Saturday, March 28, 2009

Green Hair Bows and Shamrock Suspenders

This is actually the last pic of the night- after all the green g & t s I would think my tongue would be green but it's not!

Me at the start of the night- I loooooved those barrettes! I want a pair in every color!

Me and my Leprechaun Lover.

Me and one of my best gals; Emily- also one of my bridesmaids!

Kissing Fools!
Me and new mommy (for the second time) Ashley. My eyes are getting bleary! Yikes!

Giving my man another kiss!

Ben doing the Tauren Dance in his St. Patties suspenders!

Me and one of my besties for life: Megan.

That's pretty much it. St. Patties in a nutshell. I thought my outfit was super cute....gotta get some more of those hair bows........

Coming soon: Wedding Dress Pictures!

Wedding Bliss and Kitty Pee Pee

Today was a fantastic day in the wonderful world of weddings.

I found my dress!

And bought it!

It's perfect!

I also (think) I've found my bridesmaids dresses! I happened into a sassy little boutique and found three dresses in the exact same shade of "bubblegum" in three different styles. The only "maid" I had with me was my sister Denise (who is actually co-matron of honor) and I shoved her into them. She, my mom, and I are all in agreement- the color is gorgeous and universally flattering and the different styles will flatter different figures. So we're super excited. I'm planning to take other maids to the dresses as I am able to in the near future - just to be sure.

Oh and did I also mention that there was a cute flower girl dress in the same color with a big white sash and bow? I think I'm in love!

After Ma Mere, sissy, and I dress shopped- mom and I met Ben and we went over to our ceremony/reception venue and smacked down our deposit. Our ceremony and reception will be held at The Oasis Golf & Conference Center: Friday, June 25, 2010!!!

So excited!

The ceremony will take place on the patio overlooking the golf course- this is a pretty picture except for the chains --- what's with that?!?

A popular place at The Oasis for photo ops ( I can see why of course!)

The room where our reception will be hold- lavender will not be one of my colors.

I'm so excited to get down the nitty gritty of decorating and personalizing the ceremony and reception.

So- in all today was a day of this wedding thing coming to fruition! I'm now more excited than I have been the whole time that we've been engaged and can't wait to keep on planning!

However- (yes there's always a however).....

I come home and am greeted in our front hallway by a terrible smell. It smells like wet, dank, basement and cats- (of which we have both) and I have to tell ya- I am not pleased.

Friends, I am about to share some information that you may judge me for- I'm sorry- Princess though I am- I am also human and am faced with human (or in this case as you will soon discover- feline) dilemmas. I feel as though I must share because I am at my end and don't know what to do--aka PLEASE HELP!

As I just mentioned we have two problems: basement and kitty.

Let's cover the basement first. Problem numero uno- when we have big rains the basement leaks- we live in one of the two Greenbelt communities constructed after one of the world wars- our townhouse is old- therefore we deal with running water that snakes across our basement floor anytime the ground gets saturated.

If that weren't problem enough- we also have sensitive plumbing- and by sensitive I mean that even if the neighbor flushes a tampon- our basement will soon be a sesspool. This past fall I frollicked down to the basement to throw something in the dryer and was greated with ankle-deep water....sewer what was once in our toilet...was now floating by in our basement.

I know- gross. Though the basement has of course been pumped out and rinsed/ sanitized- as you can imagine its still not a pleasant smelling area. We hate to go down there- we hate to have the heat kick on - because I swear on my life everytime the heat kicks on I smell the scent of sewer... even if its slight. Its bad as well because that's where we keep the kitty boxes (yes plural) and we can't shut the door to the basement - and since our basement door is pretty much the first thing you come to when you come through our front door- guess what the first thing you're going to smell is --- that's righ ya'll: Poo Basment.

Alright- so that's the first thing working against us. The next is our cats themselves.

