Posted by: Trigger | 18 June, 2008

It goes on and on and on and on.

La la la la, let’s all just pretend that I don’t do this whole, “Oh hi, I’m back” followed by “I’m not going to post for a long time” followed by “It’s me again!” And so on, and so forth.

But I am back again.


Things were wild there for a bit. I have several posts to write. I’ll start with this one.

I know that Laurel says she went to the best bachelorette party ever, but I beg to differ. (Hi Laurel! You’re sassy and wonderful and I totally agree with your Love/Hate list re. bachelorette parties!)

Here’s how I’m staking my claim for best bachelorette party ever. The last weekend in May (5/31, see previous post), I actually threw my dear friend THE BEST BACHELORETTE PARTY EVER (BBPE). Several people even proclaimed it such during that night. (And I didn’t even have to pay them money to do so!) Although, I don’t doubt that Laurel’s BBPE was also a top-notch set of festivities.

To be honest, It didn’t start off so hot. I was driving north to the party locale (Seattle) that Saturday morning, when I got a phone call from my friend, Bridesmaid #2. She informed me that not only had the bride-to-be’s dog escaped from her home, but he was also hit by a car. And he died. SO SAD!

The wheels were too far in motion to cancel at that point (especially my wheels, which by then were in motion about 145 mi from my home). So the show had to go on! We obviously avoided the topic around the bachelorette, and instead, focused on Fun! Happy! Things!

Side note: Now, this might make me a bad person, but throughout the day & night, when something would go awry and someone would almost get hurt (like me, falling off a chair while hanging lights), or something would come close to breaking (like one of two blenders constantly making tasty beverages) – the B#2 would say, “Hey, be careful, we’ve already got one dead dog!”

If you can’t laugh…right?

I’m going to hell.

Anyway, earlier in the week, I got some stuff at Party Central or a similarly named trashy strip mall store that I had to drive 30 min to, because Portland proper is all Independent Business and what not, which most times I adore, but not when I want bulk plastic silverware and paper plates. (HELLO, RUN ON SENTENCE!) At the party store, I found all sorts of things to help pull off the Caribbean theme: gold plastic silverware (I promise it wasn’t tacky looking), burnished gold plates and cups, deep gold tablecloths, “Caribbean blue” plates and cups (that’s even what the packaging said!). And some disposable blue margarita glasses, so we weren’t kickin’ it plastic cup style. I also go some really neat globe lights, and a ton of tea lights, so we had sultry lighting. And then I bought some leis that were made with neat flowers that worked really well to decorate with! Oh, and a fish net, that I set out on top of one of the tables. Anyway, it looked way less silly and amateur than I feared, and instead it looked, actually, pretty cool.

So the drinks were good. And the food was good (fresh fruit salad, Cuban bean sandwhich dealies, shrimp skewers, mango salsa and pico de gallo and my favorite tortilla chips, the best shrimp dip ever – worthy of it’s own acronym BSDE – I think that’s most of it). The panty game went really well. She guess which gift was from me just by the way it was wrapped. I guess I’m THAT obvious! Despite my apparently overtly Trigger wrapping foible (I thought the silver wrapping paper, with multi-colored polka dot fabric ribbon was cute, not a dead giveaway!), everyone had fun with this little game.

Around 8:30, our transportation showed up. It was a big black van driven by Tom the Driver. Tom the Driver simply MADE the night. 13 girls, all dressed up, and already most of the way to drunk – it’s like a middle aged man’s fantasy! I had made a cd chock full of singles I knew would be crowd pleasers, and when we got in the van, we were told that the cd player was not in working order. No matter, we chose the next best radio station for the trip to Havana Social Club in Capitol Hill.

As we got out of the van, Tom the Driver asked me how long we would be in the bar. “A couple of hours? Maybe longer? Is that okay?” I furtively threw out there.

“Oh sure, yeah, no problem. I was just thinking I’d go back to garage and get a van with a working CD player. If that’s alright?” he replied.

“You rock! Thanks, Tom!” cried our fleet of click-clacking girls as we headed to our first destination.

I’d made the bachelorette scavenger hunt list purposefully a bit of a stretch for what I thought she’d be willing to do. Because hey, if you don’t act silly at your bachelorette party, then when can you? But she, dead dog and all, brought her A game. And was charming the pants off all the fellas in the bar, straight, gay, hipster, old man – all of ’em. If I weren’t anonymous on here, I would totally show you the photos, because they are priceless!!!

We stayed there for about three hours. And five drinks. You guys, I rarely drink more than one glass of wine, let alone FIVE HARD ALCOHOL CONTAINING DRINKS. For drunkies, we were all in good spirits and totally in control. Not a sloppy moment in sight. We called Tom the Driver, to let him know we were ready to go somewhere else, and he met us right in front of the bar, BBPE Mix blaring. I believe the opening track was “Last Dance” by Donna Summer. And it was blaring. Tom was diggin’ it.

When the girls would get extra into a song (say, Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater” or Biz Markie’s “Say I’m Just a Friend”), Tom would CRANK IT UP, without any request to do so. He just GOT THE VIBE OF THE NIGHT.

At the second bar of the night, one of the more persuasive (read: slutty, and I say that with love) of the group somehow got us in, at the front of the 1/2 block long line, without paying the $20 cover. Which is good for multiple reasons, not least of which, I’m a stubborn Portlander who believes there’s something wrong with paying to go drink somewhere. Ever. There’s a good brewery across the street from my house, and another three within a 5 minute walking distance, where they let you drink for just the cost of the beer, I DON’T PAY COVERS. But that’s not the point. The point is, we got in free.

