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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
September 2020
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So the last few years I’ve treated the holidays as my chance to immerse myself in my family and in people. I go into the holidays thinking that I have MONTHS of personal time and one on one time with Bear, so I just ignore my need for personal space for the week or two weeks or however long and soak up the interaction. I usually get up at 7 or 8 and go to bed at 12 or 1 and spent every minute in there playing with my mom, my brother, my cousins, my aunts and uncles. Some of the time is still one-on-one with different people, and that’s easier. Always easier on me to interact the smaller the group of people I have around me. This holiday I ended up having lots of time with all my families except Lin. She had to share a lot of her time and I miss her almost as much as I did before the holidays.

Anyways, I come home and Bear and I clean like demons for a day. The house is only immaculate in a few places now, but overall it feels so much better. Then I end up spending a good few hours with AJ, which was awesome. We just did normal day stuff, nothing earth shattering. Eating brunch, drinking tea, errands, petting bunnies. But it was good. Great. Despite me still running hot from the holidays. Then I realize that today I have an “event” as Bear called it, with some of his work friends. This might not go as great, but wow. I’m being all social and shit. Go me.

I think I might actually be finding how to handle people again. I mean, I know that’s part of why moving up here was so good for me. I lived at home with all those people around ALL. THE. TIME. and for someone who needs alone time pretty fiercely and wasn’t getting it, it’s not surprising I was cracking by the time I was 19. Then after a few years I was starving for friends and family and people and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me again. I think I’m finally figuring out where my balance point is.


The wedding ATE this year.

Other notables: Getting published. Failing QE. New Cousin. Worst case of depression in years. Relationship with Mom had lowest point ever. Relationship with Dad regressed to where it hadn’t been in 8 years. Relationship with rest of family hits new highs. Deciding to be a little more girly. Emmy style.


  • Bear and I tried our hand with house plants. Experiment failed. At least we had pretty flowers for a while.
  • We were miserable sick for a while. That was no fun.
  • The wedding plans started in earnest after Christmas. Calls to J&P. Twin was frantic that wedding wouldn’t happen. pish.
  • Invitation were ordered.


  • Plants were still alive.
  • Bear tries brightening up the house for me. SAD was wearing on me a bit.
  • Learned Fair Isle knitting technique. Stranded knitting. Whatever.
  • Panic about not having dress. or food. or favors. or anything else except invitations was sickening. I think I at least had the church at this point. (I thought.)


  • I went wedding dress shopping by myself. Wow. That sucked. Not as bad as I thought it would, but it sucked.
  • Bear went for hotpot with me. He can seriously rock hard when he wants to.
  • My paper got accepted to the conference. YAY. (then realized it meant Lin couldn’t visit. SUCK.)
  • Mother and I were at a serious low point. (She was already pissed at me. Then I went dress shopping without her and I was pissed at her.)
  • Qualifying exam.
  • Bear’s office became shared space.


  • Found out I failed my qualifying exam.
  • Started crying over dress. Realized it was Mom I was mad at.
  • Started getting into tea stuff. No more bagged tea at all. Played with gaiwan and oolongs.
  • Bear and I were exercising regularly.
  • Conference. Fear. Pride. Being published. Wow.
  • Almost missing Bear’s bday due to said conference. Still managed to give him two very good and surprise presents.
  • Bear started panicking about wedding.
  • Father Doyle has a stroke. Priest panic starts. Realize church paperwork is a mess. Start of church hell.
  • Month was kinda busy all around


  • Bear, Carl and Lin were all rallying around me with the wedding. Started feeling better. Also more pressure. Only two months left.
  • Meet Deacon Joe. “What do you need right now?” LOL.
  • Addressing invitations. sucks. so. hard.
  • Went to NHSW. Bear went with me. We thought camera was broken. Bear took pictures manually.
  • Visited FL. Got lots of details out of the way. Ordered cake and flowers and all kinds of shit. Bear was AMAZING.
  • Theme of this month was basically that Bear can be superman sometimes.
  • I drove so much that month that I wanted to burn all cars for a while.
  • The knitting is dying a slow death.
  • Started reading fiction online. Heh.
  • Red eye flights are both awesome and horrendous.