Our I love them. We have more of them than we need- I chalk it up to our kind hearts and soft spot fo cute and cuddlies but the fact of the matter is- we have a huge problem and that problem is at least one of our cute cuddlies thinks that the litter box is a personal choice and one that she isn't required to make. This cat- Izzy- is my cat. The one I had before Ben and I merged- my baby and I can't bear to think of losing her but I don't know what else to do she doesn't just pee where she wants to she backs her little white butt up to walls, tables, armchairs etc and shakes her tail and out it comes. My mom says female cats don't pee that way, that it sounds like she's marking her territory- I have no idea. I do know that I follow her around day and night with cleaning products, brushes, soaps, and sponges trying to catch the stain before it sets and the odor before it ressonates- but I'm not here 24 hours a day and I have to tell you- though I smelled basement when I walked through the door- I smelled kitty pee more - and that just doesn't jive.

You know those commercials that say "The way your house looks says a lot about you, but the way it smells says more" ? Well I'm a huge believer of that. You can have the most cluttered, unorganized house in the world and have it smell clean and people will consider you scattered. If your house is spotless and smells like the inside of an ass- and people will consider you dirty. I know- I judge smells- big time- at people's homes- sue me, hold it against me if you want- but its truth.

Its also important to me because growing up my mom was a smoker (she quit almost 5 years ago now) and I was always embarrased when friends came over and it smelled like stale cigarrettes and they noticed. I know its vain and superficial but because of that, and because my mom was the Queen of clutter- its been important to me- ever since I've been on my own to have a home that at any time, any day if someone popped over for a visit (not that so many do) I would feel comfortable enough to invite them right on in and not have to worry about embarrassment from stacks of dirty dishes, cat hair covering our area rugs/furniture/everything, and odors....ugh but mostly odors.

Sigh- and I feel like I'm battling it all, everyday, constantly.

I've told Ben that we need to consider getting rid of at least two cats and he gets upset with me, "we took them on, its our responsibility to care for them" I believe that but I also didn't sign on for smells. What do I do? I mean it does break my heart to think of getting rid of any one of them- but I'm at my end. I seek advice- got any?

Maybe its not that bad- maybe its my sensitive nose and my fear of these things. Who knows.

I'm not letting this problem squash the joy of the day though. It was successful for sure! I'm way overdue for a photo post including st. patties and pics of today! Stay tuned I promise they'll get here eventually!

Happy Saturday Lovies!

Miss Amber Lane

Today I'm Feeling: Accomplished, Happy, Disgusted (SMELLS!!!)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

College is a Fitting Room

In a fit of nostalgia whilst ignoring the new ABC show "In The Motherhood" (terrible by the way) I typed in the web address to my old alma mater: Miami University and mosied my way to the theatre department's page. I clicked around a little bit- scanned pictures of recent shows, read the latest department news, then stumbled onto the alumni pages where I read the latest goings on in the lives of my classmates - some of them anyway. For the most part, because the information is self submitted- not many from my class have posted their information- I mean it has only been a handful of years since graduation we still have years until we feel established enough to brag about our accomplishments- am I right?

Let me start by saying two things:

A: Though my official grad date was in 2007 I really consider myself c/o 2006 as I "stayed behind" a 5th year to complete a late added minor. I say, "stay behind" in quotes because I actually moved out of town and in with Bennyboo around the start of my 5th year and only took a handful of classes that last year and worked two jobs more than full time. I started with c/o of 2k6 and completed my theatre classes with those people- I'm 2k6.

B: I had a love/ hate relationship with MU. I feel as though my work life and my constant need fo additional dollars prevented me from becoming fully ensconced in college life. I also feel as though this particular school catered to a certain breed of people. Conservative, right wing, Lacoste wearing snobs. Not all of them...certainly not the ones in the theatre department but believe me I certainly met my share of snobs.

Anyhow I flipped through these pages and found myself surprisingly sad and nostalgic. Not because of the theatrical things my peers are accomplishing in their lives after college- I do miss acting- but realized while typing my own bio that I am quite proud of what I've accomplished and feel that I am absolutely doing the right thing for me at present.

