Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thanks for nothing

Now more than ever, businesses should be trying to go out of their way for customers in order to bolster sales in this slumped economy. So what is up with this particular wedding vendor not willing to take an evening weekday appointment? They don't offer any weekend hours, and I work until 5:30 Monday through Friday. Though in a previous e-mail the saleswoman said they "take appointments from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m." she refuses to allow me schedule a 5 p.m. appointment. She answered my request for a 5 p.m. appointment by saying "We close at 5 p.m., so 4 p.m. is the latest appointment we can offer."

Look woman, I work for a living. I'm fine with scooting out a little early but you need to WORK WITH ME A LITTLE BIT. I'm not going to leave work two hours early to come pick out some linens for the wedding. Leave an hour early? Sure. But you refused to budge when I asked once more: "Would we be able to get an appointment any later than 4 p.m.? I work until 5:30. I'd appreciate the latest appointment you can possibly offer me."

Okay, lady. 4 p.m. is the latest appointment you can offer me. I will remember that. And if I hadn't already paid my deposit three months ago--you can bet I'd be looking elsewhere for linen rentals.

Pittsburgh brides, send me an e-mail if you want to know which high-profile linen rental company to avoid!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bloggy Love

I've done some housekeeping. This is where you can view Cusp of Normal's Bloggy Love from now on. I have other plans in mind for the sidebar.

From Lacey Bean

From paisana

From rialeilani

From Sleepy Jane

From Lauren

From rialeilani

From Laura

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pretty Please With Two Birdies On Top

Some of you have asked me to keep you updated on our wedding details. So, I present to you... our custom wedding cake topper! Tweet tweet.

This wonderfully whimsical pair of birds will fashionably guard our 3-tier seedless raspberry wedding cake. I really don't think I could have found a more appropriate cake topper.

This charming keepsake was custom-created by cornflakegirl, whom you can find on Etsy here. She might be moving abroad soon and is only taking a limited number of custom cake topper orders now through early next year. So if you want one, better not delay!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ten Years

Yesterday marked the ten-year-anniversary of an event that continues to haunt me. It was then--and remains to be--the most deadly high school shooting in history. I'm not even going to call it by name, because seeing traffic being driven to my blog by searches for this particular event would be a daily reminder of something for which I will never need reminded.

I have just returned home from school the afternoon of April 20, 1999.

I am still basically the same person that I was that day in ninth grade. In fact, I think I have always been this person. This person who feels other people's grief and sadness as though they are as much a part of me as my own heartbeat.

I mindlessly flipped through the channels on the T.V.

For as long as I can remember, I have cried for other people's losses. People whom I have never even met. And I'm not just talking about shedding a tear or two. I am talking completely lose-my-shit-sob-until-it-hurts-to-breathe-until-my-eyes-sting-and-remain-puffy-for-days. I'm not always sure if this immense empathy is a blessing or curse. It is probably a little of both.

I am immediately confused and drawn in by a live news feed on CNN of high school students being pulled from the school windows by a SWAT team.

As the story continued to unravel on the news, I was paralyzed by my sadness for this community in Colorado that had senselessly lost so many bright young lives. And then, stories about the deceased began filling the news channels 24/7. As I began to see these teens as my peers rather than the latest headline, the tears came. I cried. And cried. And cried. Friends and family, also obviously saddened by the events, tried to comfort me. But aside from the Colorado people they kept showing on the news at their candle vigils and memorials--it seemed like I was the only one crying.

As with most tragedies, tears dry as the days pass. My life as a high school freshman continued as normal. Except for one thing. The footsteps. Hearing heavy footsteps in the hallway during class became more frightening to me than hearing a chainsaw in a haunted house. In my mind, footsteps equaled imminent death. Clearly, I had some of my own problems to work through following the tragedy.

But you know what didn't help me to feel comfortable in my own school? The two boys whom I sat between in biology class. They were known for wearing trench coats around school (which were forbidden following the April 20 tragedy). But it wasn't just their "unique" wardrobe that set them apart from their peers. They were "loners." Their group consisted of about ten students--but I sat smack dab in between the two of the most notorious.

One day, during biology class, I heard them discussing something in whispers. Of course, I could hear everything they were saying. They said they wanted to line up everyone in the school in the hallway. They would dismiss the people they liked and shoot everyone that was left. All the teachers were goners too. All of them except one--a much beloved English teacher.

I tried as hard as I could to pretend I hadn't just heard their words. I must not have been very convincing, though. The boy to my left leaned towards me and whispered through a grin, "Don't worry. You're safe."

And that, folks, is why you should be nice to EVERYONE. Especially the kids that everyone else thinks are "freaks." Okay? Moving along...

Then there was The Hit List. My troubled classmates made a hit list that soon made its way into the hands of the administration. It was taken very seriously. Students and teachers who were on the hit list were notified and everyone had letters sent home to their parents filling them in on the news.

The hit list not only listed names of students and teachers, but it also included a date the massacre was supposedly to occur. That day, several of my friends and I stayed home from school with our parents' permission. We spent the day together, trying to calm each others' fears and pray that our high school would not be the next one to make national headlines.

The students responsible for the hit list were either expelled or suspended. One boy never did return to our school.

