Thursday, May 15, 2008

Last night, history was made.

I've long prided myself on the ability to chastise others for crying during movies. Sure, I've teared up from time to time. But I've never straight up cried or come close to weeping.

Yesterday was a frustrating day for me. I went to finally pick up my car and they said there was a new problem, that they believe existed before the crash and AAA wouldn't cover it. I spent a day arguing and being frustrated, two things I don't like to do. Just days after Dan's car was totaled by a drunk driver, I just felt like the universe was against us and it wasn't fair.

I came home grumpy, exhausted, and generally spent. We returned our rental car, went to the post office and finally made it home, in my car that is still broken. I sat on the couch and stared at my computer for a while. Dan seemed to be all over the place. Finally I realized the shower had been running for a while. When I asked why, Dan said he was rinsing out Drano he'd poured in earlier. I thought this was weird, since we don't have a clog or Drano, but I was too tired to question.

A few minutes later, he had started the kettle, and asked me what kind of tea I would like, "Awwww, you made me tea?"

He got the tea and said, "Come with me."

He led me into the bathroom where he had run a bubble bath, my robe standing by for when I was finished.

He brought a table lamp into the bathroom so the lighting would be softer than the overhead light and brought in a radio, playing the CD of some French composer. He set the tea down next to the tub, fetched the giant In Style magazine he ganked from work for me and said to relax.

I was blown away by the sweetness, even if it was to benefit him in the long run by melting away my bad mood. :)

After the bath, he had to work, so eventually I settled in the bedroom to watch one of my knitting movies and work on a blanket I was hired to make weeks and weeks ago. "Knitting" movies are A) often movies Dan wouldn't want to watch, B) nothing you have to concentrate on too much and C) generally pretty cheesy.

On the menu last night was "P.S. I Love You" starring Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Harry Connick Jr., Kathy Bates, etc.

The premise is this: Holly is madly in love with her husband of 10 years, who she rushed to marry after meeting him on her study abroad trip in Ireland at 19. Ten years later, he dies of a brain tumor and she is crushed. But it turns out before he died, he arranged to have all kinds of letters and messages sent to her, arranges a trip for her to go to Ireland with her girlfriends, etc.

I won't share anymore details in case you feel like you need a good cry at some point (and a good laugh -- there were a few), but just know that I lost it. I don't know what percentage of it is simply being tired, and stress and having this sweet man do something amazing for me and what percentage of it was finally being in true love, to the point where I just can't imagine what I would do if he died.

So, I came out of the bedroom, crying.

"Do you want to witness history?" I asked, pointing to the tears streaming down my cheeks. I went on to explain, but I was trying so hard to choke back really losing it that I struggled. So, I tried to cover it with a laugh and made myself a cocktail as Dan looked on in a look that seemed to be part confusion, part amazement and part a look that was replacing him shaking his head.

So, I cried and kissed him and cried and kissed him. "I just don't know what I would do if you died." Every time I emerged from the bedroom, I had to swing by the couch for more of the same.

I guess it makes me realize I'm a really lucky girl, in many ways.

And they should put warning labels on those things: "Do not watch this movie if you are in a fragile emotional state and/or suffering from exhaustion. It will not be pretty."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blasts from the past.

In recent weeks I have been lucky enough to reunite with some friends I haven't seen in years -- literally, unfortunately. First, Miss Brandi L. was in Royal Oak for a few days, a place she used to call home. Of course she had to fall in love and move to New York before I fell in love and moved back to Michigan.

Brandi and I met while studying abroad and for a short time did a pretty decent job of staying in touch. Eventually we lost touch, destined to be reunited thanks to Cara, with whom we both have remained in contact. Cara, Brandi and their girls headed out for a night of wine and desserts, and I dragged Dan along, not understanding it was for some relatively quiet wine-sipping at Vinotecca and not loud, crammed-into-a-dark-smoky-bar, drink guzzling. Duly noted.

Anyway, hopefully this will be the first of many reunions with Brandi.

The second visit came a couple of days later. My buddy Derek from high school was in Michigan for some family functions and had to spend a night in Detroit before jetting off to his orientation at Harvard. I snatched him up at his hotel and he joined us for some manicotti. Traditional Buyza fare he hasn't had it many years.

The last time I saw Derek was when he visited me just after I graduated from college and we went out for Mexican at El Azteco in Lansing. We determined this was likely 7 years ago, which is unbelievable to us, as we frequently e-mail, IM or talk on the phone. I'm just glad it's nearly impossible for him to be shipped off to Iraq for a third time, as he's just days away from officially bidding the Army adieu.

Before he left I asked Claire to take a picture of us. Though she claims she's going to be an artist and make clothes and be a ballerina and have a bakery, I think she should consider throwing photography onto the pile.

Just a few short days after DB's visit, the incomparable Erin Halfmann -- excuse me, Brainerd -- waddled into town for a family baby shower at her parents' new house in Howell. Saturday night we met at my sister's house and I got to capture both of my human incubators at one time.

We had fun the next day at her shower, where I was reunited with Collen (now) Price, who I haven't seen since before Erin moved to Maine seven years ago and she had just had her first baby. Now she's got four and one of them is in the form of a 3-year-old daughter, Iris. She and Claire became fast friends.

It was so wonderful to see Erin, who I still can't believe is about to have a little girl of her own despite the fact I've seen it for myself.

Now I must go try to make some sense of the old crap of mine my mom got sick of looking at so she gave it to me. Pictures from high school, pre-pubescent love notes. I fear the unpacking and throwing away in some form will never end.

BUT, something good did come from the transfer. SOMEONE was pretty pleased to inherit some tap shoes that are almost just her size.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Way to go, Tone.

She did it! Not only did my mom make it to 60, she made it to one year without smoking!

Though her birthday was May 1, the immediate family gathered at my sister's for a casual dinner Saturday to celebrate Toni Ann's accomplishments. I was in charge of desserts. Learning my brother-in-law is a Key lime fan, I made a Key lime cheesecake. Although 60 is a milestone indeed, I decided we couldn't let the night pass without recognizing with a bit of fanfare that Tone has made it more than 365 days without a smoke. I'm so proud of her, so I thought a cigarette cake was appropriate.

I'm sure everyone is dying to know, so I'll share that I took a regular ol' box of Betty Crocker (she really knows her stuff) funfetti cake and made it in a 9x13 pan, then cut out the size I wanted (the entire length and about 2/3 of the width).

The filter frosting started with a white base with a lot of yellow, a little red and a single drop of green food coloring. The lit end of the cigarette was red frosting with crushed Oreos playing the part of the ashes.

The Key lime cheesecake seemed to go over pretty well, too. The six of us devoured it in about 2.4 seconds flat.

It's a really simple recipe and I should post it sometime over on I Eat Veg (clearly it's not vegan).

Anyway, the cheesecake turned out well and my mom was happy with the new Kitchen•Aid hand mixer we got her for her birthday.

Before Sarah went to bed, she and I compared her eight-months-pregnant body to my cheesecake-filled body.

It was a close one, but she wins!

Sarah and Loren haven't slept in days because Lucas is super sick, so Joe, Mom, Dan and I headed down to the basement for a little Cranium. Her first time up at Cranium bat, Tone knocked it out of the park. She can draw with her eyes closed, make a killer clay sleeping bag and impersonate Michael Jackson like you wouldn't believe (though I admittedly hope to never see that again).

Johnson and Buys talked a good game, but the Buys-Buys ladies team proved unbeatable. If it hadn't been for chimpanzees and Winston Churchill's damn American mother, it could have been a clean sweep.