Monday, May 26, 2008

Scene from Sunday

Catholic mass at D's church, during the communion.

Me: "So what happens if anybody, like, drops the wafer or the glass or something?"
D: "Have you ever seen Monsters, Inc.?"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Woo Hoo

I'd been having a nasty week. First off, the optometrist said my corneas had some inclusion thingies that would turn into ulcers if I didn't take a break from contacts and wear my stratchy old glasses that I can't even read with. Then, while wearing said glasses (I think I sense a connection here) I slammed my finger in the car door. Shut and latched, folks. It hurt. Interesting side note - I actually went into shock from the pain: sweating profusely, dizzy, nauseated, white as a sheet. But I managed to drive myself to Walgreens and get a band-aid, then go interview my mental committal clients before going home and getting some ice. Finally, when at the hearing the next day on those mental committals, I was told one of them probably had Hepatitus A and I should wash my hands and call back later to see if I needed interglobin.

As many of you already know, I'm already having a rather stressful time with having way too many projects. As a matter of fact, I laugh when I see those wedding shows on TV with some Bridezilla complaining that the wedding has gotten her stress level "up to a nine" - I use wedding planning as the fun to distract me from the rest of the stuff; the only stress involved there is meeting deadlines to get things done so I don't have to walk down the aisle in my underwear or something.

No, my biggest two stressors have been handling my Dad's estate and . . . moving. We were told in April that the college had decided to divest itself of all non-contiguous property, including the "faculty housing" house we're living in. We are to move out when our lease was up at the end of June. Do the math: Wedding July 26th, moving June 30th. Good luck with that. In college, this wouldn't have been a problem. I could move an apartment and set it up again in a single day, without renting a moving van. With all the furniture that comes with being a grown-up, however, this becomes a two-month ordeal between packing, moving, and unpacking. Add that to wedding planning, and you get insanity.

As far as the estate goes, I've had to battle one of my siblings on everything. Basically, my dad had more debts than assets which means the lot has to be liquidated, though we can use some of the proceeds to pay for the funeral and headstone. There are many sub-issues, but it all comes down to that. This sibling has accused me of not knowing the law, of trying to liquidate the stuff only because I'm going to charge some outrageous legal fee (and so I'm trying to hock precious memories for my own filthy lucre), of being on the creditor's "side" because I was actually contemplating notifying them instead of adopting the "we can wait and see if they figure out he's dead and whether they want to bother to come after his stuff" approach. IMHO, considering the two major creditors are the IRS and Medicaid, that's a really, really stupid idea. This sibling has threatened to turn in ethics complaints against my law license, has libeled me to the rest of the family and to anyone from the legal profession who will listen, and has said some things that are beyond vicious. Worst of all, it's like negative campaigning: when enough of that sh*t gets repeated, people start to believe there's a grain of truth at the bottom of it somewhere.


My luck appears to be changing. As of Wednesday:

1) I didn't actually break my finger (Woo Hoo). Now, if I can just save the fingernail for the wedding. Yep, I'm superficial like that. I want a nice manicure.

2) I don't have Hep-A, the client's tests were negative.

3) My other two siblings have had a recent eye-opening experience with the troublemaking one, which combined with the fact that I personally sprang for an unbiased opinion from outside counsel expert in estate law, has convinced them that maybe I've been telling the truth about this stuff and actually might know a thing or two about the law from those three years at law school. They're now in agreement with me that we have to get the stuff sold and finish this out. It's their opinion that if any sibling doesn't agree, I get to dump all the job of doing it on them along with all the stuff. All I'd have to do is find an iron-clad way to hand it off so I'm not liable for my sibling's screw-ups, and I'm out of it. (Presuming that's possible. I'm going to consult with the estate expert to ensure I don't get screwed). NOTE: Yes, I'm aware I can use the courts to enforce the right to get the stuff and sell it. However, the estate is tiny and there are no probatable assets, so the advantages of filing and using the court's power are probably outweighed by the time and cost of probate. Unless I can't hand it off without residual liability. Then 'public' opinion be damned, I'm keeping the job and going through the courts.

4) D spoke with the college, and they've decided to give us an additional year renting the house. WE DON'T HAVE TO MOVE.

So it seems that other than a meeting scheduled for Monday with all my siblings and whatever comes out of that, I might have culled my non-work tasks down to planning the wedding and other stress-free stuff.

Woo hoo!!! (Knocks on wood a gagillion times to keep this from all falling through). Speaking of wedding - would any theater friends kindly respond to my opinion poll? And thanks, Stef, for doing so - you will be getting an invite of one variety or the other. Email me your new address, I'm so sorry I couldn't help you move (see above for why).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Opinions please

This is really mostly for my friends: you know we've managed to get a date set (July 26th) for the wedding, and are in the middle of planning. My biggest frustration is the usual one - I want to have way more people than I can afford.

Basically, D's family has about a gagillion people, so the family guest list for his side alone is at a hundred and counting. I've also got a bunch of relatives that I'm obliged to invite, though that number will be closer to 50 or so. Because we're not twenty-somethings, we've got to pay for this shindig ourselves, and we can't afford to go into hock like they do on all those tv shows. So at ten to twenty bucks a head, if I'm very frugal with the menu, that means at best we can afford two hundred people or so. If I were wise, I'd probably go closer to 150, but I'm going to stretch it to 200 regardless. Anyway - if you do the math: that leaves comparatively little room for all the theater people I actually want to invite.

Last night I was at a Dreamwell board meeting, and was asked about the planning and the date. I gave them the status rundown and mentioned that I was going to invite as many people as I could, given the money dilemma. Matt suggested that I not worry so much about the dinners - invite who I can to do the full buffet thing, but send out a second group of invites to the rest for the drinking afterward. Everyone else concurred, saying that none of my friends would mind, and besides, theater's all about the drinking after the show.

Of course, this breaks like 100 iron-clad rules of etiquette that you see on all the wedding sites. I know I've seen "Dear Abby"-type letters complaining about the gall of the bride relegating some of her guests to second-class status. So it had never occurred to me as a real, viable option. Then again, I am breaking many rules anyway: I don't have "colors," I'm making my own cake/invites/decorations/flowers, I'm having an "open mike" reception where we can all sing away to our hearts content, and I really don't care what my wedding party wears so long as they like how they look and are roughly in the same color (which I had them choose by vote - black won out as being the easiest because you don't have to worry about shades and matching).

So what do you think - would anyone be offended if I invite as many people as I can pay for to the whole thing, but also invite a slew of people to the drinking part only? Would anyone actually prefer to have a drinks-only invite for logistics purposes or for any other reason? My thoughts: I'm very excited about the idea of actually being able to invite everybody I'd love to party with, but I really wouldn't want anyone to feel hurt or slighted because they didn't get the whole package. Please, please, if you're in the group of people I've acted with over the years, leave a comment and let me know your feelings.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Meme

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations

American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian: a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo

A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons

The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables

The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince

The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People's History of the United States: 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake: a novel
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Meme shamelessly stolen from Kris over at Gradual Dazzle.