BratzBasher has survived the first…hang on, it’s hard to type while counting on my fingers…seven days of school with minimal drama. Unlike in middle school (when it was every other day), she has P.E. four days a week, but it’s only for one year. Then she’s done. Can you believe it? In my day, we had to take at least two years of P.E. — some schools even required three or four. One year? She’s getting off easy, if you ask me. Of course, she’ll have marching band for four years, so that pretty much guarantees an extra four semesters of exercise. I guess she doesn’t have it so easy after all, but she is surviving marching band as well.
Speaking of exercise, I have resolved to go to the gym every day that BB does. We get Wednesdays off — woohoo! I’ll admit that it’s been a struggle. I have to be “gym-ready” when I take BB to school so that I can just head for the gym instead of going home, but my mind keeps telling me to play hooky. You don’t actually need to go inside in order to say you’ve been to the gym. Just drive up and then drive away. Or let’s not turn right at this light. Let’s go straight instead. Straight home. I’m surviving. Barely. (just kidding — mostly)
The other thing BB survived was her required summer reading. From a list of five books, she chose The Joy Luck Club and The Red Badge of Courage. I recommended JLC because I remembered it being really good, and RBofC because I remembered it being really short. She liked the first, but trudged her way through the second. She said the first day of English class revealed that nobody who read RBofC liked it, so the teacher is removing it from the list. In my day, teachers didn’t care whether we enjoyed a book. We had to read it anyway. And we liked it. (Do I sound like Dana Carvey’s grumpy old man yet?)
Merkin has a triathlon coming up. The swimming portion is in a lake. That’s always more difficult than in a swimming pool, but he feels more confident after having completed the Olympic-length Spudman. What? I didn’t tell y’all about that? Well, he did it, and he was awesome. Plus, he took advantage of the open swim they held for people who wanted to practice for this weekend’s triathlon, and that went well.
Gee, we’re all a bunch of exercising fools. Woo-hoo. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to the library now. I’ve earned it.
In my sleep-muddled morning state, I let Merkin head off to work today without a “happy birthday”. This is not as bad as the first year we were married when I forgot his birthday entirely. (I’m never going to live that one down. Merkin, on the other hand, never forgets an important date — birthdays, anniversaries, whatever.)
I won’t say how old he is this year because he’s feeling old.
I wouldn’t want to rub it in that he’s five years older than I am. I think it’ll be another couple of decades before I see Merkin as old. I’d have to see myself five years away from being old before that happens. But this post isn’t about me. It’s about Merkin and his awesomeness. Don’t worry. I won’t go on and on and on. He’s too modest for that. Plus, I’m pressed for time just now.
Five (because I promised not to go on forever) Great Things about Merkin:
(I apologize for any repeats from previous years, but some things are worth mentioning multiple times.)
- He’s an awesome dad to BratzBasher.
- He’s a fabulous cook.
- He’s an amazing storyteller.
- He puts up with me even when I’m less than likable.
- He never forgets to take the trash out.
Happy Birthday, Merkin!
We’ve all finished El Tour de Tucson. BratzBasher and I did the indoor version (111 minutes) here on the 10th, and Merkin did the whopping 111 miles in Tucson. He came back with loot and a mailbox injury. He had to swerve off the road in order to avoid hitting another cyclist, and he snagged on a mailbox instead. I think he feels worse about the damage to the sleeve of his favorite biking shirt (the one he got from the Lake Saint Louis Triathlon) than the cut on his arm.
In other news…
BB auditioned for and was selected to participate in Metro Band this year. Two rehearsals and one warm-up before the concert, which was yesterday. She had a great time. She’s used to being the only tuba player, so when Merkin would say, “You know how when you get two or more tuba players together they start cracking jokes?” she didn’t actually know. Well, now she does. There were six tubas in the band. One of the other kids was into anime/manga, too. He brought his Death Note to show BB after the concert. She was impressed, but she has not seen any shinigami, so I doubt the authenticity of the book. (If you didn’t get that last part, don’t worry. It’s not really that funny.)