It's not that- its the memory of young Amber. Barbie blonde 18 year-old Amber in 2002. Tanned and thin (ner). So excited to be at Miami, so proud to be a drama student- I was after all "going straight to Broadway"! She was the Amber who knew the best was yet to come: leading rolls, amazing dates, sorority life, themed parties, friends, frat boys. She was the Amber before deaths of loved ones, abuse from boyfriends, and financial independance before I was ready. The Amber who didn't know the difference between Nine West and Louis Vuitton- Cover Girl and MAC- and that my family didn't have the money to afford the latter (and the girls in my dorm did). She was the girl who thought that theatre was about the performance and the glitter and the glamour who didn't realize that there was entirely different breed of people who lived and breathed and died by Brecht and Stanislovsky (and though I can appreciate fine theatre I'm not going to hump its leg or become an elitest). She was a girl who didn't know better.

I pressed on - I learned and grew. I changed- most things for the better and some things for the worse. I learned that sorority life wasn't for me - and frat boys either for that matter. I fell in love with the man that I'm going to marry after only a few not so amazing dates and one that scarred me fo life (even if I'll never admit it aloud) . I now know the difference between designers and imitations- though sometimes I wish that didn't- because truth be told- I still can't afford them really. All of the expectations I set up then- so long ago whether failed or realized make me the woman I am today and I can only be thankful because after many years of a sour taste in my mouth for MU I've learned to appreciate it for what it really was: a fitting room.

Through my 5 years I tried on many outfits: flag girl, drama queen, workaholic, sorority princess, roommate, girlfriend, friend, makeup artist, social butterfly, cynic, customer, loner, party girl.
One by one I discarded them and came to realize that what I'm most comfortable in- is my own skin- even if from time to time it is covered by some fabulous duds. The rest of the outfits were re-racked for the next hopeful 18 year old to try on and discover what fits best on her.

I may not have come out of college a Broadway star, a makeup designer, or even a stage hand. A sorority president, homecoming queen, or graduate maga cum laude. But I sure as hell came out strong, confidant and know just who I want to become and I'm well on my way to being her.

Yet somehow tonight- and I'm sure it will be fleeting- I'm missing Miami- the place and the familiarity it offered and longing just a little bit- for that hopeful, innocent girl who I used to be.

So tonight for nostalgia, though they will mean nothing to any of you (unless I have any MU stalkers) I leave you with the sensory images I recall tonight fondly and wish, if only for a a few moments to be back there again.

-The chill of the early morning air walking to 8am classes and the feel of dewey grass brushing across my bare ankles
-The glow of the CPA from the reflecting pool on performance nights- and the slight spray from the fountains that got caught up in the wind and brushed my skin
-Late night pasta bar after rehearsals
-Mid day naps between classes
-The friendships gained during shows
-The long walk up town to hit the bars or back from up town AFTER the bars (much more challenging)
- Meetings at the libary
- The chime of the bells on cook field from my freshman dorm
- Erickson food
- Football game days
- Trips to Alabama and New York, and Toledo, and Russia, and Taiwan
- Working at Fin. Aid
- Sitting in the grass talking after a night of wine and weed (past tense on the latter FYI)
-Walking distance from any and everywhere
-Staying up and talking with friends so late you just crash there ( I miss sleep overs with friends)
-The thrill of drinking underage/ sneaking liquor into the bars
- Julie and when Brickstreet was still First Run
- The summer of the sparkely shoes and The Tiffy incident (Shawdee you know what I'm talking about)
- The belief that anything, is possible and that the moments that you are in- are going to last forever
-And so on and so on and so on....


Miss Amber Lane

Tonight I'm Feeling: Sleepy, Nostalgic, Relieved (Tomorrow is Friday and THE LAST day of my 7 day stretch)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Es No Bueno

About two months ago Ben and I were sitting and chatting over that state of the US Economy and though we knew that things were not well, we remarked that we personally felt unscathed by the turbulence. We both had good jobs, making good money- which was a major difference from when I was in school. We remarked that we were lucky.

