Monday, September 29, 2003

Blah blah blah.

Item the first: Jewelry stores stink. Now, it is my fault that we didn't go to any 'real' jewelry stores, but I primarily just wanted to go and look at styles and whatnot. I don't really appreciate being pressured to buy a ring that I only kind of like, because it is on sale. I don't care if your store is located in a mall! Have some self-respect. The good news is that we found a fantastic store that sells beautiful custom-made wedding bands. I didn't dare ask about pricing, but I am determined to buy there.

Item the second: I am eating an omelet. It needs salt, but I can't be bothered.

Item the third: Remember when sweatpants were unattractive necessities? When did they become so wonderful? I am never taking these pants off (except for washing).

Item the fourth: ARGHHH!

Item the fifth: I am the best girlfriend/fiancée/whatever on earth! Last night Will was stuck reading stoopid scripts for work, so I went to Target and bought him underwear. I also bought toilet paper, and these magnificent sweatpants.

I guess that's it for now.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

I love Blogger!

I am making this post and marking it as a draft. That is so neat! I can post it and none of you can see it. I am doing this because my goddamn sister isn't answering her goddamn phone. She must have a life or something. Stupid bint - I need to ask her something Very Important. No, really. This time I mean it.

You see, I'm going to ask her to be my maid of honor.

I guess you can all figure out the rest. You're a pretty intelligent bunch.

Edit after she called back...

Well, one, she said yes. Actually, she screamed it. All of Wells College is now half-deaf. And two, I don't have a ring yet. We're shopping. Oh, and we haven't set a date, so don't ask. We've only told our families and already I'm annoyed with that question.

Monday, September 22, 2003


I was very ill all weekend, and am still feeling only about [wild estimate] 20%.

This afternoon we go to court for the security deposit debacle that should have been over six months ago. Then I go pick up Will's father from LAX. Then (presumably) I collapse from exhaustion.

Since I have been and probably will be online terribly sporadically, a few personal notes-

Cindy: I would love to chat with you but am uncertain when I'll be able to. I'll drop you a line as soon as I stop coughing so much and don't have a houseguest.

Beth: I love you to pieces and under the circumstances if you need to talk you can call me despite the reasons I just gave for not wanting to chat. I have been thinking of (and will continue to think of) your family.

Um. Oh dear, I'm certain there were others. Oh well. Thus endeth this update. Everybody cross your fingers for us to win!

Thursday, September 18, 2003 to the rescue!

I have spent all day trying to come up with a word for how my body and mind are feeling. Today's Word of the Day is malaise, which is exactly it!

That is all. I'm crawling back to my tissue box and four-hundredth glass of water.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

And...I'm back.

Hi. I'm home. I feel ill, most likely due to the hectic schedule of the weekend, combined with too much air travel, combined with grief, combined with other stuff.

I spent a good portion of the trip home writing stuff down about my relatives. I haven't decided yet if I will post any of what I wrote.

This weekend was the first time that all of my cousins (with one exception) have been in the same room. It was really neat. My cousin Rory did not make it back for the funeral. There is some uncertainty as to whether he was too grief-stricken or unable to afford the trip. I was soprry not to see him, and more sorry that he was unable to say goodbye. I hope that he is able to grieve in his own way.

I also saw all of my uncles, which I don't believe has ever happened.

Most of my cousins grew up near each other, or at least with frequent visits. I am still meeting people for the first time. Well, technically, I met Michael and Andrea years ago (about 22), but I don't think it counts if I am 25, he is 27, and she is 23 and we don't remember each other or know anything about each other. Andrea is recently married, and Michael is an Army Sergeant. Who knew? (The answer is "everyone but me.")

My cousin Erin is getting married next year.

I also met some (not first) cousins that I really had never met, at least not to my knowledge. There are some very neat people in my family. As I suppose is usually the case with family, I have nothing in common with most of my relatives and we would never otherwise be friends, but there are a few people who I would love no matter how I knew them.

Here is a photograph that my cousin Michael took. He was in Iraq until, I believe, Friday. He was supposed to leave for the U.S. next week, but was allowed to leave early for the funeral.

This entry ends here, because I say so.


I can't catch up on P@ or Stephanie's blogs, because I haven't seen Everwood yet! Stupid funeral, making me miss it. And I don't know any spoilers, and this SUCKS.

Um. More later.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

So I'm in Ohio.

Last time I was in Ohio, Matty came to see me. Where are you, Matty?