What if the hit list had never made its way into the right hands? The tears that I shed April 20, 1999, and the weeks that followed could have just as easily been shed for my own classmates and best friends.

Tragedy and loss happens everywhere. It is universal.

I believe I feel sadness at a greater intensity than most people. But I think this allows me to feel happiness more intensely as well. So, while it might be exhausting to cry for days on end for people I never met--it is not something I would change about myself.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A taste of the wedding

We went to see a sample of our centerpieces last night. I'm in love...

Makes me really excited to see what our florist comes up with for my bouquet! I trust him, so I've asked him to do whatever he wants--as long as there are peacock feathers, of course!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Photo Tag!

At 4:15 p.m. today I was tagged by Sarah Marie for a photo tag. I actually followed the rules and took my picture right that second, but I may have allowed myself a do-over when I noticed my bangs were pointing in a thousand different directions in the first picture...

Here’s the rules:

* Take a picture of yourself right now.
* No primping or preparing.
* Just snap a picture.
* Load the picture onto your blog.
* Tag some people to play along.

Here's my pic:

I tag:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The one where I'm cranky

5 things that are annoying me today:

1. The woman who slid into my seat on the bus this morning was SO CLOSE to me that her right butt cheek was smashed up against my left butt cheek. And before you go assuming she was a large woman, she probably weighed 120 pounds max. There's no excuse for that kind of behavior.

2. Every time I take a sip of my coffee, three drops land in my lap. It now looks like I wet myself. (Whoever is designing these Dixie cups to go, can we work on this?)

3. I had to wear my winter coat this morning. HEY, APRIL? YOU ARE BEING A JERK!

4. I slept for nine and half hours last night and I'm still struggling to keep my eyes open.

5. I don't normally write about my job on this blog, but I really need to vent for a second. No one from work has donated to my March for Babies fundraiser yet. Normally this wouldn't irk me, but I really go out of my way here to support my coworkers' fundraisers, charities, and the like.

True, I didn't buy four boxes of Girl Scout cookies to "be a good person." I bought them because they are freaking delicious. But still, I always go the extra mile for my colleagues. I send them flowers when they are sick, I go to funerals when their loved ones pass away, I pick up the slack for them when family emergencies demand their time away from work. So why is it no one has donated so much as a dollar to my cause? Kinda hurts. :(

EDIT: Thought about deleting #5 since the day I posted it... but just a few days ago I did start receiving donations from my coworkers. In these hard times, I would have appreciated a dollar or two from whoever could spare it, but a handful of them have stepped up in a big way. I'm thankful for everyone's generosity. I'm proud to say I've surpassed my goal of raising $500 for the March of Dimes!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Marching for Maddie

I joined a Pittsburgh March for Babies team in honor of Maddie. Please help me reach my goal. The babies and I thank you for any financial support you can contribute. A little can go a long way.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Madeline Alice Spohr

Rest in peace, sweet Maddie. You are easily the most beautiful baby I have ever laid my eyes upon. My heart has shattered with this tragic news.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Maddie's parents and everyone whose life she touched during her much too brief lifetime.

To make a donation to the March of Dimes in Maddie's memory, go here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's snowing.

Don't talk to me.

No, for real. Don't.

Okay, fine... but just for a second. I have a lot of work to do.

Last night, Andrew tried to put toilet water in my glass of water on the night stand.

Then we had a fight.

Then I fell asleep and we woke up friends.

I think we are a strange pair. But it works.

P.S. Snow is dumb and for babies*

*Shout out, @sarah2kforever

Thursday, April 2, 2009

These bangs will not control me

It is Day Six with bangs and I'm waving the white flag. Yes, bangs, I understand that you have a ceaseless desire to part down the middle. You have proven to me that no amount of hair product, styling tools, or precious time in the morning will get you to behave.

If you are going to be a little jerk about it and keep insisting upon parting DIRECTLY DOWN THE MIDDLE, I will have to pull out the big guns to outsmart you. That's right, bangs, I'm swoopin' 'em to the side! Bwahahahah! You will not make a fool of me! Do you understand me, bangs? I make the rules around here.

Dear friends, you will NEVER see the photos of my bangs misbehaving... unless perhaps you are my facebook friend and some photos from a party Saturday night hit the web. Otherwise, better not hold your breath.

Here is a photo from today--Day One of reclaiming control over my badly behaved locks.

And THIS! is a lovely package I received from Hillary!

She sent me two Canadian chocolate treats that I've never heard of... and one of them may or may not frighten me. Effervescent minty chocolate? I'll have to let you know what I think of it. I hope it isn't like eating a denture cleaning tablet... and Hillary? If it is? I'm totally sending you salmonella.

She also made me a Mermanda Mix! Isn't she the most adorable thing? I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but judging from the playlist, I think it's going to rock.

I'm pretty sure that Cock soup mix is going to make a fierce appearance on an upcoming episode of Cooking Thyme With Andrew.

In other news, the house inspection is tomorrow. And as long as there are no weird surprises, we're going to get our mortgage tomorrow tooo! And? And! We're seeing Ray LaMontagne in concert tomorrow at one of my favorite venues ever!

(I don't know what is with the heavy use of the exclamation marks today, I didn't even have any coffee.)