Saturday, November 27, 2004

The rockets' red glare

I'm certainly stoked for the wedding weekend. I get to make vows in front of family, friends, and God that I'll stay true to my Swank baby, which I'm very excited to do. That's one life goal I get to accomplish. But there's a second life goal, which Swankette very nicely didn't announce the other day, which I will tell you about now.

It started when we were working with the Aquasox on our rehearsal dinner. The woman we're working with is about as stoked as we are for the rehearsal dinner...I bet it's a lot more fun for her than the usual silly business outings. Swankette and I were just expecting to get some grilled chicken and Pepsi out of the deal, plus a good time with 40-50 good friends. But when the Aquasox woman responded by saying "we'll have to make sure you throw out the first pitch, and that members of your party are in our on-field promotions," well, we were blown away.

However, there was a problem. My baby and I don't really have massive fights, but there was one brewing if we had to decide which of us threw out the first pitch. So I emailed the Aquasox woman and asked if they could have more than one pitch thrown out. She responded as follows:

"I will reserve TWO first pitches as well (unless one of you would rather sing the national anthem :))"

HOLY CRAP!!!! I blew a gasket. I wasn't sure whether she was being serious with the National Anthem offer...the emoticon made me wonder if she was being tongue-in-cheek. I immediately phoned her. She said "Well, I see no reason why you can't. Are you going to go Janet Jackson or Roseanne on me?" I assured her that I am too flat-chested for the former and too patriotic for the latter. So on July 29, 2005, I will fulfill a life goal of leading the crowd in the national anthem at a baseball game. Majors is next!

I used to sing before basketball games at my small college. I sang with my HS show choir at a Denver Zephyrs game once. My college a cappella group didn't start singing at Cleveland Cavs games until after my graduation. But this is SOLO, bay-bee, and so much nicer than NCAA Division III...and that National Anthem so much more important at a baseball game than in the sterile environment of a basketball arena.

That AND a wedding--within 24 hours! I may go into excitement overload.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Well-Wishes Continue

This came from a friend/former boss in an e-mail today:
PS Swankette, I'm truly excited for you! I'm so glad you met the love of your life. Of course, if you didn't eventually marry TeacherRefPoet I would have had to KILL YOU for leaving me alone in the TC's...

If that isn't whole-hearted support of the upcoming wedding I don't know what is.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Playing Catch

Sweetie and I have officially booked the rehearsal dinner at the Aquasox game. We may be more excited about the rehearsal dinner than we are about the ceremony or the reception right now. And the person we're working with at the Aquasox is equally excited. There will be lots of perks and surprises thrown in, and one of the perks is that I get to throw out the first pitch of the game. (Sweetie may also get to throw out a first pitch, that is still under negotiation).

So now I have 8 months and 7 days to prepare myself to thorow a baseball 60 feet and six inches. I'm not going to promise a strike, but I also don't want it bouncing in the dirt.

When I was around 9 or 10 I was on a local youth softball team. We were sponsored by the House of Turquoise, and our uniforms consisted of turquoise jerseys and caps with HOT emblazened across them in magenta letters. We didn't get the pants as part of our uniforms at that level, just the jerseys and the caps. This was back in the early 1980s when short shorts were all the rage, and for some reason the jerseys were oversized. So somehwere (in a closet at my parents house) are photos of a nine year old me apparently wearing no pants in an oversized shirt that says HOT across the front of it. Creepy. But we went on to win our league that year, so who knows.

I was not the most athletic of kids, but I earnestly wanted to do well. I spent most of the season either on third base our out in right field. Every evening my dad and I would spend out on the street in front of our house. Either he'd hit me pop-ups to field or we'd play catch, so I'd be ready to field the long fly ball, or able to catch the ball at third base and make the play at first.

For all I know I remember I was the worst kid on the team. Sitting out in right field making clover chains, and being moved into third so they could keep a closer eye on me and put me at a base that didn't see a lot of action during the game. For all I know the kids I played with are writing their own blog entries right now about that kid who couldn't play softball that they had to carry to win the title. But I sure did practice my heart out that season.

The games of catch are going to have to resume, in order to be prepared for the big day. There's a park near our place that I'll drag Sweetie to once the weather gets a bit nicer, so I don't embarass him by throwing like a girl on that day.