  • Wedding panic is … overwhelming. Family issues got stirred up over and over.
  • Tomatoes!!!!
  • Advisor’s kid has brain tumor.
  • FFB’s acquaintance committed suicide. Bad news seemed to be flying all over.
  • Wedding costs started climbing.
  • Hair cut.
  • Wedding dinner thing. Pre-party. There’s a name for it, but I’m forgetting.
  • Quahogs. So. Yummy.
  • Meaning of life conversation. Bear continues to make life bearable.
  • Bear’s panic over the wedding hits hard. Possibly coinciding with tux rental.
  • Mother relationship wasn’t strained enough. Father relationship took a nosedive.
  • Rehearsal dinner fiasco. OMG.


  • Wedding jitters hit. HARD.
  • Days of cleaning. Weeding. Painting. Food covers.
  • Babies.
  • Pregnant J who still did food, painting, gardening, weeding, baby care, planning, consulting, drama management, taste management, music management, last second veil management, birthday party for one of her kids, sanity checks, still took her kids to piano lessons, horse riding lessons, ice skating lessons, and every other thing that everyone else forgot with her endless lists and double and triple checking. She is officially my superwoman. Ask me for some more stories about her sometime.
  • Building a dance floor.
  • Reading living while Grandma sleeps in the next bed and falling asleep at 2am. Getting up at 7am.
  • Picking Bear up a day early.
  • Getting wedding license.
  • Hotels. I hate being in charge of other people’s hotel reservations.
  • The Jamaican food fiasco. The panic. Do we rent an extra car? Will there be an overnight 6 hour drive to get it? Can we make people not BE STUPID?
  • Almost losing the cake. P almost forgot to reserve it. *sighs*
  • zipline.
  • BabyJ telling stories and wanting endless. pushes. on the swing.
  • Pressure washing the driveway.
  • Mom getting lost in the wilds of FL.
  • 6am crying convo with Bear about the food. DIDN’T IT TURN OUT OK??????
  • P making sure it wasn’t Mom that made me cry. Aw. I have good people.
  • Sitting in BabyG’s room for internet access.
  • BabyG bossing everyone around even though she can’t talk yet.
  • BabyG walking around in my wedding shoes.
  • BabyG’s shoe fixation.
  • Testing the gutter system. Well, everyone running around frantically every time it rained to see where the system was failing.
  • Cooking with Lin.
  • Lin feeding me and getting me water. LOL. Payback for England.
  • Midnight fight about veil about twelve hours before ceremony started.
  • Carl’s toast. um. yeah.
  • Lin’s getting math advice from Mom. um. yeah.
  • Bear’s family’s toast. Flipping upside when there is kissing on the TV. Priceless.
  • Most interesting wedding present? The priest. Heh.
  • Fireworks.
  • Baby tomatos. Rampant tomato plants. Start of the endless wait for them to ripen.
  • Practicing how to dance (making it up) the night before the wedding. lol. Bear and I rock. (picking “Only in Dreams” for the song. LOL)
  • Actually making L a grouch. Never thought I’d see the day. Wow those food covers were a good idea poorly executed.
  • Lin becoming a part of my family clan. They still ask how she’s doing.
  • Pulling ferns. Hazardous to health.
  • Chick-fil-a
  • No fish for veggie people. WILL THEY SURVIVE?
  • Ruining the fruit sculpture. I didn’t know not to pull the grapes.
  • Seeing Bear incandescant without the use of drugs. Seeing the glow not wear off for DAYS after.
  • Going back to work the day you get home. sucks.
  • Starting HW hell at my work.


  • The lost marriage license. Ugh.
  • The wait for ripe tomatoes continues with only four cherry tomatoes lessening the pain.
  • As I find less and less to read from publishers, I turn more and more to online fiction
  • Thank You card hell begins. Even worse than invitation hell.
  • Work sucks.
  • Church wedding picturs suck.
  • Started trying to track down video and other pictures


  • School starts back.
  • My Chem obsession starts.
  • First ripe tomatoes. SO GOOOOOOOOOOOD.
  • Shrimp pasta with homegrown tomatos.
  • Obsession slump. Stopped fussing with tea (still drinking though). Knitting is dead dead dead at this point.
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Makeup.
  • Coming back to life.
  • Felt like there were very very few good writers writing.
  • September sucked except for the tomatoes
  • Still trying to track down wedding pics and video.


