One year

So it’s been about a year of blogging now. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but a lot has happened since I started. I’m pretty happy with how it’s gone. It’s been a nice way to get some thoughts out into the universe, but it’s been even nicer to hear from all of you. I mean that.

I have a few things to say before closing out this year.  One, I was at the grocery store yesterday buying some wine and was carded.  Fine.  But then the clerk asked the person with me for their ID, as well.  Why, I asked.  “We card everyone in the party,” was the answer.  Putting aside the fact that we were hardly a “party,” that we were both in our 30s and I was the one buying the booze, what kind of damn policy is this?  It’s a Wisconsin grocery store.  It was a box of wine.  If I had had a young child with me would I have not been allowed to make the purchase?  I know this woman was just trying to do her job, but the inanity of it has left me crazy for the past 20 hours.  Two, I would really like to be able to wink by this time next year.  I think it’s really so great when people wink that I want to be part of that world.  Three, I am really looking forward to dinner with Heather and Dale tonight.  I would like to see them more frequently.  They’re great friends.  Four, I’m sad that my relationship with my dad is so crappy, but I really don’t want to spend my whole life dwelling on it and hurting about it so much.  Five, I’m glad I rejoined the gym.  The color scheme alone is good for my health.  Six, I need to see about 100 movies in the next week and why is Frost/Nixon not here yet?  Madison is a pretty damn moviegoing town and I don’t like being treated like this.  Seven, I think I already miss Westgate theaters though I can’t believe they lasted as long as they did. 

Lastly, tomorrow is my second annual NYE party and I think it should be pretty fun again. For those of you coming, I look forward to seeing you. For those of you who aren’t going to make it, I’ll wish you a very happy new year now. I hope 2009 is a great year for all of us.  Bring it on.


18 Responses to “One year”

  1. 1 Sarayu December 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    One, carding everyone in the party? What? Right- because if you’re buying alcohol for minors, you’d definitely bring them into the store with you. Two, I’d like the be able to raise my right eyebrow. I’ve given up on winking. Three, I wish I was having with all of you. Four, I’m sorry about your Dad and I love you so much. Five, yeah for the gym, I’m going right now! Six, Frost/ Nixon is the best thing ever, and seven, I don’t even know what to say.

    Love you!!!

  2. 2 kateandgracie December 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks, babe. May I also just let out a last complaint about this union website I’ve gotten myself into? You know, be careful what you say you will take on because just because you are willing to try to fix something that is very broken and you do a fairly decent job at it does not mean that you won’t get hassled way more than you get thanked. Thank you very much. The end.

  3. 3 Sarayu December 30, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    That is exactly why I don’t offer to fix things anymore. Wait, that’s a lie. I’m constantly trying to fix people and I generally get nothing but a lot more drama in return. Dammit, when will I learn?

  4. 4 Kristin December 30, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I can’t wait to see Frost/Nixon, I wish I could be at your NYE party and let me just say after having just spent a full week with my mother and sister, I am convinced that things will just never be right with both of those relationships. Ugh. I feel your pain.

    Also, do not, under any circumstances see Benjamin Button. Crap-tastic. Except maybe 20 minutes towards to end when he is just absolutely gorgeous.

  5. 5 kateandgracie December 31, 2008 at 10:50 am


    Thanks for the tip. Seriously. I’m not generally feeling 3 hour movies, but was tempted. No longer thanks to megatipster Feehead!

  6. 6 Kayt January 2, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Sorry about the Dad relationship.I suspect that we’ve had parallel strong mothers and both have been short-changed in the dad department since childhood but weren’t close for the years when we really came to realize it.

    I don’t think you knew that I cut off contact with my father for about 3 years of high school, with only very short arranged visits on my terms, which continued into my college years a bit.

    It’s taken a lot of distance, a summer of cancer, my life in Japan and a rather emotionally brutal week when he came out here, to really create a solid relationship. I was glad he came here two years ago, but it took me a long time to recover and I’ve never written about it because it still brings me to tears. In the middle of the week he’d admited that he had two reasons for coming to Japan: to see if he’d fucked up my life and to find out if I hated him…which I admit took a lot.. and while he could see I wasn’t fucked-up, he wasn’t sure about the hate. Nothing like telling your dad, “You weren’t a bad father, you just weren’t good one…and I’ve learned to love the dad I have and stop wishing for a better one.”

    It took a lot of letting go to love him again in the face of the fact that he’d been, as long as I’d ever known him, a functioning alcoholic…and that the loss of my mother, and indeed the loss of me for many years, hadn’t changed that. When he was here he drank everyday.

    He’s been sober for more than a year, but he waited 4 months to tell me because he was afraid it wouldn’t last, that he’d fuck that up too.

    I hope you reach a point where you can be free of the pain of a bad dad relationship. I feel lucky that things have gotten better with my dad, but it got better after I’d given up hope and let a lot of baggage go, for my own sanity….and I’m still glad I got rid of that baggage.

  7. 7 kateandgracie January 3, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Thank you for writing that, Kayt. You have no idea how helpful that is to hear. I didn’t know that you’d stopped having a relationship with your dad but, for your sake, it sounds like it was probably one of the best decisions you could have ever made.

    I’m trying to get to a place of peace and acceptance but I think that before I can really do that, I need to let him go for awhile. I have said that before, but I always cave because the thought of no relationship is really painful and makes me feel all kinds of guilt. But I’m really sick of the way we are together. I don’t like myself when I talk to him (he’s in Ohio now — my mom having decided to get the pumpkin back in 1999). I have so much anger and sadness and it just comes spilling out. Additionally, I’m not crazy about him screaming at me about any number of things. I won’t get into it, but it’s not pretty and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

    So, for now I guess, I’m going to try to stick to my resolution and put my relationship with him on the back burner while I figure out if I’m capable of having something resembling a healthy relationship with him. This means, I think, lots of space and letting go of some anger and guilt and fear.