So then we kind of wandered our drunk selves around, but it was packed, and soon we were up on the roof deck, and it was nice, but the bride to be wanted a cheeseburger. And who are we to go against that? So we called Tom again, and he picked us up. This time blaring the oh-so-classy, always-a-hit-with-drunk-girls, “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” by Big & Rich. Tom the Driver was also enjoying this little gem, incidentally.

We tried to make our way to the famed Seattle drive in burger establishment, “Dick’s Drive In Restaurant” – but we had stayed out just a bit too late. Dick’s was closed. Next best? The McDonald’s drive in on the way to our sleeping arrangements. Tom the Driver was a good sport, and somehow, all of us somewhere between 7 and 10 drinks deep for the night, we were able to coherently gather orders for the whole van, with me taking notes and clearly ordering all of our tasty late night treats. Plus a Big & Tasty, hold the mayo, for Tom the Driver. Just because we liked him.

Food in hand, we finished the drive back to the house where we all crashed. As we were driving the last block and a half home, the final song of the BBPE Mix came on. Muttering a few words, and without most of the car’s riders noticing, Tom the Driver turned to me and said, “Is it okay if I just drive around the block a few more times?”

I just nodded. It was apparent no one in the van would even notice. Around me, 13 twentysomething young women, all of us there for each other through thick and thin, were singing their hearts out. Through one friend’s tragic death, and others moving far too far away; through break ups, and first real loves; through graduation, job searches, graduate programs, and now weddings. We’ve got something really special.

We might have had slight hangovers the next morning, but it was nothing a shower and some coffee & krispy kremes didn’t fix. And we had one heck of a night, the BBPE. The end.

Posted by: Trigger | 30 May, 2008

Maneater, make him work hard…

Well, freaders. I suck at keeping up on this thing (“this thing” = my blog, who the heck am I?) during hectic life times.

It’s been busy around these parts. Not a lot of blogging time. Not even a lot of blog reading time! Most of my free computer time has been spent a) keeping up with Mission: Put Together, and b) emailing about the bachelorette party I’m planning. Which is tomorrow.

That’s right, tomorrow, bright and early, I’m headed to points north (i.e. Seattle, WA) to throw one heck of a bachelorette party. We’re less of a “go out, get wasted because it’s your last night of freedom” and more of a “go out, get wasted because you’re doing something really cool and your friends are happy for you” type of crowd. So it’ll be fun, and not very raunchy, and that’s just fine by me.

We’ve got a table reserved at this place, “Havana Social Club.” It’s in a very hip part of Seattle, and I hear that it’s full of hip, beautiful people. But not in a trashy meat market sort of way, which is good. This club was the basis for all of my plans for the evening…because after it was decided we would go there, and given that the bride to be is all parts classy and no parts trashy, we’re making the whole vibe of the night a sort of sultry, swanky 1950s Cuban Social Club/Resorty type theme. I’ve set up a pre-party at a friend’s place up there, where I’ll be serving rum based cocktails and the Jamaican beer Red Stripe (closest I could find to Cuban beer), tapas involving shrimp and lime and mangos and etc. I’ve got deep gold and Caribbean plates and utensils, and serving dishes in bright oranges and reds and blues and greens. We’ll be lighting tons of candles around, and I have hibiscus and other tropical flowers to surround some of the bowls and etc with, as some simple decorations. Also, we’ll have some fresh birds of paradise and hibiscus, and what have you. Then there’s some old fashioned globe lights, and we’ll keep the regular lighting off – so it’ll be deep and dark. And I’ve picked out about 3 hours worth of Caribbean music – mostly Cuban, although I had to branch out to a little bit of other stuff because I don’t have more than 2 albums of Cuban stuff.

For fun times besides the food and adult beverages, we’ll just have one simple “game.” Everyone is supposed to bring a wrapped pair of undies – no suggested price range, no direction at all, just a pair that they want the bride to have. They can be silly, cute, funny, sassy, sexy, whatever! And this should be wrapped with no name on it. The bachelorette will open them, and guess who gave her which pair. Just a really fun way to give our friend some fun things to add to her “boudoir” and also break some of the ice with people who don’t know each other.

The only other “game” is a list of things that the bride is supposed to try to accomplish by the end of the night, to be documented on camera. Some of my favorite examples are:

-Get a shot and lead all your friends in prayer before drinking it

-Find a cute guy and ask him to practice walking down the aisle with you

-Find the cheesiest guy in the place, and ask him if he’s going to get lucky tonight

Anyway, I’ve got two/two and half paintin’ the town red outfits packed already, and my carpool friend is ready to go at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, and then – paaaartay!

Hope y’all have nice weekends as well. ūüôā

Posted by: Trigger | 19 May, 2008

Me and 72,000+ of my closest friends

H y’all. It was a great weekend here. I’ll have to write more about some fun things that transpired at another time (and also, I seem to recall having promised a story about a crazy girl…it’s still sitting in my drafts folder, waiting to be finished, so I will eventually make good on that).

I have sort of purposefully stayed pretty politically neutral here. Mostly because I’m pretty fervently situated in my various beliefs, after spending lots of time developing those ideas which I hold dear. I am, however, open to hearing new opinions and ideas, I’ve just found that I keep coming back to mine.

That being said, I’ve been pretty undecided as to how to cast my vote this primary season. For those of you who have already voted, sorry. But here in Oregon, our ballots aren’t due until tomorrow night (we vote by mail, a really funky yet awesome system). I have had my ballot for over two weeks, and I had filled in most everything EXCEPT my choice for Democratic presidential nominee. I JUST COULDN’T DECIDE.