Famous last words of fools.

As you already know, back in February Ben was laid off - a mere four days after our engagement. The news was terrible and hit like a ton of bricks. Fortunately however, unemployment and savings has been kind to us and we are doing well- and as long as Ben is diligent in his job search (which I'm sure he will be) we won't feel the pinch from his lay off.

Unfortunately- that was just the first wallop of the relentless financial/social/career beat- down that we were to receive.

I mentioned casually in passing a week or so ago a little something about my raise and annual bonus. Well to be more specific: nationwide my company cut bonuses- though we profited- coordinators will not see one red dime of that money- on top of that all raises are being set at 2% - so though I was already appraised at a 3% I will now only be receiving 2% and not only that- it won't appear on my check until at least June- when originally we were told it was supposed to hit two weeks ago.

Fine. I am glad to still have a job- so I grinned and bared it and sat back while my colleagues bitched and moaned to our boss at meetings.

Then the shit storm really hit.

On my first day of vacation last week - my phone started blowing up with calls from my Business Manager. She called bearing bad news- my assistant who I was allowed to have for 37.5 hours had to be cut to 16 effective by the end of the week- when I wasn't even scheduled to be there all week. Fantastic. I was so worried about everything, how to schedule her, whether she would quit, how I would get anything done with no help that I actually drove the 45 minutes to work to sit down with my boss and vent and seek advice. Though we weren't able to get her quite back to her hours prior to the cut- we did find a solution that gives her back to me for MOST of what she was working before. Crisis averted.

Or so I thought.

Today, at our morning meeting I was handed a print-out of next months Activity Budget. It has been cut by 50% for the month of April (when it had already been cut by 50% for the 2009 fiscal year). Let me explain just how dire this cut is- I book 1 entertainer a week for our residents...they love entertainers and its the only evening activity they actually stay awake for..... with the entertainers that I had booked for April- my budget was already half gone with - so I had to call and cancel two of them and I may cancel another yet- and that's only the teensiest fraction of the activity spending at present.

Yes. I am so very thankful that I have a job, and that I get paid well- first and foremost let me say that. Yet at the same time I am so frustrated! There are a lot of things that I can plan that don't involve copious amounts of money- but there is also a certain amount of money needed to keep the department functioning- and I'm afraid we may be shy of it this time.

The other thing- how do I explain to my residents who aren't spending any less money to live in our community- why we aren't able to do the things that we could do just mere months ago due to budget cuts- I can't- there's no excuse. They're paying the same amount- they should be getting the same services. My opinion anyway.

So here I stand. Very corrected from two months ago when I felt as though I were an untouchable. Due to the economy I now have an un -employed fiance, an unhappy assistant who feels disposable, a very poor raise when more was deserved and no bonus that REALLY would have helped with wedding plans, barely enough money to run my department successfully, and a job that keeps getting more and more challenging with no additional compensation/recognition and no solution to the problem in my eye line.

But yes, I still have a job. And a headache. I yi yi.

Really though- all things considering I'm in high spirits. At this point I'm powerless to the changes so all I can do is grin and bare it as the news rolls in. I'm just going to keep rolling with the punches.

It just sucks that my first year, at my first real job happens to be during the biggest financial crisis of our lifetimes.

What doesn't kill us will only make us stronger- am I right?

In other news- tomorrow night is a big night at work: Monte Carlo night planned by yours truly. I will more than likely be at work from 9 to 9 - with nearly an hour commute one way that should only be what? A 14 hour work day? In the midst of a 7 day stretch? Fantastic.

So I'm beddy bi bound. I need some zzzs to make it through tomorrow. I have St. Patty's photos of been meaning to post so stay tuned for those soon!

Peace & Love!

Miss Amber Lane

Tonight I'm Feeling: Sleepy, Frustrated, Hopefull