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Posts Tagged ‘Facilities crew’

Dear Eddie:

Seventeen years ago today, we paraded around in Forsyth Park. You were wearing a tuxedo and I was wearing a lacy concoction I’d never wear today. Your hair was super tall and curly. I had accidentally dyed mine black. We still looked OK — for ’95 anyway.

Most of our friends were there with us, wearing clothes they’d never be caught dead in today. Remember Pat’s teal suit?

Since that day, we’ve had so much fun together. We’ve traveled around the world, kept great friendships and made new ones, created two new human beings, and laughed with/at each other every day. You roll your eyes at my reality TV obsession while I sigh at your fitness ones. You sew while I like to raise chickens. You like to play the part of Megatron with the kids while I’m off playing Words with Friends. It works.

Some people get together and want the other person to change. But we don’t do that. We are essentially the same people we were when we got together. We’re both independent and self-sufficient. We don’t need each other; we want each other.

We’ve gone through some rough patches, but we both realize that marriage is work. That work reaps amazing rewards. I credit She Who Must Not Be Named for helping us strengthen our relationship early. It was the opposite of what she hoped, I know (cue evil laughter). And to Nancy Lopez, who said we wouldn’t last a year, well … [the title of a Cee Lo Green song applies here].

I think we’ve lasted because we took our time getting together in the first place. You know that saying: Good things come to those who wait. OK, yes, it was a ridiculously protracted time, but whatever. It worked.

And it doesn’t hurt that you look better now than you did when we got married.

I’ve seen pictures of some of the people I used to date and I think, “Dear God! What is that thing?” “Well, I certainly dodged a bullet.” “My husband is unusually handsome!” So thank you for not letting yourself go all to hell. And I hope you don’t think I look too raggedy. I’ve tried to keep it together.

Anyway, happy anniversary. I love you (duh!) but I also still like you. And I think that’s more important.

Love always,
Beth

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I love Halloween. Fortunately for me, I have family and friends who like it too. Before the kids arrived on the scene, Eddie and I hosted a big party every year (Frankenparty). Now we just put our energy into costumes.

This year, we teamed up with two other families and went as the cast of the “Wizard of Oz.” It took more than a month of construction for Eddie, the Tin Man.

It took an hour and a half to get Eddie into the costume, and there was tape involved.

The end result was worth it:

Here’s the cast list:

Us:
Tin Man: Eddie
Toto: Dominic
Lion: Gideon
Glinda: Me

Friends:
Scarecrow: Eggy
Wicked Witch: Sophia
Dorothy: Ava

Family:
Munchkin: Carmen
Flying Monkey: Daniel

We were a big hit in the neighborhood.

We lost track of how many people asked to take pictures of us.

After trick or treating, it was time for four of the adults to enjoy some treats of their own. Carmen and Daniel, Eddie’s sister and brother-in-law, agreed to watch the kids so we could go to my friend Terri’s party.

Getting there was … interesting. We couldn’t use ruby slippers or a broom, so the Element had to do.

It took about 15 minutes for us all to reassemble ourselves once we got to Terri’s house.

But the night didn’t end there. Oh no. We were so happy to be out that we even went to see a movie: “Paranormal Activity 2.” The witches definitely needed a break!

Witches’ Night Out

After all, Glinda and Elphaba hadn’t been able to spend much time together since college.

Next year: Sesame Street. Oh, it’s on!

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Brokeback wrap

It is Tuesday, July 6, and the last of the house guests just pulled out of the driveway. Almost one whole week of multiple comings and goings of great, longtime friends. Whew!

Guests in the house included the following (most at the same time):

Eggy, Sophia, Ava, Alex, Ida, Billy, Miwa, Niina, Felipe, Mana, Brenon, Janet, Brian, Joel, James R., Patrick, Petra, Ryder, Mia, James G., Deb, Bear, Cassie, David, Cissy, Salua, Aisha and Sasha.

That’s a grand total of 28 unique visitors. And then add the four of us. And three dogs.

There were two tents in the back yard, filled with four guys one night (with surround-sound snoring provided by Alex and Billy), and five the next. (“Ennis, quit yer hammerin’ and get in here!”) Note: Pat bailed at the last minute. I was like Goldilocks in my own home. My room was too loud because it contained Brannens. Sophia’s room had an early-rising Baby Ava. So Ida and her air mattress became just right. Cozy!

The distance award could go to Billy and his family, as they flew in from Abu Dhabi. But they were coming anyway. So the award should go to Brian, who flew in from Santa Monica.

Injuries were minimal. Eddie has a pressure-washing slash thanks to Eggy, and the trampoline only claimed two victims: Billy and me. I did not break my toe (it was just bruised) and Billy’s strawberry (see below) is almost gone now. Brenon did not get injured. It’s a miracle!

Eddie says the injuries were limited because we didn’t put out the Slip ‘n’ Slide. He’s probably right.

There were numerous dogfights, but not the illegal gambling kind. Maggie and Pearl did not bond, and Maggie kicked her ass a couple of times. Then Maggie kicked Mona’s ass for good measure. Pearl also has a small singe mark from the fireworks (her own fault).

Facilities crew reunion: (left to right) Pat, Brenon, Alex, Bear, Eggy, Eddie, David, James, Billy, Brian, Joel and James. And there's Sophia horning in on the right. Holla!

There were lots of laughs, and that’s the whole reason Eddie wanted to stage this whole shebang. Maybe next time the ladies should buy plane tickets and send them out of town …

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A former student, Elyse, suggested that I take on a particular challenge: Write a letter to my 20-something self. (She got the idea from blogger Cassie Boorn.)

OK.

