the water got high and she never got dry

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

happy halloween

I've had Danse Macabre stuck in my head all day. I blame elementary school music classes.

On Saturday we hit the first two of our All Hallows Eve parties, after watching Shaun of the Dead to set the mood. Husband to Be ordered a pretty spiffy BSG uniform online and I served as his accessory by going as Boomer. My Korean-ness seems to have made that inevitable. What can I say, we are the King and Queen of the Geeks.

Other notable costumes included Maude and the Dude and a hilarious rendition of Kim Jong Il. Fun parties. Thanks to Miss A's potent White Russians, HTB and I both got housed. I have a disturbing number of pix of him in snuggly and/or compromising positions with other guys at the party!

Actually, now I have La Isla Bonita stuck in my head. Office mate Miss A mentioned her husband M and that's his favorite Madonna song (yes, apparently straight men can have favorite Madonna songs, or so they tell me. HTB's is Into the Groove.) How's that for random neural network firing?

And I leave you with an appropriate geeky cartoon.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

no more dress shenanigans

Is what I've promised Husband to Be. Well, let's hope that got the crazies out of my system. Although, really, if driving to Minneapolis on a whim is the craziest thing I do before the wedding, that's not so bad. HTB's craziest thing may very well be jumping out of a plane with groomsman and ne'er do well friend M. (I blame you for this, M) And if HTB decides that that will be his engagement gift, I'll be paying for him to risk life and limb. Great.

The weather forecast for the drive on Saturday was grim so we almost didn't go but luckily the weather report was wrong as usual. After about half an hour at the sample sale, I knew I wasn't going to find anything. But I stuck around for another 15 minutes, because dammit, we'd come a long way, and maybe one of the women randomly undressing by the windows was trying on my dress. Nope.

Lots of the usual - strapless and poofy. I walked by a woman trying on a strapless number that was body-hugging to about halfway down her legs and then exploded in a burst of tulle. The friend who was with her was all "That is SO you!" and I bit my cheek to not burst out laughing.

I know I've made this rant before, and I confessed to trying on some big strapless ballgowns and admitting they were pretty. And I really do understand that for many women, the Cinderella fantasies of our childhoods stick with us and these days, chances to go to costume balls are pretty few and far between. But at the end of the day, I don't want to look like a pretty pretty princess and I don't want my wedding day to be the greatest game of dress-up ever. I want to look like a great version of myself and be able to move and dance.

So like a lover who's strayed and regrets it, I have renewed appreciation for my dress. It doesn't look like every other dress out there, and more importantly, it suits me.

Wespent the rest of the day exploring downtown Minneapolis. The network of skyways is very convenient for chilly days, but I would actually rather walk around outside, because eventually it starts to feel like being in a mall that NEVER dies or ends. We hit "Eat Street" for dinner and that was a complete disappointment. 17 blocks of culinary options, my ass.

Speaking of playing dress-up, although I tease HTB for asking me in July "What are we doing for Halloween?", I've now ended up trying to put together a costume at the very last minute, with four possible parties looming in the very near future.

Friday, October 20, 2006

if i found my way to minnesoter...again

Nobody ever really tells you that when the ring gets put on your finger, you have, in essence, signed over rights to your brain for the foreseeable future. Maybe when the 2nd ring gets put on my finger, everything will be put back to rights again.

As you may know, I have bought the Dress. It's a very nice dress. But I think Husband to Be and I are driving five hours to Minneapolis tomorrow because there's a huge sample sale at the convention center, with the promise of hundreds of designer gowns all on sale for $249.

Have I mentioned that I already have a dress? Yes, quite. But being in a small city, I never got to try on the fancy schmancy, expensive ass dresses that I loved the look of. Would I have bought one? Of course not. But the possibility of getting a dress made with real lace and silk for $249 is terribly tempting. That's a lot less than I paid for rayon related fabrics at David's.

Either I find a dream dress at a rock bottom price and then have to worry about selling the 1st dress or I find nothing and can rest easy knowing my dress is It. Not a life or death scenario.