  • Music obsession in general. (Bright Eyes, My Chem, The Pillows, The Velvet Teen, Vampire Weekend, etc)
  • Missing mp3 player.
  • Work really sucked. Wishing I’d gone the English major route.
  • Still felt like there were very few good fics out there. Tracked down one author to find out she had kept writing. Felt better.
  • Makeup becomes a habit.
  • Carl meets S. Wow that was fun.
  • Thank You card hell is still ongoing. Wow can I drag shit out.
  • J&P had the baby! J drove herself to the hospital. New cousins rock. Cannot wait for Christmas.


  • Carl visits. Except how he doesn’t.
  • Twitter.
  • Boots.
  • Birthday.
  • Thanksgiving.
  • The DRAGONS. (Bear continues to rock.)
  • Adele and Dresden Dolls and MGMT. DD brings up memories of Senior Project with Chris and Emmett.
  • Stood Chris up on accident. Flagellate myself. Avoid Chris. I suck.
  • Met AJ.
  • Trashed research computer. Spent break fixing it.
  • Decided meeting AJ was a good thing and I should not let my screw up with Chris or my antisocialness get in the way of allowing further meetings.
  • New tires.
  • Talked to Dad. Huh. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Opened lines of communication with other aunts.


  • Hair cut. Thank God.
  • Still playing with makeup. Acne is under control now though.
  • AJ is more awesome than I could have imagined. Previous panic was stupid.
  • Bought plane tickets two weeks before Christmas. Fun.
  • Realizing that while Lin doesn’t feature heavily in this post, it’s because she was there every day. Supporting and loving and letting me love and support. (Also I left her shit out cause she does her own list with her life stuff and I don’t need to type it up.)
  • Father Doyle died.
  • Met BabyMJ. Coolest baby to date. He doesn’t cry much and he has nonverbal communication DOWN. He tells you if he has gas, if he’s hungry, if he’s being held wrong, if he’s happy, if he’s just so-so, if he’s pumped, if he’s grumpy, if he’s bored. Since he doesn’t have full motor control like his next oldest sister, this beats BabyG. He also beats even BabyGirlC, who cried for the first few months then laughed for the next few until she managed to be a more balanced baby.
  • Got to spend a lot of time with BabyZ and BabyA whom I hadn’t known that well previously. Since they are 3 and 5 respectively and I haven’t lived at home in more than 6 years, this isn’t surprising. What is, is how we managed to become best buds in a week, beating out aunts, uncles, and cousins who actually live in the very close vicinity. I kinda have to ask if they all have their heads up their butts. I came so close to abducting BabyA, BabyZ and their older sibs.
  • Tentatively, Mom and my relationship is healed better? I’m waiting to see if it survives the next time I tell her she has to do her own homework.
  • Dad didn’t call.
  • I have realized I have one family that scares me. Honestly scares me, not just wow, they are weird, but wow, they make me feel sick and upset inside. One family that, for all the frustration and honest craziness is pretty healthy. And one family that I don’t fit into all that well. Yet. I also have family that loves me enough to come hang out on Christmas Day and merge with family 2 and then come back the next day and again fit herself around family 2. She’s kinda amazing. She’s my other other half. third. Whatever. She’s also a fantastic note to end this year on. Also, being grateful for four families is kinda an awesome thing.
  • So. 2008. Family. Bringing them all together and adding more to grow on.


So I’m going through two things right now. One is that the search for spark for knitting has kinda… stopped. And actually, the weird thing is that I remember this happening last summer. But last night, I sat and watched the Closer and I did not knit. I did not spin. I sat. And then I watched some older episodes of Medium. I had laundry going. Bear was sleeping. I didn’t even have the urge to knit. I have the second of the red socks going. I have a lace swatch/scarf thing going. (I’m using the pattern for the center panel of the Wedding Ring Shawl. I’m getting familiar with the patterns so the Shawl isn’t too much of a shock.) But I haven’t touched either in about 24 hours. Weird huh? I’m thinking it’ll pass. It did last summer. I remember Bear thinking that finally the knitting phase had passed, and then autumn came and wham, I had a spinning wheel and I was working like crazy on his scarf again and he groaned.  But I’m not too worried about the whole thing. It’s just kinda odd. Maybe I’ll always be like this.