I mean, my man, Edwards (he loves the poor! and the uninsured/underinsured! and I just heart him in all his populist glory) has been out for a while. So I pouted. I know he’s the most boring one (on paper: lawyer, white, wealthy – now not in his early years, beautiful family) who was in the race, but I just couldn’t agree more with his policies. Both Clinton AND Obama have almost identical policies, and they’re both more moderate that Edwards, so to me, it was a tough call.

This is all just an intro to say that I, by no means, suffer from Obamamania and am not at risk for fainting or any other such Obama-induced nonsensical behavior. Clinton and Obama both have solid, well-thought out policies that are slightly less progressive than I am. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

I did, in the end, cast my vote for Barack Obama. And I’m happy with that. It was, however, a tough decision to make.

Yesterday, after having already voted, I still took the time to go out and see Obama’s last main Portland based primary rally. And hooo boy! I did not expect what was about to happen.

We left my house, approximately three miles from the location where the event was staged, and did a mix of public transportation (by streetcar! woot woot) and hoofing it to the waterfront. In total, we spent 3 hours winding our way through downtown in a line 3-5 people wide, stretching for at least 10 blocks. It was a busy place, but everyone behaved really well.

We listened to Obama speak, which was a great, but not entirely surprising campaign speech. He sounded pretty focused on the general election at this point. Nothing terribly exciting came of it other than the fact that this little campaign event actually was record breaking.

It turns, out, I was standing in a crowd of more than 70,000 people – with some estimates as high as 75,000.

(photos from Time online, and

One in fifty Oregonians crowded the lawn and surrounding streets of Waterfront Park, according to a blog affiliated with the Washington Post.

I simply mean this to say the following: love him, hate him, take or leave him – people are excited about Barack Obama. And beyond that, if someone can get people this excited, this engaged in politics? I think that’s a good thing. Vote for him, vote against him, vote Democratic, vote Republican, vote Independent. Just vote. That’s my point.

(I know most of you have already cast your primary ballots. If so, let’s hope this can be an inspiration to keep involved, through the general election, whatever your political leanings or affiliations might be.)

Posted by: Trigger | 14 May, 2008

The Twins, pt 1

Technically, I’m studying. If anyone asks.

Today I’m home from work. Using vacation time to study. If I didn’t have so dang much vacay, I would be pissed to use it for this. Instead, given that I could take 4 weeks of paid leave at this point, I will only be pissed that I have to study at all, especially since today’s goal is organic chemistry domination. I have a chem minor, but it’s not entirely apparent that is the case, from the ridiculous amount of chemistry I have forgotten since undergrad. Pshaw.

Instead of talking about booooring chemistry, let’s talk about something fun and exciting and happy, instead. Yay!

Today, the wee youngin’s of my family turn 15. That’s right, BoyTwin and GirlTwin are old enough to get a driver’s permit. This is ridiculous, that they are old enough to be able to say that.

When my mom was pregnant for the fourth time, I had endured 5.5 long years of being the only sister to two very different, but very male, siblings. As people asked me what I would prefer the baby be – boy or girl – I quickly answered “girl!” followed by a more p.c. “but a brother would be okay, too.” As the pregnancy progressed, my mom kept measuring large for the gestational age – which she had done with both of my brothers, as well (my mom’s pretty much fertile myrtle – she has big, healthy kids!), so she was convinced this was another baby boy. Secretly, I was a little bit bummed.¬†

When her larger than normal belly size persisted, her OB requested a second ultrasound to check for twins. No one had seen anything on her initial scan, but the OB just wanted to double check. My mom assured him, this was just another big boy, but she played along, and scheduled the ultrasound for a time when the whole family (Dad, BigCityBrother, CollegeBrother and myself) could be there. Just in case.

Everyone was excited, the day of the scan. We drove the hour to her doctor (at the time, my podunk town did not have anyone practicing Ob/Gyn), chattering away, excited to see the new little person. Even CollegeBrother, at 5, was excited – he brought dinosaurs with him to stay entertained, but as the ultrasound got underway, he paid little attention to his toys and was awestruck seeing the head, feet, arms and more of his baby brother or sister. The baby we saw looked great, and all was developing normally. The ultrasound tech wrapped up her scan, announcing “Alright, I’m just going to slide over and check your kidneys now.”

My dad asked, “So there’s just one baby in there?”

“Yep, one healthy little baby” she answered.

We were all fine with that, not surprised in the least to hear that it was just one (potentially large) baby. 

As she rolled her wand to the side, she squeaked a little bit, and exclaimed, “Oh MY! There’s another baby in here!”

“You’re kidding,” was all my dad said.

“Oh no I’m not, LOOK! Baby number one,” she quickly moved her wand again, “and baby number two. Number one, number two. Number one, number two,” she said, in what I will always recall was entirely reminiscent of Wayne’s World (Wayne, crouched over Cassandra: “Camera one, camera two, camera one, camera two.” Anybody?).

“YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!” was something very similar to my response.

“You can only have one at a time. Two is against the rules,” declared five year old CollegeBrother, plopping down with sudden complete and entire attention on his dinosaurs.

“Woah” said my mom.

The news took a while to settle in. But we were very happy, in general. My mom was healthy. The babies were healthy. CollegeBrother eventually came around, to at least indifference toward the twins, which was definitely an improvement over complete opposition.

My parents were great. We all had input into what names would be used. We are all named using one unique name, and one family name (although, for most, the family name is in the middle – I’m the only one with a family name for a first name). We didn’t know the sexes of the babies, so we had to come up with two boy names, and two girl names. The exact combos would be decided based on what the little ones were like when we actually met them.