Whenever my sister and father have showered (I was lazy forever, but now that I'm clean I'm annoyed with them for taking so long - go figure) we're driving down to Pittsburgh to go to the funeral home "viewing" extravaganza. Wait, that probably isn't the right word.

If I feel like it later, I'll transcribe what I wrote on the plane. I mostly wrote about the plane, though, so I might not bother. There isn't much to say about planes that isn't boring.

Later I'm going over to Will's parents' house. My thanks to those of you who advised against it, but I don't think I had adequately expressed that they are very kind to me nowadays. Anyway, my family is so crazy that they will seem like the living embodiment of sanity. Plus, there is no way Franny will be there (and if she is, I will probably deck her). And anyway, I want to. I know, I know. Clearly I am out of my head with grief.

In other news, I don't think my outfit matches, but K says it is all right. So if anyone dislikes my combination of brown pants and a charcoal sweater, tough. It has been okayed by the College Element. I still haven't decided what shoes to wear, though. Crud.

In conclusion, I am in Pittsburgh and you aren't! Nya-na-na-na-na.

Friday, September 12, 2003

This deserves its own post.

The final entry in the This Week Sucked category is so extraordinarily weird and outlandish that it just had to get its very own post. I'm afraid there is a lot of backstory.

Will's mom has this boss, who we'll call Franny. For years, Franny championed Will's creative work, getting him a book deal through her company and hiring him for assorted brainstorming projects. You could possibly call Will her pet project. I always thought it was kind of sweet. I admit, it annoyed me that Franny and Will's parents looked at Will as the Golden Boy - none of them have ever acknowledged that I am a writer, and just as talented as he is; in fact, they all (in the past - Will's parents have been wonderful lately) pretty much dismissed me as worthless.

When Will and I had been living together for about 2 years, Franny called him up and proposed that she pay for him to travel with her to Los Angeles. At this time, Will's goal was to be a screenwriter. Franny's goal, it seems, was to get Will to move 3000 miles away from me at any cost. I wish I were exaggerating or misinterpreting her intentions, but I don't believe I am. Will went to LA with Franny, at my urging (it seemed like a good idea). He was there for a week, and when he came back he was distant and weird. I admit, so was I. In fact, I did some things I am very much not proud of. Regardless, when he announced that he was moving to Los Angeles as soon as possible, he made no effort to include me in the proposal. We were broke, and me going with him was not an option. He didn't ask for my opinion. I got drunk a lot after he left and did something very hurtful. It was ugly. I believe (though it may not be fair) that Franny had poisoned his mind against me.

So Will moved to LA, and as pretty much everyone knows things went well for him. He isn't a screenwriter, but is doing quite well as a creative executive. He and I worked through everything and I moved out here in April of last year.

I'd been here for a few weeks (maybe a month) when Franny called and said she'd be in LA for a few days, and could she buy us lunch? Of course we said yes, because we're that sort of people. So we had lunch, and I still felt the strange "Will is a better person than you are" vibe from her, but I wrote it off as insecurity and paranoia. Anyway, the food was very good. [Digression: Good grief, I am famished.]

Several months after this lunch, Will told me that he'd received a letter from Franny shortly after the lunch. She had, as I understand it, written several pages on Why Annika Is Not For Will. She thinks I am beneath him, she thinks that I will drive a permanent wedge between him and his parents. I never saw it, but I am certain that it was even more revolting than it sounds. Will was so furious that he ripped it up and sent it back. We haven't heard from Franny since. She's off the guest list for our someday wedding.

So yesterday I found out that my Grandpa had died. Will came home at lunchtime, and we ate together. We were cuddling on the couch, enjoying the few minutes before he had to go back to work, when the phone rang. I expected it to be my father, and answered it.

It was Franny. For me.

This is where my week went from Kinda Crappy to Ultra Surreal. (This is also where the actual story begins.)

Her company had some merchandise arrive at a vendor in LA in less-than-perfect condition. She never saw the merchandise, because it came straight from the manufacturor in China. As best I can understand, it was a Nativity scene and the people had straw hair. The manufacturors had not trimmed the straw, and the little people had straw hair in their faces. The vendor was displeased. Now, as if that wasn't weird by itself, she was calling to ask if I would be interested in (I swear to god) going to Van Nuys, picking up the merchandise, bringing it home, and cutting their hair.

I explained that my grandfather had just died and I didn't know yet when the funeral was. She asked if I would check with Will and see if we could think of anyone else who might do it. She found out that the funeral would be in Pittsburgh and actually got excited. "Oh, so we can see you!" I swear, that is what she said. I managed to not reply, "No, you can't, because you are a rabid bitch who should have been put down a long time ago."