The other thing is that suddenly I’m not very content with my life. Which is fine, but becoming content again would mean drastic changes. I miss my family. I grew up in a house full of family. There were many different personalities and beliefs and hobbies and we were all so involved with each other. When I went looking at colleges and universities I felt an enormous urge to get away. To not have my whole family stuck up in my life and to not be stuck up in everyone else’s life. And now I’ve spent more than five years having everyone stuck up in my life and being stuck up in everyone else’s life over email and phone instead of in person and honestly, I like the in person version better. I think I just needed to move out of the family home. I think if I had moved across town it would have worked out. Or maybe I needed to move 3,000 miles to realize that in person works better. Whichever. I’m just ready for family again. This doesn’t mean I want to have kids. Bear and I aren’t ready. I think we will be one day, but not today. So Bear and I have been discussing. And I’ve been homesick.

Maybe that’s why I’m not knitting? I don’t know.

Oh, and for anyone who hasn’t known me for years and years and heard the stories, I really and truly do mean that my family is extremely tight knit. Sometimes we’ll invite someone for Christmas or Thanksgiving and there’s always this sense of awe. Sometimes the awe is accompanied by revulsion and sometimes by admiration, but I don’t think I’ve seen someone who hasn’t been amazed at how the members of my family find nothing too personal and nothing too trivial to not be important to other members of our family.

The raising of the children: eating habits, potty training, homework chasing, summer vacation coordination, constant clothes shopping and swapping, carseats, etc. (we have… 8? under 10 yrs. I think there’s 8.). The nuttiness of my mom’s brother and sisters (I don’t even bother to count. My mom has 9 brothers and sisters. In various states of existence.). Retirement funds, senility, health, stress, mortgages, etc. And then there’s the older grandchildren (five of us between 20 and 25). We are still being raised and we yet we are finding jobs, dealing with school, debt, housing, marriage, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.  We fight and bicker and argue about each other’s problems and we talk about others choices and obvious lack of mental abilities (and while we may criticize and chastise and and punish, we never, ever, abandon). We pull together at deaths and losses. We present united fronts at problems. We are a network of expertise and experiences and contacts. We celebrate marriages and births and triumphs. We stifle and comfort and lean and support all at the same time. When my great grandmother became old (I know she was very old, but I don’t know how very old), there was no talk of nursing homes or assisted living or nurses, there were regular visits to and from doctors and round the clock sittings and later there were oxygen tanks and wheelchairs. The children who were too young to be expected to live quietly were shuffled in and out of the house to different adventures by whomever had the time and energy and wasn’t sitting with our abuela. We dealt with the grief in our own ways, but always together. It didn’t matter if you needed to hide in a corner, we were all there. When the grandchildren were born, everyone who could be there was, and if they couldn’t they were as soon as they could and we stayed. Hospital nurses must have hated us. We mobbed every single birth. Even those I’m too young to remember, I know we did. And when I say we were there for births, I mean, I was in the delivery room for one and I’m one of the grandchildren. We were THERE.

I have a million stories. Embarrassing stories. Happy stories. Sad stories. Mostly funny stories because my family loves humor. Old stories, new stories. We aren’t a dancing family; we aren’t a singing family; we are a story-telling, bullshit shooting family. We play dominoes and canasta and monopoly. We go to Mass together and the movies together (ohmygod, when I was a kid, either all of us went to the same movie or none of us went, and even when you got older and could drive and go with friends, if you left and went and saw a movie or went to the mall or did just about anything and didn’t tell the family you were going and where you were going, you heard about it when you got home. all of my friends knew my cousins and sib. because my cousins and sib. went to movies and dances and everything with me. thankfully for them, I’m one of the oldest, and it was much easier on them when they got to my age).

And I’m going to stop now, because really, this isn’t helping the homesickness. But it does make me grateful. I have one hell of a family.