a very small Methodist church in Acushnet. We had a short time to change and get anything we needed, then we met back at the church for the rehearsal, which went well.
Gina and Jason gave me a ride back to Kathy and Mike's for the dinner. The dinner, thrown by Mike's parents was held outside in a beautiful little area behind their house that was deorated with just the right amount of hanging lights. Josh met me there and stayed with us for a bit. We waited for Monique to arrive, then we all (Kathy and the bridesmaids) went to the hotel where we had our sleepover before the big day.
We surprised Kathy with a big bag of 'naughty' gifts. Included was a box of "Willy Pops", which are like Ring Pops but the candy is shaped like... c'mon I don't need to tell you! Kathy and I decided to walk around the hotel with the naughty lollies, but everytime we saw someone, she hid hers in the ice bucket I was carrying and I stuffed mine in my mouth. We would have gotten some funny looks if it wasn't past 1am. We got 2 hours sleep, tops. Katie was drunk from the party and would not stop giggling, which kept us up -- and our neighbors. For anyone who is not familar with Katie, she is a very quiet person -- unless she is laughing. We got a knock at our door around 2:30am, which I refused to answer because I knew we were in trouble. Gina or Kathy answered it and sure enough, one of the hotel employees was at the door explaining that several complaints had been called in about our room.
Our hair appointments started at 5am, and I was in the first shift, of course. I asked the stylist to do whatever would be easiest for her, consiering the length and curlyness of my hair. Somehow she decided to straighten and recurl my hair into banana curls -- every hair on my head! This took THREE HOURS!! Poor Kathy was calling my cell in a panic while I was still in the chair. I left the salon after 8am with a headache and a wallet that was $55 lighter. But we made it on time.
I freaked out when I accidentally brushed against one of the cars in the hotel parking lot cause I got a large amount dirt on the front of my dress. I think it was lack of sleep and stress from having my hair yanked at for 3 hours. Fortunately, Karen's husband, Kyle, calmed me down and got most of the dirt off. He was really the hero of the day because he solved a good chunk of the bridesmaids last-minute problems.
The ceremony was beautiful. Kathy looked so happy. I was paired with Jason for the walk down the aisle, which must have looked a little funny because he was the tallest usher and I was the shortest bridesmaid. I cried, of course. Hopefully I didn't look as terrible as I did at Gina's wedding where I'm sure most of the guests mistook my tears of joy for absloute misery.
The reception had an ocean theme and the cake really showed it off. The white chocolate seashells, barnacles, and starfish looked like they where sculpted into the frosting.
Josh got a little embarrased during the couples dance where the dj asked the couples to leave the floor based on how long they had been dating/married. We were soon the only ones in our generation on the floor, and everyone else there was married. Lol. Kathy attempted to rig the bouquet toss by pulling me directly behind her, several feet in front of the other girls. She overshot and her mom caught the flowers, but I think Josh still got the idea. Lol.
The best part of the reception was the "performance" by Gina, Kathy, Katie, and myself during "our song." Kathy had I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers dedicated to all four of us and we all got up to do our dance. We not only had a large audience, but we also had several people trying to learnthe dance and join in! I wish we had a video of that -- or maybe not.
THE LION KING
I had to leave the wedding reception slightly early (and skip the get-together at Monique's) to ride up to Boston to see The Lion King. My parents had accidentally bought the tickets for the same day as the wedding because they had bought them many months in advance as a Christmas present for Julia and I. Julia had been waiting to see it for years.
To be honest, I was so overtired that I was not looking forward to it that much. I wasn't expecting a lot, and (at that point) would have rather been at the party.
It only took the first couple of minutes of the show to completely change my mind.
When the procession of animals came parading through the audience, I immediately broke into tears with the same emotion as when I see the set of Phantom. The performance was so incredible that I could never do it justice in my own description of it. I will say, though, that I was literally speechless for at least an hour after we left the theater.
My birthday was completely overshadowed by the other events of the summer (mainly the wedding and the Lion King, which were the day before). I nearly forgot it myself, and had absolutely no idea how to respond to the usual "what do you want for your birthday?"
What I really wanted was to postpone it. I wasn't ready for it, and I was not looking forward to being another year older. It was just a reminder that I had been wasting time.
Anyway, my birthday was still fun. I went to The Lobster Pot in Bristol for my annual crustacean. I hadn't been there before. The restaurant is right on the water and has delicious food. We had yummy strawberry-filled cake with lots of whipped cream for dessert. My family gave me lots of faery-related gifts and a very generous gift certificate to Providence Place / Faneuil Hall. Josh and I had a long sleepy drive home because we had to work the next day. Josh gave me a very sweet card with a promise in it to take me to Boston for a day. (I will probably be going to Boston next week, with the gift certificate of course. We may go to the Lord of the Rings exhibit.)
THE NY RENAISSANCE FAIRE
Last year, Julia and I agreed that we would attend the big renaissance fair in NY this summer. We finally arranged a day, and Julia invited a couple of her friend to come along. We all went in costume. Julia had her own costume from when she worked at King Richard's Faire last lear, her friend Jess made her own costume, and her friend RJ had a costume that her mother had made. Fortunately, RJ's mom has a large collection of costumes that she has made and I was able to borrow one.