Mostly I spent the weekend hauling BB to and from Metro Band and supervising the completion of overdue homework assignments. Unfortunately, when BB doesn’t understand something, she tends not to do it rather than just ask for help. Then we get phone calls.
Merkin’s back from AZ now, and I’ve put him to work fixing the turn signal on my car. Hey, he asked me what I needed him to do. I’ve actually been driving around without a right rear turn signal for pretty much the whole time he’s been gone. Yeah, I know — a more self-sufficient woman would’ve gone ahead and fixed it herself. Well, I’m not (at least for most car-related stuff), so I didn’t.
Now I’m off to do something semi-useful.
Merkin is going to AZ for El Tour de Tucson later this month, and BratzBasher and I have opted to do the stay-at-home version. Merkin will be biking 110 (or is it 111?) miles, while BB and I will be doing 110 minutes on the stationary bikes at the gym. Merkin has been doing some serious training for this — as much as time allows, at any rate. BB and I can do an hour — no problem. We’re working up to the two-hour mark.
I’m actually pretty confident that I can do two hours (a record for me), but I need to find a way to combat the boredom. The gym has televisions, but there’s never anything good. I wonder if Merkin can put a movie on my Zune. So far, I’m just listening to books on audio, but I’m used to doing something while I listen. Something with my hands, that is. I’m not nearly coordinated enough to crochet while biking, and reading while biking gives me motion sickness. Yeah, I know the bike isn’t going anywhere, but I’m still moving. What would you do in my place? Anyone got any ideas? Origami? How many paper cranes do you think I could make in two hours while riding a stationary bike?
I need a shower. And sleep. I’ll blog more later.
Merkin calls it insanity, but I think triathlons have been really good for him. He started with the indoor ones they hold at our local gym. Then he signed up for our city’s triathlon in June. Today, he completed the short course for another local triathlon. He’s especially proud of the fact that he didn’t finish last — in any category.
Merkin told me I didn’t need to come cheer him on today, but I wanted to. For his first outdoor triathlon, I agreed to come at the end, and I totally missed his crossing the finish line. He had to reenact it for my camera. I was determined to be more supportive this year. I parked myself at the finish line, so I didn’t see him do the swim portion; however, I have pics of him starting and finishing the bike course, starting the running course, and crossing the finish line. No, you don’t get to see them here. I promised I wouldn’t post any.
I brought things to keep myself entertained while Merkin was out of sight, but I didn’t do more than one small crossword and start a letter to my grandma. It was actually really interesting. They had an announcer there that was giving background information on some of the athletes. There were four athletes in the race that have been competing in it every year for the past 30 years. There was also a family doing the race relay-style. The son was born with a neurological disorder, and the family decided to take him along on the course. Grandma pulled him in a raft during the swim portion, Dad pulled him in a trailer behind his bike, and Mom pushed him in a stroller for the run. Pretty cool. The announcer also did interviews with a few spectators. He tried to locate relatives/friends of the four athletes who’ve done the race 30 times, and he managed to find the daughter of one. She said there were a few others in their family that were racing with her dad, too.
Anyway…I’m proud of Merkin for doing these triathlons, and I’m glad he’s enjoying his “insanity”. (He even got a participation medal that we can put on the trophy shelf.)
And another good thing: the t-shirt they gave him for this one actually fits him. It’s a cool shirt. He’s planning on wearing it when he does the Tour de Tucson with his brother and nephews this fall.
Merkin and I have officially been married for 16 years now. Wow. Sometimes it seems shorter than that. Sometimes, as Merkin put it last night: “It seems a long time since that tiny, basement apartment in Provo. Yeah, I think we’ve come a long way. I thought I’d give you 16 great things that have happened in those sixteen years –by no means exhaustive and in no particular order. (That means I can’t
remember well enough be bothered to put them in chronological order.)