I love Husband to Be for so many reasons, not the least of which is that he totally caters to my lunacy and never makes me feel crazy while he's doing it. After finding out about the sale, I was just griping about living in Small Town USA and he uttered the fatal words "Do you want to go?"

Our friends who live in Minneapolis are out of town this weekend. I don't know if I should take this as a sign. But all the lovely ladies on my wedding board think I should go! Have I become unhinged? Quite possibly.

Weddings make you do the wacky.

Monday, October 16, 2006

whatever happened to my translyvania twist?

Looking forward to Halloween. I will neither confirm nor deny that Husband to Be has roped me into joining him in wearing the geekiest Halloween costumes ever. Last night we made our first jack o'lantern. Ok, HTB was the one who wielded the knife, but I provided moral support and toasted the pumpkin seeds. Have we become hopelessly domesticated? Yes. And that's just fine by me.

let's call the whole thing off

I would like to think that almost every single bride has a moment where she is really, really tempted to just elope. I wouldn't wish wedding planning stress on my worst enemy.

My advisor has chosen this crucial time to disappear for a week. Between having a baby and then having her computer die, the wedding coordinator has understandably but frustratingly been in only sporadic contact. And not as helpful as she used to be. And in some random searching online I found some venues of the type I really wanted and that she completely failed to mention.

I just had someone email me who's also using the same WC, expressing her concerns and asking me about my experiences with her. Guess I'm not the only one having second thoughts.

We're taking my e-ring back for a re-design, after finally admitting that what we wanted got lost in translation and that our jeweler tended to forget or ignore what we asked for.

I hate the feeling of getting yanked around by these various folks who alternately disappoint me, make me wait forever, or flake out on me.

Who needs a drink?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

tell me your name, tell me your story

There’s a whole lot of estrogen involved in wedding planning. Not to say that the future grooms aren’t important and relevant or ever involved. They are. But there’s a lot more of women discussing and sharing their plans online and IRL. And it’s almost impossible for there to be no cattiness or judging. Even as I chide myself for it, I am not immune.

I have this thing about butt bows. I find them hideous. Also not big on large, gaudy fabric flowers. So when a fellow bride to be excitedly posts a picture of her wedding dress and it has not only the butt bow but big fabric flowers on TOP of the butt bow, I just bite my tongue and wonder how many of the women who tell her the dress is beautiful are lying through their teeth to be nice.

The main board I spent time on is actually amazingly free of cattiness. The women there are genuinely nice and supportive and there is not a lot of conflict. But taste is so subjective that there’s no way that no one has ever silently been thinking “ugly, ugly, ugly” about someone else’s choice.

And on any of the websites I frequent, whenever the name change issue comes up, I inevitably find myself mildly irritated.

For one thing, as a name-keeper, I am vastly in the minority, which still surprises me. All of the female faculty members in the department have kept their names and every female married grad student I know has changed their name. This seems counterintuitive to me.

Sure, everyone likes to feel they’re making the right decision and I know we all fall prey to feeling the need to defend our choices. Which to me, is about as anti-feminism as you can get. Shouldn’t we feel free to be confidently doing whatever the hell we please?

But no, whether it’s the relatively trivial name change issue or the issue of working vs. stay at home moms, we just can’t leave each other be.

It doesn’t bother me just to hear someone say they’re changing their name or that it feels right to them. It’s a personal decision, everyone does what they want. What does bug me is when someone feels the need to throw in something along the lines of “it’s the ultimate sign of my commitment and dedication to him” or “I really love my FI so I’m changing mine” or “I really don’t like his name, but I want us to feel like a unit” or “I’m ambivalent, but I really want to have the same name as our future kids” or "I just can't wait to be Mrs. HisFirstName HisLastName!" or my favorite “I read this study that showed that marriages where the woman kept or hyphenated her name were more likely to end in divorce.”

Bite me. Rant number one. Is this a backhanded way of saying that women who keep their names don’t “love their FIs” and aren’t really committed to them? How is changing a name the “ultimate” sign of commitment? It’s just a name. (I’m aware of the irony here. Go with it.)