The “do you want a boy or a girl” question morphed into a more complicated one, although my mother’s answer remained ever the same – “I don’t care if it’s two boys, two girls, one of each – I just want a blue eyed baby!” Her response never failed to elicit a laugh, but it was a fair request on her part. All three of the older kids look unequivocally like our father, brunette, brown eyed (although mine have since turned pretty hazel), our face shapes so much like him – all my mother wanted to have was one child with her aqua blue eyes (they really are stunning, I must say).¬†

Her pregnancy continued, fairly straightforward. In her second trimester, we older kids awoke one morning to the neighbor down the street cooking our breakfast. In the middle of the night, my mom had felt strong and rhythmic contractions, and had gone to the hospital an hour away in hopes of stopping the labor. It was way too soon to be delivering these little guys, and we had our first taste of the scary aspects of high-risk pregnancies. But the doctors stopped the labor, and my mom was sent home, to bed rest.

The babies grew, and grew and grew, with only one other labor scare during the pregnancy. By the time my mom made it to 32 weeks, the doctor told her we were in the clear. (40 weeks is your estimated due date, and anything past 37 weeks is considered a “term delivery” I have learned in the years since.) These babies were going to be alright, even if they were born early. So my mom was released from bed rest. She could do whatever she wanted to again (which for a high energy person like my mom, was the best gift anyone could give her).

And then, we waited. The days turned into weeks, and weeks into more than a month. Still, she wasn’t in labor! The babies grew some more. There’s a measurement of your belly that doctors take during pregnancy, called fundal height. Basically, it’s from right under your sternum, down to the top of your pubic symphasis, a part of your pelvis. Normal term pregnancies reach 40 cm. My mom made it to 64 cm. 1 1/2 times the normal size!

Finally, it happened. She woke up in the middle of the night, woke my dad up, and they took off. This was pre-cell phones, and in their haste, they managed only one call – to the same neighbor, to come over and stay the rest of the night with us.

They made it 5 miles from our house, out of a necessary 55 to the hospital she planned to deliver at, before she announced to my father “I’m ready to push.”

Dad drove faster. An aunt of mine, a NICU nurse, had sent a box to them, to pack in the car for the trip to the hospital. It contained supplies they would need, if they had to do an emergency delivery on the side of the road. My dad made no secret, he was almost wishing to be pulled over for speeding – at least then he’d have some help! They made it to the point of no return, my dad driving like a madman, feeling his heart murmur kick it like it always does in times of stress. “I hope I wait ’til the hospital to have my heart attack…” he muttered. Pretty sure my mom did not find that very funny.

They arrived at the hospital. My dad drove to the emergency entrance, ready to drop my mom off and park the car while she ran (as much as a person with two giant babies could run) upstairs. But then, my mom experienced an intense contraction, and she told my dad instead of dropping her off, he should park, she’d finish the contraction, then they would go inside. He agreed, and started to pull the car away from the curb.

Just then, she changed her mind, and jumped out of the moving car! Leaving my confused father behind, she ran upstairs, to the labor and delivery floor. Which was deserted.

No lights. No nurses milling around. Not a single soul that my mother could see.

“Is anyone here?” she plaintively called. “I’m having a baby. RIGHT NOW!”

We like to point out the mistake she made in that declaration – not only was she having A baby, she was having TWO!

A sweet little custodial worker, speaking English as a second language, appeared, mop in hand, and was the only person around. This sounds like a joke, but it’s not. The custodian roomed my mother in a birthing suite, and RAN to find a medical professional – nurse, doctor, anyone!

A nurse who had training as a midwife was, fortunately, not far. About 20 minutes after arriving, Girl Twin was born, a little more than 8 lbs at birth. The doctor hadn’t made it in yet. And my dad just barely made it from the parking lot. But, I got my little sister.

Then things got more tense, as the staff prepared to deliver baby number two (Baby B, in twin speak). Baby B was breech, feet pointed straight down, and head pointed straight up. Unless they could turn the baby, the doctors felt they would need to do a cesarean for that baby. Can you imagine, one vaginal delivery and one c-section? No thank you. Especially given the fact that they were unsure whether they would have time for¬†anesthesia…ew. Ouch. Etc.

One OB, and one pediatrician, pushed and pulled and shoved on baby b through my mom’s abdomen (called a “version” in obstetrics). Miraculously, the baby turned! Few versions actually succeed in turning breech babies – it probably only worked for my mom because Girl Twin had just left a little extra room in the womb after her delivery. And so, 10 minutes after Girl Twin, Boy Twin was born, also weighing in at 8 lbs. With bright, clear, blue eyes. The last of the five rowdy siblings, my mom’s blue eye baby.

The next morning, I woke up to a phone call. In my groggy state, I didn’t quite understand why BigCityBrother was handing me the phone, asking if I wanted to talk to Mom & Dad. When it dawned on me, I sat bolt upright in bed, and screamed. I can still picture that moment in my life.

I was so happy that day, 15 years ago, that I – little Tomboy Trigger – wore a dress to fifth grade, in honor of my youngest baby siblings.

They changed my life, forever.

Posted by: Trigger | 28 April, 2008

How Sweet it Is.

I’m not normally the gushy type.

Sure, I like the girly movies – I’ll admit. And sure, I cry when the people I care about have hard times, romantically speaking. You know, I even get a little heart swell when I hear uplifting true love stories. And I am THE best person to have around if you’re getting ready to go on a first date (I’ll play you the first date song, squeal and generally fuss over you until you’re feeling confident and attractive). I’ve been known to be so excited about a friend’s engagement, that I quite truthfully threw my car keys in her face. HER FACE. (I don’t know why, it just happened!)