- We got married in the Los Angeles temple (LDS) for time and all eternity. (Okay, that one I know happened before all of these others.)
- We moved out of that tiny, basement apartment.
- We eventually moved out of our second apartment — the one right above the “retired” Laotian gang leader. (Actually, our downstairs neighbor was very nice to us. He put the word out that anyone messing with us would be taken out to the Bonneville Salt Flats and left to die with two broken legs. This was a good thing for us, so perhaps that should’ve been item 4. That’s okay. I’ll come up with another one. There’s plenty.)
- We had BratzBasher. (The easiest labor one could ask for. If she had been a boy, we would’ve named her after the anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural.)
- We’ve lived in some pretty great wards and met some really great people. (And some not so great, but they aren’t on this list.)
- We won tickets to attend an exclusive BNL concert. (They couldn’t be purchased. You could only win them through the local radio station.) The concert was a lot of fun, though we had to stand the whole time. It was a nice pick-me-up in the middle of a not-s0-nice semester at BYU.
- Merkin got his current job in Missouri. I love it here. It’s often sweltering in the summer, but it’s beautiful.
- We spent a week up in Nauvoo in a little house right on Main Street for a family reunion. So nice to watch the envious faces of the tourists as we sat in the lawn chairs on the porch and waved at the buses going by.
- We participated in an Eagle Scout project that recorded various people reading children’s books. The books and accompanying audio were donated to the children’s hospital. Even BratzBasher got to read for it, I think. I read The Color Kittens.
- We visited DC for a rare family vacation that didn’t involve seeing other family. We still have the video of BratzBasher in her ruby slippers, pointing at the “real” ones in the Smithsonian and shouting, “Doty shoes! Doty shoes!” Priceless.
- We canoed on the Meramec River.
- Merkin began his triathlon “hobby”. (He does an Olympic-length one next month.) I know that seems like a great thing that happened to Merkin rather than both of us, but trust me — it’s good for me, too.
- We saw Roger Waters perform “The Wall” live. A dream come true for Merkin.
- We bought this great house that we’ve since filled with 11 years of memories.
- We watched BratzBasher perform in three storytelling festivals.
- We’re still in love after 16 years. (Not that we haven’t driven each other crazy during that time, but we were both a little crazy to begin with.)
Happy Anniversary, Merkin!
Here’s to an even better 16 (and counting) more!
So I’ve met my therapist and my new psychiatrist, and things are looking up. I even got out of jury duty. (My therapist is awesome.) I’m still stuck at home, but I did go out to breakfast today with a friend of mine. She’s awesome, too. Actually, Merkin arranged it. I only found out about it this morning at 9:00. He called me from work and warned me to get dressed. I had a great time. We stopped at Best Buy after breakfast to drop off her computer for repair, and I bought a couple of CD’s. I got Gotye’s Making Mirrors and Adele’s 21.
What else? BB’s school is having Medieval Day next Wednesday. She’ll be wearing her Renn Faire costume, of course. I wonder if she and Merkin will be working the Renn Faire this year. BB’s already signed up for the Children’s Concert for the St Louis Storytelling Festival. She’ll be telling a version of a Norse Myth. Her book has titled it The Feast of Aegis (?), but she’s only focusing on part of it. Thor actually gets to outwit someone. Of course, it’s a giant, so it isn’t too difficult. The best part is that the story makes reference to the story she told last year: Thor’s Wedding Day. Awesome. I’m looking forward to the Festival.
Back to being stuck at home…Merkin has been very nice about it. He always makes sure to help me run any errands that I need to do when he gets home. He’s always asking if I need to get out of the house. He arranged my breakfast playdate today. He’s been awesome. So many awesome people. I think I’m in a good mood right now. I even did the dishes. Well, I emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it. That still counts.
*Luckily, there is no charge for awesomeness.