    In the meantime, I’m going to try to concentrate on thinking about how many good things I have in my life, including a wonderful, loving, funny, beautiful mom. I need to realize how lucky I really am in that department. And many others.

    Happy new year, lovelies.

  8. 8 gracieandkate January 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Also, if anyone’s interested, I have a new blog at where I’ve posted pictures. One of my resolutions this year is to try to carry a camera with me wherever I go. And I love digital photography because, for someone like me, it takes a lot of the anxiety out of taking pics. I’m sure there are billions of so-called purists who shun me for this love and that’s ok. But with film, I get scared. I’m not very good at it and I get scared to screw up — I get scared to take pictures for fear they’re out of focus and then I get scared to develop them for fear they suck and I’m wasting my money. Digital takes all that away and lets me just try different things and see what works without so much fear. Anyway, but then there’s the dilemma of what to do with all of those pics. I do print a lot of them, but mostly when I want to either frame them for me or others. I put a lot on snapfish or flickr and keep tons on my computer…but I thought it might be nice to share more of them. So, gracieandkate is a place for pictures. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

  9. 9 Kayt January 3, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I actually ran into your dad a few times when I was studying Japanese, on study breaks at a bookstore-based coffee shop.

    When my dad came to Japan, for a week, and stayed with me, it was the first time I’d spent more than 5 hours with him since I was, oh, 15…and that includes the summer he battled throat cancer. I saw him weekly during the cancer, and got a lot of family questions answered, but nothing more than a night at a time.

    Before he came out here we’d had a few long, positive, exchanges via email. He’d proposed coming for two weeks I said one week would make sense, two would make me crazy.

    Before he came I wondered if I had exaggerated his flaws in some sort of teenaged drama…and when he came I realized that, no, I hadn’t. In fact I’d down played them so it would hurt less..but that I now had the ability to say “This is who you’ve been to me, this is how it hurt.” he’d also had to reach a point where he could talk and listen. True, when he was here I woke up at 7AM every morning and went and did hot yoga so I could get through the day without screaming and crying.

    I’d say let go of what you can. I felt like a cruel daughter for many years, a heavy thing for a teenager to feel, but now I can say I have a relationship with my dad because I want one with the person who is my dad…not just because I feel an obligation to the title of dad.

  10. 10 gracieandkate January 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I can very much empathize with the idea of trying to downplay problems so that it would hurt less. I feel like I’ve spent so much time defending him and then holding in anger at him for not realizing the position he had put me in and how much more difficult he has made everything. I think he has some fairly serious mental health issues that he finally looked into after years. But then he stopped taking his medication. He has said he has started again, but I need time.

    I cannot imagine having him stay with me for one week, much less two. He has stayed with me for a few days from time to time and it’s been difficult. I hope that we can do it again someday, but that day is not today.

  11. 11 Heather January 5, 2009 at 11:37 am

    My message just got erased, but basically i want to say that i’m proud of you for putting your dad on the backburner. he is a toughie, and one that does not like to be on the backburner, so i know it will be tough, but hopefully it will bring you some peace. To 2009!

  12. 12 gwendolyngarden January 5, 2009 at 11:58 am

    What a great party. I’m so glad I got to ring in the new year with you again… it was an absolute BLAST!


  13. 13 gracieandkate January 5, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I am in a FOUL mood. I don’t think it’s awesome to come into work to find an email from a Union member telling the Union president that he isn’t doing his job because information is posted on the website (the one I spent oodles of hours creating and improving) instead of being emailed to her. She has time to write mean emails and to read email, but not time to check the website. Ridiculous. And just fucking rude. Why are people sometimes such total asses?

    And I’m also annoyed because I HAVE to finish this brief today in response to a garbage brief written by a pro se defendant who claims he was prosecuted because he’s black, not because he attempted to kill his ex-girlfriend. But I can’t work on it because I have to prepare for a moot court that I didn’t receive the briefs on until today. And I also just found out that after four years of working here, I am still at the bottom of the list in seniority as to a window office because my unit counts State service time, not just time at DOJ. So while I have been here longer than others, because my clerkships were federal and not state, I remain in the dark for an indeterminate amount of time. Not great news to learn in January.

  14. 14 gracieandkate January 6, 2009 at 6:58 am

    My neck hurts and I don’t enjoy leaving work when it’s dark and getting to work when it’s dark. Esp when there’s no coffee. I have a new post coming about some movies, but didn’t feel like I could leave the comments at 13.

  15. 15 Sara H January 6, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Here’s hoping Tuesday is better?

    And that window business is bogus.

  16. 16 gracieandkate January 6, 2009 at 9:44 am

    No kidding! Thanks for saying so. I don’t like to sound like a whining ass, but I guess I will. This is ridic. Esp after when I started over four years ago, my boss was like, “It’ll probably just be a couple of days until you window it up.”

    Also, holy bad fantasy football season for me, eh? I hope that doesn’t mean I get kicked out of the league.

  17. 17 Sarayu January 6, 2009 at 11:51 am

    The window thing is just offensive. I hate when stupid rules enforce a stupid lack of fairness. Just wrong.

    I hope today is a bit better. Although, what’s this about no coffee? That’s just cruel.

  18. 18 Sara H January 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I am severely lacking on sending out a recap email. What really gets me as that our top 2 autopicked in the draft! Say what? Anyway, it was your first time. Next year, you’ll have maven status.

    And of course you are not kicked out. 🙂

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December 2008

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