But when it comes to my own life, I’m more appreciative of a solid, steady, day-in day-out kind of love, rather than the flowers and candy and huge declarations and gestures. I don’t need elaborate Valentine’s Days, or fussy anniversary (date-iversary, I call it) dates, and I quite honestly would be embarrassed to have flowers delivered to my work. Which really, it all works out, as there is little chance of having to weather those sorts of potentially uncomfortable (to me) situations, as Z is quite decidedly not a flower-sending, fuss-making type of guy.

“It’s good to see you,” Z says, lazy grin on his face, as we’re both just waking up on a Friday morning. “You ready to face the day, Tough T?”

“I missed you today. You had a cute outfit on today. I liked it, you looked nice,” after a welcome home from work hug.

“You look cute in that dress, even if it is baby blue and ugly. And you DON’T look like a stuffed sausage,” apparently anticipating my predictable response to his compliment…

“I love you, T. You’re my very favorite person.” For no reason at all.

It was a good weekend.

Posted by: Trigger | 26 April, 2008

Rendezvous with a dress.

Well, sort of. Hehe.

So first of all, college roomie shows up, bridesmaid dress in hand, and all I feel is a rock in my stomach. “What will I do if this is just WAY TOO SMALL?” I whine to college roomie.

“Well, T – I don’t know, let’s just hope it fits. It will fit,” she replies, stuffing the plastic wrapped garment into my hands and flopping down on my bed.

I peek underneath the plastic at this – the cause of much of my anxiety of late: one knee length bridesmaid dress.

“IT’S BABY BLUE! SHE TOLD US IT WOULD BE FRENCH BLUE!” I shrieked, with much indignation.

I do not. Do. Pastels.

The bride had promised a lovely saturated blue, one with maybe even a touch of purple. I’m not even kidding you, this satin dress is none other than baby blue. Or maybe it’s sky blue. It’s not entirely washed out. But french blue, it is not.

This dress is becoming my mortal enemy.

College roomie has only a limited amount of time in my fair city, on her way back to Seattle. I couldn’t bear to try on the dress and show off just how much of a stuffed sausage I am in front of her – she being one of the “naturally fast metabolism” and “skinny genes” variety of girls.

I am not. That. Kind. Of girl.

(Although I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wish I was…)

So I just choose to ignore the elephant in the room. And no, that’s not some self-deprecating comment about myself. The elephant in the room was that strapless, knee length, ruched on one side, baby blue satin gown (complete with silver satin shoes WITH BOWS). People, I could not be making this up at this point. I know that it sounds like a bad amalgamation of unreasonable bride-to-be expectations, but THIS IS WHAT I’M UP AGAINST. It’s a good thing I love my friend, the bride.

To cheer me up, college roomie says, “well, at least you aren’t stuck with the short, funny looking, strange groomsman like I am.”

She’s right – that does cheer me up. And off we trounce for coffee, and window shopping, before she gets back on the road to points northerly.

I skulk back into my bedroom, having a little showdown with the dress. My first move: I pull off the plastic, hold it up to my rib cage.

“It’s going to be too small. Look at this – it is definitely too small!” I proclaim to a very-bored-with-the-topic-can-we-move-on-already Z. “Guess I better go try it on.”

I slump into the bathroom, peel off my layers, and shimmy into the dress. For whatever reason, I pull it on over my hips, which is already bound to be hard for us curvy girls, even with a dress in the right size. It gets a little stuck, but not too bad. I persevere.

The dress is up around my rib cage. I have it zipped most of the way up. Could it be?


I have never been more excited for a dress to kinda sorta fit in my entire life.

But I’ll take it. Extra long training runs and fewer carbs for me, and a good pair of spanx – and I’ll look damn hot in my little satin blue number, next to my NON-AWK, NON-UGLY groomsman. Shyeah, go Trigger!!!!

(Now I have to figure out an updo, which is never successful for my thick, long, REALLY straight hair. [Editor’s Note: We’re talking, go ahead and curl it, it’ll just be stick straight again 10 minutes later, doesn’t matter how much hairspray and other product you use, straight.] One time I was a bridesmaid, I sat down in the stylist’s chair, and she literally goes, “I’m not sure there’s anything I can do for you. I’ll try, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.” Suggestions?)

Posted by: Trigger | 23 April, 2008

A snippet in time, 2004

This morning, I didn’t really wake up ready to face the world, but I woke up ready to give it heck regardless.

Do you ever have those moments? The one where, despite crummy work weeks, tired heads, allergy induced sniffles, perpetual gray/rainy mornings, you just have to look around yourself and say, “you know, I’m doing pretty well.”

This morning, I barely rolled myself out of bed. (“Nice dismount,” Z teased as he rolled over in bed and ignored the coming morning for just a few more minutes.)

I lazily drug myself into the hall, grabbed a fluffy white towel from the closet, and trudged into the bathroom. I flipped on the fan, and grudgingly turned on lowest light available.

I do not do bright early mornings.

Normally, I do not do music in the mornings either. Z? Is all about blasting the radio in the mornings. Sometimes progressive a.m. radio talk shows, sometimes music, whatever. Me? I usually use that time to ease myself into the day. I close my eyes in the shower, lean against the shower door, turn the water on way too hot for most people, and just generally take my time joining the world of the wakeful.

Today, for whatever reason, I turned on the radio station to my local (and AWESOME) alternative/indie radio station. As the minutes ticked by, I warmed up to the day and began to move with a purpose through my morning routine: quick shower, wash the hair, wash the face & ears, condition the hair, shave the legs (knee & lower), wash the body, rinse, dry; contacts, face lotion, eye cream, q-tips, brush the teeth; pick out work clothes, fold clothes up for bike ride, pick out bike clothes, climb into bed next to Z and scratch his back until he wakes up all the way, get dressed, etc.