At first I was a little sad that I wouldn't get to do this practice with my dad, remembering with such fondness those days of my youth. But now I see it more as an opportunity for both the Sweetie and I. He'll prepare me while I prepare him. Becaue maybe one day we'll have a daughter of our own, and she'll be on her softball team, and she'll go out and play catch with her dad to help her prepare for the game. But I pray to God if that happens that she gets better uniforms than her Mom had.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


Last night we arrived to the photographer's about 10 minutes early, so decided to chill in the car for a few minutes before going in. Asking me to chill for a few minutes before doing something that I want to get done is like asking W to consider leaving a child behind. You can ask, but getting it to happen is really darn tough. In those few minutes I realized there are a couple of apologies that will need to be made at some point in time, so might as well get them out of the way now.

To my attendants and my family: I apologize for being a hyperactive anxious mess on my wedding day. You know how obnoxious I get when I'm waiting for the time to open the presents? Or you're taking me somewhere that's going to be a surprise and I'm trying to figure out where it is? How the suspense almost kills me, and I pass that anxiousness on to you because I MUST KNOW NOW? Well, I suspect you ain't seen nothing yet. Because on July 30 I'll be waiting for my wedding to the man of my dreams, and that's at least a trillion times better than a silly Christmas present. So I'm likely to be at least a trillion times worse off. You may want to get Mom to hold back some of the kitty valium we've got now.

To anyone who has to experience snippy Swankette or sleepy Swankette: I apologize for that and I'm quite certain you didn't deserve it. The problem is that a type-A insomniac planning a wedding is pretty much never going to get a night's sleep. I'm averaging 6 hours a night right now. I especially apologize to the Sweetie, because he can sleep through anything and has a difficult time understanding my insomnia.

At least Sweetie won't see me the night before the wedding, because I can pretty much promise you now I won't be sleeping that night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Four photographers in a week, and here's what it looked like:

Photographer #1 I'll call Janet. She wouldn't shut up about what she wanted to do with our wedding. Didn't ask us more than one or two perfunctory questions. We said the church had set aside an hour for photos before the wedding, and she just about had an aneurysm. "An hour?! That's not nearly enough. At LEAST 90 minutes." If we book her with her husband, a DJ, we get a good deal. Her husband was, as Joe might say, "Dan Dan the Dancin' Man." He more or less said that, regardless of our requests, he'd play exactly what he felt he needed to play to get folks movin' on the dance floor. My babe and I had a simultaneous nightmare involving the sounds of the Macarena played at our reception. Arrrgh. The photos, by the way, were all formulaic. Unsmiling brides saying: "I'm so untouchably beautiful." A strange repeated shot was the bride and groom at the head table looking back over their shoulders at the camera. It felt soulless.

Photographer #2 I'll call Doug. Nice guy. Policeman by day, photographer by night. We drove out to his place at the suburb of bufu Egypt. Rang the doorbell. His three year old daughter started running around the room. She climbed on the table and kicked closed the photo albums, spinning around on her butt. Her mom begrudgingly came to take the girl away. Then, while they played picnic, mom said to girl: "I'll only do this for about three more minutes." Nice, supportive spouse! I couldn't believe it. Three minutes later, the girl was hanging on Doug again, blocking his airway. Doug's pictures were good for a policeman, and I htink he was a nice guy, but I felt they simply weren't good photos. Not centered, heads cut off at the scalpline, etc. No way.

Photographer #3 was Raul. About 30% more expensive than Janet or Doug. Unlike the first two, he didn't talk...seemed to be a shy guy. Instead, he just showed us his pictures. Very few were the standard posed fare. There was one of a ring-bearer doing the splits at the reception. One of a buff bride stepping out of the limo in her lovely white dress...wielding a softball bat. I found myself uncontrollably smiling while looking at the photos. My baby was too. The weddings were very diverse...traditional and avant-garde, indoor and outdoor, Christian, Jewish, Hindu. And each felt different, unique, and beautiful.

Photographer #4 was Lou. We walked in to an entire wall of massive, huge, alienatingly gargantuan photos of prissy-brides-not-smiling. I asked him for reception photos to see if he had a sense of the spontaneous and the world outside the staged. He scrambled for about 15 minutes before finding any, and then he only found the raw, unedited stuff. (Is this that unusual a request?) Worst of all, he pronounced the word picture as "pitcher." I hate that. You'd think that a photographer, of all people, would see that there's a C in there, and know that it ain't silent.