The whole conversation, I was just waiting for Will to point out the hidden camera. Except, I knew that even if it was a joke, he wasn't in on it. I was so confused. I honestly didn't believe it was real until Will's mom came on the line to offer her condolences. She asked me to call her if I needed anything while I was in town, which may have just been an empty gesture but I truly believe was sincere.

I finally hung up, relayed the entire conversation to Will, and collapsed on the couch, alternately laughing and crying.

I explained the situation to the one person I know who might have done it if the money was good, and I think he laughed even more than I did. Then I took a nap because my head hurt, and I didn't wake up until Will came home. I didn't know what to do about calling Franny back. I avoided it.

This morning I drove Will to work, and on the way I begged him to deal with it. That worked out nicely, as he just called his mom.

And that, my friends, is why I am considering getting Caller I.D.

In which I whine a whole lot.

I think this should be in list form. I shall call the list This Week Sucked.

  1. Warren Zevon died. This was not unexpected, but that doesn't make it suck less.
  2. Will had a sucky week at work. Very busy, lots of thinking about the future.
  3. Will is going away for the weekend, for Alan's bachelor shindig. In and of itself, this is a good thing, but I hate being separated from him, especially considering everything else.
  4. My grandfather died. Not terribly unexpected, but very sad for my family. And - I realize this will sound callous - terribly timed. I spent the better part of a day worrying about travel arrangements. I still haven't worked out how I'll get to the airport, but that's the least of my worries. At least I have a ticket, thanks to Crystal. Orbitz made me cry.
  5. Johnny Cash died. Yet again, not unexpected. Doesn't make it less crappy.
  6. John Ritter died. NOOOOO! This one was totally unexpected and is just depressing as all hell. I don't know why it is upsetting me more than a death in my immediate family. I imagine I will be more upset about my grandpa once I actually see my Grandma and my cousins and Aunts and Uncles.
  7. The anniversary of the World Trade Center. I cried when reading this.
  8. I'm hungry. Trust me, when everything else sucks, this is a tragedy.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Holy Crap!

OK, so. My day has gotten increasingly surreal, to the point that I'm not sure who I am. Seriously, it has been that weird.

Rather than rehashing all of the WEIRD CRAP that has happened, I am going to instead make an announcement that has Nothing to do with me. Hopefully it will provide some much-needed relief.

Casting announced for new Batman feature. (Now with tasty Permalink!)

And the Caped Crusader will be played by...Christian Bale!

I am super-duper splendiferously ultra mega excited. Please join me in jumping around the room like a (really happy) spazz.

WWdN: May Peace Prevail On Earth

WWdN: May Peace Prevail On Earth

Thanks, Wil. That sums it up perfectly.

Sad day.

I was idly thinking about writing something about the events of 2 years ago. When I came online this morning, I checked my sister's blog. Just as I was reading the words "RIP Louis John Barranti" the telephone rang. It was my father, calling (with remarkable timing) to tell me that my grandfather had died in his sleep last night. He was 84 years old and had carried oxygen with him everywhere for the last several years as a result of emphazema. All of my cousins (I have a LOT of cousins) called him Pap-pap, but I didn't know him much when I was little and always called him Grandpa.

I'm not really sad yet. Not for myself. I'm sad for my father. I'm sad that I'll never see my Grandpa again. He was always so pleased to see me on the rare occasion that I went to family gatherings. But I'm not sad-sad. I suppose it will come.

I'm trying to decide whether I ought to fly east. The arrangements haven't yet been made, but I imagine the funeral will be in the next few days. I checked Orbitz (I've found that bereavement fairs are usually higher than online deals) and found some very reasonable flights to Pittsburgh, but I don't know what days I'd need to fly on.


Tuesday, September 09, 2003


I just got off the phone with Steve Fleischman. One more conversation like this and I doubt he will be able to walk, or feed himself, or really do anything unassisted. I was brutal. And now, of course, I am wishing I had said other, even nastier things.

Our court date, you see, is the week after next, and poor poor Steve Fleischman doesn't want to "waste his time."

Steve, I wave my little monkey ass at you.

You know what I wish?

I wish they still showed Peewee's Playhouse on television.

Also. Will's dad (who I shall from now on refer to as Stephen, because that is his name) is going to be in San Diego in two weeks and will be stopping in to see us for a day or two. I suppose this means I will have to eventually dust and vacuum.