The radio station announcer came on, telling me that the daily feature “The at Work 8 at 8” was going to be eight songs from the year 2004. The year I graduated from college. So much happened that year. I almost fell in love, I almost got into medical school, I definitely graduated with honors in my field, I double definitely spent a long time looking for a job to actually utilize my degree, I bravely moved to a new city and started over, and really – I just did a lot of growing up. So I wasn’t surprised when the first song from the playlist, sent me falling back in time, imagining all the things I grew to associate that song with when it was first released.

” Bad news comes don’t you worry even when it lands
Good news will work its way to all them plans
We both got fired on the exactly the same day
Well we’ll float on good news is on the way”

I was pretty much an over-achiever in college. Senior year alone, I had a part time job with the College of Education, coincidentally the same place my mom had worked about 30 years before me. I was doing neuroscience research in a lab, preparing my thesis for departmental honors as well as my honors college degree requirements. I was Social Chair for my sorority, and also, Philanthropy Chair for our fundraising community service event, a 5-on-5 basketball tourney that (at least in my era) was the most successful Greek fundraiser on campus. I sat on the Student Health Center’s Advisory Board, and when that wasn’t challenging enough, I took on planning a staff in-service to raise awareness of health issues and cultural differences regarding health care for international students. AND I was blessed with tons of friends and a full social life to boot!

So, when it came time to register for Spring Term classes, I did something very uncharacteristic. I left myself almost an entire day with nothing scheduled – no school, no work, and no lab. Friday mornings, all I had to do was throw on my swim suit, swing open the french doors in my bedroom that opened onto our deck and enormous back yard (the house I lived in with friends that year was A-MAZ-ING), turn on my stereo and plop myself down on a deck chair, sunglasses, water and “reading” in hand.

Modest Mouse’s “Float On” was a big hit that year, and I loved the album it came from, Good News for People Who Love Bad News. Things were okay, life was swell, and I was going to graduate in 10 short weeks. But until then, my Friday mornings were carefree, sun filled, and all my own. Some days, friends would meander past my backyard, and spot me from the nearby sidewalk. They’d stop to chatter, and eventually decide to make a quick trip home for a costume change, returning in 5 or 10 minutes with swimsuits and sunglasses of their own on. Other days, my BFF Finn would come home early from class, and surprise me with a noon hour cocktail. Those days, not surprisingly, sometimes turned into the days that I happened show up for my only commitment of the day (Sensory Physiology, the only neuroscience class in the history of neuroscience classes that had not one, but TWO cute boys in it), slightly buzzed. (I’m not sure if the buzz made SensoryPhys & learning about cochlear neuroscience, or visual neuroscience, or what have you MORE interesting, or LESS interesting). And some days, I just soaked it all in, realizing that the freedom I was enjoying would be gone in just a couple of months, giving way to grown-up responsibilities, new adventures, and many more pressures than I had ever felt.

When I think about those days, I definitely feel a wave of nostalgia. I feel proud of who I was then, and I¬† also feel humbled by all that I didn’t know at the time, all I never expected I would end up learning.

” Ok don’t worry we’ll all float on
Even if things get heavy we’ll all float on
Alright already we’ll all float on
Don’t you worry we’ll all float on”

And then, Z walked in, kissed me twice, or maybe three times – said the sweetest, “I love you,” and I realized that although life then was pretty great, what I have now is even better.

Posted by: Trigger | 7 April, 2008

Monday night = My night.

I’m not gonna lie. I LOVE my guy, but I reeeeeaaally love my Monday night alone nights.

Monday is the night that Z is off saving the world at a free clinic (tres adorable and sexy, to me at least). And I applaud him in his altruistic endeavors.

That just leaves me home with a little alone time. Time to bike home from work and know that I can watch whatever catches my eye on t.v. Tonight, it’s the NCAA championship game, but sometimes it’s a LOT more girly (Redneck Wedding, What Not to Wear, etc).

Time to eat pickles and lunch meat, with no bread or other fixin’s for dinner. I’m pretty sure he’d find that odd.

Time to go buy perfume that was stolen from my (locked) office at work. Time to stroll through the perfume department at Nordstrom at a leisurely pace.

Time to take a long, hot shower blaring MY music (Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Spoon, Stars, Architecture in Helsinki – all “those weird indie bands”). And then time to climb into bed just wrapped in a towel, without someone coming along and poking and pestering me to get up and help with the laundry, or etc…

Time to play in my closet, trying on old skirts, new shoes, mixing things up. Rediscovering buried clothes and coming up with great new ideas for work-wear.

Time to check blogs, and comment, and not fear giving away my secret blog (which I feel guilty about having kept a secret at this point, but I don’t really write about him, so I hope karma won’t kick me in the behind).

Time to paint my toenails, and tweeze my eyebrows.

You get the idea, time to just be Trigger, the way I used to be when I lived alone. I wouldn’t trade my life now with my life in the past for all the money in the world – but it is nice to have a small slice of it from time to time, just to remind myself of where I’ve been, and who I’ve become.

I’m off to eat pickles. Have a nice night, y’all.

Posted by: Trigger | 4 April, 2008

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens.