We had planned to go on Sunday so that we would be able to meet up with an online friend of my sister's who lives in NY. But there were predictions of rain for Sunday, and our mom really didn't want usto go that day. So we left early Saturday morning from Dartmouth. Julia drove until we got closer to the NY end of CT, then I took over. During Julia's shift there was this annoying H2 that kept switching lanes and cutting us (and many other drivers) off, but never really got ahead.
The theme of the faire was Robin Hood. It was fun, but we would have probably had a better time if we had figured out the map earlier in the day. We spent most of the day going around the main shopping area in circles. We did get to see one of the jousting shows (which included Maid Marian as a competitor), but agreed that the one at our usual faire was better. The only other performance that we attend was a pirates musical show, abefore which we were dragged by one of the performers to sit in the front row.
One thing that I appreciated over the other fair was the variety of food. I had a spinach pie, so did Julia. There were pickle and pretzel vendors all over the place. Jess got a henna tatoo on both her hands, and they looked great. I decided against getting one, due to the predictions of rain and my bad luck.
From the faire I drove us to Armonk to visit Julia's friend Ricki (the one that we were going to meet up with at the faire). We got a bit lost, but eventually made it there. (Sidenote: I need to learn how to make a LOT of money, because I want the house that this girl's family has!) We got changed, chatted, had fruity drinks made by Ricki's friend Mark, and scarfed down some pizza. I knew that our mom would freak out if we drove in the dark in an area we didn't know during the inpending storm, so we had to go. Julia mentioned that we were invited to stay over, but it felt too weird to intrude on this family that I (and Jess and RJ) had never met. So we headed back to my apt.
On the way (during which Julia kept declaring "you're going the wrong way"), we randomly decided that we wanted to bake muffins and cookies when we got back (because "there's no oven in the car!"). So, we stopped at Stop and Shop on the way. By the time we actually got back, we were so tired that I baked the muffins and cookies, but we didn't touch them until the morning.
SPONTANEOUS NYC TRIP
The following Saturaday, I had plans with Melissa, Tina, and some AMC members to go whitewater rafting. We had tentative plans to go out afterward for a belated birthday celebration. We made these plans way in advance, but when the morning arrived it was pouring and there were thunderstorms predicted for the whole day. Melissa, Tina, and myself decided to skip the trip because Tina is extremely scared of thunder and lightning and we did not want to be freezing all day (being in the water is one thing, being out in the pouring rain and wind all day is entirely different).
Since all three of us had no other plans for the day, we decided to take advantage of our free time and go do something fun. Somehow, we randomly decided to go to NYC to have lunch/dinner at the Ellen Stardust diner for a belated birthday celebration. We drove to Greenwich, CT, (through heavy traffic and downpours) took the Metro North to Grand Central, and headed to Times Square. Tina got attacked by Batman, whom we kept passing by, and eventually we got a picture of him with her.
Since we were in the city, we figured we should see a show. We were able to get the last 3 seats with full visibility to see The Producers at the St.James Theater. We picked up the tickets and went off in search of the diner.
Dinner at the Ellen Stardust diner was great. We all ordered boring salads, but the atmosphere was so much fun. Our table was on the second floor, so a lot of the singers/waitstaff used our table to sing down to the main floor. We got some fun pictures with them. We ordered a slice of blueberry pie (with a birthday candle) for dessert and I got a "happy birthday" sung to me by the entire restaurant.
Our seats at the theater were way up in the balcony, but we could still see (and hear) everything perfectly. The show was hilarious. I felt a little guilty about going without Josh (I know that he really wants to see that show).
We missed our 11:10pm metro back to our car (we watched it pull away from the tracks) so we couldn't leave until 11:40pm. Grand Central was pretty quiet. We Long sleepy ride home. We've got to do more spontaneous road trips! We have tentative plans to (maybe) go to New Orleans or Vegas next spring.
Josh and I both bought season passes to Six Flags since we are so close to it this summer. We went a few times. First, we went with his UMass friends when the park had just opened for the summer. The only thing memorable about that was Matt and I sitting on a bench for over two and a half hours with a giant stuffed Taz and a bunch of handbags, waiting for everyone to go on and get back from the Superman coaster.
The next time we went was with Gina, Jason, Jacob, Monique, Quentin and Quentin's friend (Mark? Matt? I forgot.) That time we split up -- Gina, Monique, and myself went to the kiddy rides with Jacob, and the others hit the coasters. I still haven't seen the pictures, but Jacob dragged me with him onto whatever rides he could (some of the little-kid rides will allow a adult to accompany the child -- if they can fit in the itty-bitty seat!)
I also went with my sister, Julia #2 (Josh's sister), and Julia's (my sister's) friend Rochelle. We had the perfect weather for it. It was very overcast, so the park was not busy at all! At the water park, my sister and I never waited for a tube and were able to go on at least a dozen of the slides. The other two were able to get on the 3 biggest coasters in the park in less than 40 mins (including the rides themselves and walk time between the rides)!! The Superman (you know, the one with at least a two hour wait) was only a 15min wait for them. It did start to rain (off and on, not much) after we had lunch, but that was well after we had done most of the things we wanted to do.
Josh and I also went one day just to go to the water park. It was hot day, so it was busy, but it was still a lot of fun.
Though school has started for Josh, the summer is still not over. We are probably going to Boston on Sunday. Next weekend we will probably go back to Dartmouth. There's still Gina's birthday and Josh's birthday. Who knows what else.
My main goal is to find a new job!
This took up at least 6 pages! This was definite inspiration to keep up with this journal on a regular basis.