And finally, it would be really nice if the internet could stop being so boring.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I've always known him.

In January it will be six years since I met Will. It's such a cliche, but I feel as though I've known him my whole life. In a way, I guess I have. When we met I was 19 and was slowly changing and evolving; I didn't know where I was going or who I would turn out to be. I discovered the person I am now with him.

I often forget that there was a period in these last 6 years when we were not together. From June of 2000 to April of 2002 we lived apart. For a large portion of that time we were broken up; I couldn't tell you what portion, precisely, since it sort of went off-on-off-on-on-off-yuck-on-I don't know. We tried everything from maintaining a long-distance relationship to seeing other people to not speaking. None of it worked. We took turns not believing it, and were probably even right to do so, but frankly I think we just had to be together. Maybe not at the time, but ultimately.

We're not married, though I have a piece of paper somewhere that says we are. Nevermind. (Sorry, Mindi. Someday, I promise.) Most of the couples I know in our age range are married or engaged, but have been together for a lot less time than we have. There is nothing wrong with this, I just find it interesting. Occasionally I get annoyed that we haven't gotten married yet, but mostly I don't care. Will might dispute that claim, I don't know.

A few things bother me. The big one is when people assume that married couples are closer or have a more developed relationship than ours. Balls to that. All couples are different. (Related to this is when well-meaning people try to give me relationship advice.)

I hope nobody was expecting me to have a point.

Oh! You know what else bothers me? The idea that friends should come before boyfriends. My friends don't come before Will. No one comes before Will. He is as important to me as I am. He is my best friend, and my partner, and my puppy. I would never willingly fuck over a girl friend because of him, or a boy friend for that matter, but he is it for me.

That could stand to be repeated: Will is it for me.

Thank you. I did have a point after all.

...thinkin' about the man

Warren Zevon passed away in his sleep yesterday after being diagnosed last year with terminal lung cancer.

The saddest and most beautiful thing I have ever read about death is from By The Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder, after Laura's bulldog Jack dies:

"Don't cry, Laura," Pa said. "He has gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds."

"Truly, Pa?" Laura managed to ask.

"Good dogs have their reward, Laura," Pa told her.

Perhaps, in the Happy Hunting Grounds, Jack was running gaily in the wind over some high prairie, as he used to run over the beautiful wild prairies of Indian Territory. Perhaps at last he was catching a jack rabbit. He had tried so often to catch one of those long-eared, long-legged rabbits and never could.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Crazy Monkey Woman

(That is the title of a Pietasters song. The song is, obviously, about me.)

So I haven't been around much this week. I know that you have all noticed, because you left so many comments asking me where I was and why I wasn't blogging. [meaningful glare]

The reason for my absence is that I was performing labor in exchange for money. I think civilized people refer to this as "work." As I am uncivilized, I will refer to it as "extortion." There is no reasoning behind this word choice. Jenn works for a catering company, and I was their extra kitchen help this week. I think the technical term might be either "prep cook" or "whipping boy." I'm not sure because I have never done either professionally before. It was rather grueling extortion, as I had to leave the house by 7:00 each morning and did not get home until after 5:00. Also I was on my feet all day and chopping things is not as easy on the shoulders as I had thought. As a result, I was pretty much jelly at the end of each day, to the point that Will actually made dinner. Not that he isn't capable of doing so, just that it is usually my task. I extorted Wednesday through Saturday, which means that I missed a large chunk of my usual weekend sloth. We made up for it by having the Best (rest of the) Weekend Ever.

Last night Jenn came over, bringing supplies for supper. She cooked dumplings and we had them with some kim chi. Then she and Will drank beer and we all listened to music for hours. A vast majority of it was ska, which was nice because we rarely listen to any of our reasonably large collection anymore. After Jenn left and Will went to bed I caught up on 4 days' worth of WD posts. YIKES. That was quite a task. There was a great moment when Beth and I were the only two people online, and we were going to have sex, but there was an anonymous lurker and we were concerned that It might watch.

Speaking of the WD...No. Nevermind.

This afternoon Will and I had the following exchange after eating yummy homemade sushi (really maki, but nevermind):

Will: I do wish I had Matty's metabolism...
Annika: Well, you've got a foot on him, anyway.
Will: Yes, and in more than one place!
Hee. I miss that short, yellow-haired, ugly motherfucker. He never writes. (I think I can accept his illiteracy as an excuse, but it is wearing thin.)

And finally, I don't know if she reads this, but tomorrow is Rian's birthday. Love you, muffin.