I decided, why not, let’s do a “these are a few of my favorite things” post. Because I like talking about cool stuff. I have a zillion trillion favorite things, I love things, if not for my intense love for things, I would probably be a communist. But I just can’t give up cool stuff, so I’d make a bad comrade…plus, due to a variety of factors (sensitive skin, few big personal indulgences, an imagined increase of my salary that lives inside my head but isn’t real), I tend to buy the spendy stuff, and I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules of communism. Last time I checked, at least. (Okay, so I didn’t really check, that’s not the point.) Just don’t think I’m a high roller based on my list…this is about the only facet of my life where I let myself spend like this. (Also, I’m hoping my karma points burned through consumerism are regained through my dedication to recycling, biking to work and altruistic job choice…)

Anywho. Let’s start with my favorite make up and toiletry things, because they deserve their very own post:

Shampoo & Conditioner: As a treat – Kerastase Bain Satin Shampoo, Lait Vital Conditioner

Z says they smell like soap, I think that it luxury has a smell, this is it. And also, they’re a bit cinnamon-y. Not sure why our sniffers are so different on this one, but what I definitely know is unrefutable: they leave my hair shiny and soft. That is also helped along by the no heat drying routine (because I’m not above going to work with damp hair) (oh who am I kidding, my hair is WET when I leave for work).

On a daily basis – Redken Clear Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner

Same as above, leave my hair shiny and smooth. Different price point (about 1/3 the cost), and with a scent that both Z and I agree is quite tasty.

Facescrub: Cosmedicine Medi-morphosis Self Adjusting Exfoliator

Can’t go wrong with this one. Gentle enough for every day use (at least, I think so).

Cleanser & Moisturizer: Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomagranate – Cleanser and Moisturizer (SPF 15)

Wash doesn’t over dry, and smells delish. Lotion absorbs quickly, leaving just the right amount of moisture.

Base Make-up: I alternate between a few different options.

1) For light coverage, dry days: Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain (because I’m a total whitey), SPF 20 – sheer coverage, no make-up induced breakouts with this guy.

2) To mix things up, or sometimes on top of the Laura Mercier, Susan Posnick’s ColorFlo brush-containing mineral powder foundation. It’s pretty good. Sometimes I feel funny just wearing powder, other times, it’s perfect. SPF 26. (Have I mentioned I’m really white? And SPF is important to me? All those years as a lifeguard, swim instructor, swimmer, 80 hours in the blazing desert sun have me totally convinced I’m going to be a prune or have skin cancer by 55…now I protect my porcelain skin like it’s a national treasure…but really it’s just pasty…)

3) For real coverage, like when I know pictures will be taken, or when I’m fighting off some particularly bad skin, I like two things – Yves Saint Laurent Perfect Touch foundation in #1:

Or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in #0.

I know I sound like a god-awful pretentious snob here. But I have serious issues with finding foundation light enough for me that isn’t too pink – I’ve got olive undertones buried way down deep in my pale pale complexion, which apparently (news to me) is not the case for most white white girls. And don’t even get me started on how many brands don’t have colors light enough for me…gah. So these two are winners.

My real gotta-haves, though? Spot & under-eye concealer.

For spot, I love Bobbi Brown’s Blemish Cover stick in Porcelain. And under-eye concealer? The Balm’s TimeBalm. It’s awesome, good coverage, doesn’t get smudgy or creasy after wear. Love.

Mascara & Lips: If I were to toot my own horn about my appearance, the one area I could totally tout without feeling like a really lame braggart would be my eyes and my smile. I like my eyelashes, and coat them with Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils mascara in black or cranberry (to give my hazel eyes a boost).

The YSL costs a lot (like $30 a tube) but it never gets dried up and goupy, so I can use the tube for a good 8-9 months without it getting gross, way longer than any other brand I’ve ever tried. Never tried the blue before, can’t vouch one way or another for that. ūüôā

For my normal sized lips, I like to give them a little love with a variety of glosses (one might say I’m addicted) but the three that really work well for me…they’re all sort of variations on the same theme, all good for daily wear alone, or layered over a couple of different lipsticks if I’m really looking for a statement.

Chanel Glossimer in Rose Sand

Yves Saint Laurent Gold Gloss Shimmering Lip Gloss in #2 Golden Praline

LipFusion gloss, in Glow

Perfume: Betsey Johnson, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique.

I’m not one for overly floral scents, nor am I a citrus kinda girl. So these are both I think what you would call “woodsy” and “orientals” with touches of other things. Z helped pick both out, and we instantly agreed on these two together. Packaging’s a little wacky of the Betsey, but once you get past that, it’s divine. The JPG just never get’s old. They each have lots of notes featuring amber, amberwood, musk, sandalwood, both with different extra complimentary notes (Betsey, freesia, lily of the valley, blackcurrent, pear; JPG, daffodil, vanilla, rose, orchid – you get the idea).

AAAAAAND, there’s my little consumerist plug for my favorite products, perfect for the pale girls. I will now proceed to hang my head in shame that I just proclaimed to the internets what a cosmetic and product-whore I am…have a good weekend, all!

Posted by: Trigger | 3 April, 2008

I have a new friend.

This post is NOT about puppies. Hopefully. Fine, I will admit it. I’m TOTALLY puppeh crazy at this point. I look at pictures of little Wyatt every day and just practically squeal with delight. And I’ve NEVER EVEN MET HIM (although I get to next weekend!). How obnoxious am I going to be by the time he actually comes to live with us? Presuming a lot there, but roll with me…anyway. We’re not talking about puppehs today.