The only thing is, I’m not much for regrets. All experiences — especially the bad ones — shape us and make us the people we are. I have a decent self-esteem, so I’m fine with how I turned out. If anything in my history changed, I might now be living alone in a van down by the river.

But anyway, here goes the exercise:

Dear Self:

First, the good news: You are going to turn out fine, and you’ll end up having a great job, fun husband, smart kids and good friends. Now the bad news: It won’t be an easy path to get there.

Here’s some advice:

1. Send tapes — VHS, not Betamax — out everywhere, not just stations within a four-hour radius of your boyfriend.

2. Speaking of the boyfriend, break up with him soon. Yes, he’s hilarious and treats you well, but he’s not “the one.” Make an effort to keep him as a friend. If you let the relationship limp along to the end, he’ll be hurt and never want to speak to you again. And you’ll miss his friendship.

3. Don’t date the guy who comes next. Just don’t. And because you are stubborn and won’t listen to that advice, at least listen to this: Break up after your first argument. That really is the real him and that really is how he feels. Save yourself pages and pages of journal angst.

4. Thanks for trying to be a good girl (and thank you so much for not loading us up with STDs or an unplanned pregnancy), but you really should date more people. Don’t be in a hurry to settle down into monogamy. You’ll have plenty of that later. But don’t date the stick figure or the rodeo clown. Stick figure causes more journal angst, and the rodeo clown will make you fear for your life.

5. Only have one credit card and pay off the balance each month. For the love of God, please do this. You’ll add years to our life.

6. Stop going to antique stores. You really don’t need freaky old-lady doilies, mismatched china, and costume jewelry that leaves a greenish tinge on you when you wear it. Save your money for important stuff like traveling.

7. Travel extensively. Take the summer off after college and go to Europe or Botswana or wherever. Just go. You will never be that unencumbered again. And then, when you are older and in that great job, you will try desperately to make a student named Travis heed this advice. He will look at you skeptically, and then squander his own opportunity.

8. Don’t cut your hair short. Or if you do, go to someone who knows what he/she is doing. Otherwise, you’ll look like you are wearing a wig, and you’ll want to burn every picture from this period. The only palatable one looks like this (and that hair is still really bad):

9. Wear clothes that fit. Stop wearing men’s shorts, fat-girl tunic shirts, and anything with pleats. Walk around naked more and stop being so self-conscious. You will miss that body later when you have kids and more closely resemble the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

10. Forget French. Learn Spanish.

11. Don’t let the lack of outdoor space and the two fixer-upper basement apartments scare you away from buying that townhouse on Jones Street. It’s a steal. Trust me.

12. Spend more time with your parents.

13. Practice saying “no” to people who want you to adopt strays. If you don’t, you’ll end up with four cats and four dogs, and everyone thinking you are weird/deranged/stinky.

14. Don’t mix beer with all those Wet Willie’s drinks on St. Patrick’s Day 1993. Seriously.

15. Pay more attention to the cute Puerto Rican in facilities. You’ll be happy you did.

Sincerely,

Self Plus 20

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The summer me is so different from the fall, winter and spring me. I wear hats. I don’t wear shoes. I wear T-shirts. I don’t wear makeup. I have plenty of things to do. I don’t have motivation. I didn’t take a shower yesterday until 10 p.m. because I spent most of the day in my bathing suit.

My house is a wreck and I have people coming over tonight. I’m finding it hard to care about cleanliness. Eddie and I have a list of 20 things that have to get done before we have about 40 people at our house next weekend for what we have dubbed “Brokeback Weekend.” It is a reunion of the facilities crew.

There will be tents in my backyard. Tents!

Eddie claims that most of the guys will be sleeping in one large eight-person tent. The ones who stink or snore will be booted to two smaller tents.

He also begged me to buy a small trampoline to insert danger into the act of jumping in the lake. His words: “This will increase the chance of medical attention by at least 50 percent.” Fantastic.

Gideon tests out the Injury Express

While the guys are out threatening each other, wrestling, farting and whatever else a guy herd does, the ladies will be inside wrangling children and enjoying the air conditioning.

And not noticing the layer of dust, I hope. (Cleaning, I do know how to quit you.)

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SHE SAID:

It was a dark and stormy night.

OK, not really.

It was a beautiful sunny day in Savannah in March 1992. I had started a new job as communications coordinator at SCAD, and my office was on the third floor of Kanter Hall (now Morris Hall).

My predecessor was a pack rat, and I wanted to make a clean start. I loaded up two boxes with old files and put in a work order to have a member of the facilities crew move them to storage in Wallin Hall.

A couple of days later, a posse of guys in weight belts filed into my office looking for the boxes listed on the work order.

Smart ass that I am, I said, “It takes all of you to move two boxes?”

HE SAID

“The message we got was to pick up boxes. It could have been 100.”

She was very nicely dressed in a skirt, I remember. Nothing more attractive than a nicely dressed smart mouth. James G. still calls her “swift mouth.” I was in charge of the facilities crew that included James G., Brenon, Eggy, Patrick, Brian, Rambo, Joseph, Joel, James R. and Jimbo.

Here is some of the crew: James, Brenon, me, Patrick, Jimbo and Joel. Those were the days of James’ jheri curl. What can I say about the grease? Notice Pat’s weight belt. He was so skinny, I can’t believe we even found one to fit him.

Here is a later picture of the crew, circa 1993 or so.

Me, Joel, Jimbo, Wolverine, Brenon, Rambo, Bear, James, Alex, Brian, Patrick and Joel.

SHE SAID

I think he brought all those guys with him that day. I remember he led the way, followed closely by James and Joseph. He and James are both tall fellows, well over 6 feet. I felt dwarfed, plus silly that they were all there for just two boxes. They took the boxes and left, but it would not be the last time I saw the Weight Belt Brigade.

Up next: The pursuit begins

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