The thing is, I've yet to hear a name-keeper say "I'm keeping my name, down with the patriarchy!" Do some name-changers feel the need to justify their decisions with exclamations of love and commitment? If some of them feel any feminist guilt or cognitive dissonance, that's honestly a shame. Because my rants notwithstanding, in a perfect world women should be able to change their names just because they damn well want to without someone (not unlike me) asking them "How can you just give up your identity? Don't you think it's a completely archaic tradition?" etc.

Rant number two. Heaven forbid kids don’t automatically and exclusively take their dad’s last name. If we were to arbitrarily assign kids only one parent’s surname, wouldn’t it just be crazy to give them the surname of the person who endures all the joys and pains of pregnancy and labor?

But this is my bias and my justifications. I know this. I guess I’m a snob in the sense that I can't help but wish that more women would present relatively coherent, well-thought out reasons for what is, for many women, a pretty big decision.

Not just “I love my FI”. Well I love mine too and not taking his name doesn’t mean I’m going to feel any less married to him.

Will it sometimes be a pain in the ass to have kids who either have his name or mine? No doubt. But we’ll manage and we’ll be in the not insignificant minority of families who are in some way or another doing things nontraditionally. And not to go all Pollyanna on you, but someday there’ll be enough variety in the arrangement and nomenclatures of “typical” families that it’ll all seem normal.

Monday, October 09, 2006

a dream deferred

Some rare mornings I start the day in a calm, Zen-like state. This was not one of those mornings. Running an hour late, mind buzzing with the million things I needed to get done, this morning made me wonder how the hell I’ll possibly be able to handle having kids.

Yesterday we drove to Husband to Be’s hometown for the day. Played bocce and had a nice lunch with his parents and then went to a birthday party for two of HTB’s friends’ kids. His friends have a lovely home and it was filled with very cute, very well-behaved kids. Is it bad to be surprised when kids are well-behaved? Their newest baby may have caused someone’s clock to tick a little louder than normal. HTB’s friends joked that “this’ll be you in a couple of years”. Eep. More than a couple.

For now, it’s really nice to drive home to just an apartment and a cat. To be able to go on trips and to concerts without having to worry about babysitters or even to go out at all, and to make our late night gelato runs. (Pistachio gelato is the best thing ever.) I told HTB we should really enjoy the remaining years where we don’t have to be selfless.

Some nights when we get home after hitting the grocery store or farmer’s market and/or gym and after fixing dinner and watching a tiny bit of TV, we’re absolutely pooped. Add in a little bit of time for wedding-related nonsense or going out for drinks with friends and the entire evening is eaten up. If we’re this tired and busy now, how can we handle the exponential increase in chaos that comes with kids, the likes of which we can only imagine, based on the horror stories of parent friends.

The prof I TA for has two kids and came to a meeting exhausted from too little sleep and talked about how you just make time wherever you can find it, which can mean running to the grocery store at 10 PM and then getting up at 5 the next morning to put away laundry. I am not a morning person but I guess I’ll probably become one, right?

Our cat’s a bit of a meowy pants and cleaning her litter box is not one of my favorite things, but that’s not even on the same scale as changing diapers and endless crying. No yard to mow or a mortgage to pay. I want to revel in all these things as much as I can, because while I really, really do want the house, the kids, the whole nine yards someday, there’s no going back. For now I am happy to have only the pitter patter of cat paws running around the house.

Oh and on the way home HTB surprised me by taking us a little out of our way and surprising me with a Sonic, a fine establishment sorely and unfathomably lacking in our city! We got tater tots and my beloved lemonberry slush. Best. Boy. Ever.

Save the dates have been sent out. Woot!

V Mars was okay, after a strong opening, Lost was weak, and BSG kicked so much ass! That’s how a season premiere is done. Damn.

Monday, October 02, 2006

words will lose their fear

After a big yummy sushi dinner on Friday, a bunch of us saw Calexico play at the cool restored theater downtown. They totally rocked our faces off. As predicted, they didn't have a full mariachi band with them, but oh well, the trumpets were still in full and glorious force. Man, that show kicked ass.

New Decemberists album out tomorrow, looking forward to that.

And Veronica Mars, Lost, and BSG all start up this week. Yay!!