Today we’re talking about my new friend. My new friend Ty. I might paraphrase some of the dialogue between Z and myself, but the texts are included letter for letter. Here’s how I met Ty:

Scene: Sunday night, Z and I spread out on our bed with MCAT prep books, our old Medical Physiology, Organic Chemistry and Physics texts covering most of the surface area of our bed. We’re deep in though, him studying alkene reactions, myself, studying homeostasis and kidney physiology. Needless to say, a distraction was welcome…

8:39 pm, Pacific Daylight time, my phone buzzes with a message…

To: Trigger’s Cell
From: 714-833-**** (number redacted to protect the innocent, or ridiculous)
This is ty, did u got new song by lil wayne – lollipop

I blink at the screen of my phone a few times, and then wave it in Z’s face. “Who is this? What is he talking about? I don’t know any Tys!!” I exclaim.
Z: “Are you sure? You really don’t know any Tys?” he asks.
Trigger: “Let’s look up that song. What the heck is he talking about?” (NB: I am mostly an indie rock, underground hiphop kinda girl…the top 40 eludes me many times…)
We pull out the MacBook, go to town searching for not just Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” but also where the heck the 714 area code is located. Here’s the song (you’re welcome, it’s HORRIBLE), and the area code happens to be registered to Orange County in SoCal…where I know approximately 0 people…
Trigger: “What the heck? I wonder who this guy thinks he’s talking to?”
Z: “You should text him back. Tell him you like the song.”
Trigger: “Really?”
Z: “Yeah, it’d be funny, come on, do it!”

8:42 pm
To: Ty
From: Trigger
Yeah it’s really good

Trigger: “Z, I can’t believe you convinced me to do that. What the heck! I can’t believe I told him that song was actually good, how can I encourage that!” (it should be noted, I said what the heck approximately 27 times during this whole exchange)
Z: “I know, it’s so funny!”
Trigger: “I don’t think it’s THAT funny, do you?”
Z: “Yeah, it’s pretty funny.”

8:43 pm
To: Trigger
From: Ty
Ok, i just saw it last week

Z: “Text him again!!!”
Trigger: “What would I say? Are you drunk?”
Z: “Yeah, exactly!!!”
Trigger: (against my better judgement) “Okay”

8:45 pm
To: Ty
From: Trigger
Cool. What are you up to tonight? Are you drunk again?


8:47 pm
To: Trigger
From: Ty
Yeah, im still drinkin i havet sober yet


8:51 pm (Ty’s getting a little more bold, didn’t wait for a reply)
To: Trigger
From: Ty
“Yesterday my bday but its bored and now im drunk”

Trigger: “WTF? This kid is WASTED!”
Z: “Totally, say something else to him!”
Trigger: “But…he’s wasted…”
Z: “I know, it’s so funny, keep going, come on”
Trigger: “I’m kinda getting worried about Ty.”

8:52 pm
To: Ty
From: Trigger
How long have you been drunk, dude?


8:55 pm
To: Trigger
From: Ty
Almost all day i just start at 2 noon until now, im still drinkin

Trigger: blink blink
Z: “Well, which is it Ty, did you start drinking at 2:00 or at noon???”
Trigger: “Who is this guy, and why does he think he knows me?”
Z: “I don’t know. Find out what he’s drinking.”

8:56 pm
From: Trigger
To: Ty
What are you drinking? Did you have a good birthday?


9:00 pm
From: Ty
To: Trigger
Lil bit Hennesy and lil bit other stulff (sic) and beers, im laying down relaxing

Z: “Ahhh, Ty. Good call on the Hennessy. Everybody should get drunk on cognac for their birthday…”
Trigger: “Who the heck is this guy?”
Z: “I think we’ve already established that we don’t know.”

9:02 pm
From: Ty
To: Trigger
My bday is suck yesterday but 2nite im drunk ass

Trigger: “This guy – whoever he is – has serious spelling, grammar AND syntax problems!”
Z: “He hit the English language problems trifecta there…”
(we continued studying for a few minutes)
Trigger: “Will you scratch my back now?
Z: “Ask Ty to do it, I’m tired.”
Trigger: “BUT! Aren’t you jealous, what if Ty is hot?”
Z: “I’m sure he is. And he’s mad wasted too. I’m totally overwhelmed with jealousy here.”
Trigger: “Pleaaaase scratch my back?”
Z: “Only if you text Ty again…”

9:03 pm
From: Trigger
To: Ty
Keep it up dude


9:16 pm
From: Ty
To: Trigger
Im trying

Trigger: “Okay, I’m done. No more, let’s leave poor Ty alone”
Z: “No Fun Trigger – when did you show up?”
Trigger: “Will you scratch my back NOW?”

April 2nd (yesterday) 2:06 pm
From: Ty
To: Trigger
How the weather Oregon

Trigger: (at work, to herself) “Oh no, not again! Who the heck are you, TY???”
(forwards text to both Z and work friend, who’s been filled in on the saga of Ty, doesn’t say anything back until egged on to do so by Z and workfriend)

6:24 pm
From: Trigger
To: Ty
It’s great here


6:28 pm
From: Ty
To: Trigger
Ok, damn im turn dark brown already

Trigger: (to self, at BCBG while trying on tops) “Ty, I just don’t get you at all.”
BCBG Salesguy: “I’m sorry, miss, what was that?”
Trigger: “Oh, nothing…”

Stay tuned. Will Ty write again (all signs point to most likely)? Is Ty a man from Trigger’s past (not likely; unless he’s from the ANCIENT past of high school, in which case Trigger’s phone number has changed so many times, it’s unlikely, unless it’s this kid Tyree who used to have a mondo crush on Trigger, who was buddies with this guy Seven – name changed – who is one of 3 people (besides relatives) Trigger still talks to from her high school, and happens to be a writer in LA, so is the closest link to SoCal and anyone named any variation of Ty that she can think of AT ALL)? Is Ty a stranger, and is this a case of mistaken identity? Only time will tell.

Also, time will tell if I will stop referring to myself in the third person for dramatic effect. I, for one, am hoping so…

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