Net result: fun nights, believe it or not. And we just sent Raul a check for more than we had budgeted...but he's so far ahead of the others that it's like a horse race with Secretariat...the person in second is closer to last than to first. We're thrilled with our choice.

Every single step makes me more excited...more "ohmiGAWDwe'regettingMARRIED."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

But is it Mascot Night?

From the beginning of the engagement period Sweetie and I have had a dream for the rehearsal dinner. Specifically, that it could be held at an Everett Aquasox baseball game. Last month I made a plea on this blog, publicizing our wishes.

Well, the NWL schedule is out. Friday, July 29, 2005 the Everett Aquasox have a 7:05 pm home game against the Tri-City Dust Devils. No word yet as to whether the Dust Devil will be able to make an apperance his/her self, but the stars are aligning pretty well right now.

This is not an absolute yet, but contact has been made with the front office staff and we may well be having a baseball game rehearsal dinner. Remember, kiddos, proposal at a ball game is very, very bad. Wedding at a ball game is a little over the top for my tastes. Rehearsal dinner is just up my alley.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Parents meeting parents...

Our moms and dads met tonight. They had more in common than I had anticipated. I didn't know Swankette's father had Polish blood in him. My mom is full-blooded Polack. A fun day. Sarge, my father-in-law-to-be, asked if I was nervous about it. I totally wasn't. First, they were clearly going to like each other, and second, if they disliked each other, it didn't matter a whit...they more or less never had to see each other again after the wedding...just for major events for our still not-yet-existent children. No sweat.

They put my baby and I at the heads of the table. She was so very far away...

I kept thinking about the fact that there were 88 years of marriage represented at the table. And that's a hell of a lot to admire there. I'm so glad...SO glad...that my folks and her folks were not in the over-half to divorce.

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Weekend

Sunday the parents and the future in-laws are meeting for the first time. It's not so much that I'm nervous, as I'm sure they'll all get along just fine, but I'm still a little on edge about it all.

Tonight I'm cleaning the apartment, so that it's parent-friendly when they arrive tomorrow. So now I'm procrastinating.

There's something about the fact that my parents (who have been married over 47 years) and his parents (who have been married over 40 years) meeting that makes me realize just how big this thing is we're undertaking. It's more than just a pretty ring on the finger. It's more than just a rocking big party. It's more than just a church service. I've been through all those things in some variation or other before (not quite this variation, but I have comparisons). But spending the next 40+ years of my life with this person -- that's mind-bogglingly HUGE. Me, who's never been able to commit to an apartment for 2 full years is committing to a person for the rest of my life.

But tonight I'm staying at the apartment rather than with the Sweetie (more time to ready the place that way), and a part of me is contemplating taking the time to go up to his place to sleep, even though he'll be getting in late and leaving early so I probably wouldn't even get the opportunity to talk to him. That connection that makes me want to be with him every night. That makes me want to wake up next to him every morning. That wants to tell him all the good things and bad things and things in between. That make me want to cook for him. That loves it when he takes care of me. Those are the things that make me sure that this is the best decision I've ever made in my life and make me the happiest girl on the planet.

Who knew procrastination could turn into this?

The Uninvited

Sweetie and I completed guest list version 2.0 last night, in preparation for sending out save the date/Christmas cards. The list hasn't really changed since guest list 1.0, but after the first go-round of the guest list there was some major stress and tension due to the methods used to derive the list, so we started from scratch last night and now have a list that everyone is happy with.

Well, almost everyone.

To get to a list of around 200 people cuts had to be made. For me that primarily consisted of friends I've known forever but haven't talked to much lately. I'd love to invite you, but my the wedding budget precludes that so we'll go grab a beer together sometime instead.

Many of my parents friends on the list are people who attend their church. Which was also my church until around 1999. A couple of them have children my age. One of those is the bride who gifted me a bunch of old magazines. In high school we were good friends. She is now a redneck who drives a truck with a confederate flag and a gun rack. I did attend her wedding a couple of years ago, but she will not get an invite to mine. If the budget and space permitted she would be on the guest list, but it's a numbers game right now and she doesn't make the cut.

Another one of those is someone I've never really been close to. We can play nice at functions, but we've never really clicked at all. If I were to win the lottery tomorrow I cannot imagine inviting her to my wedding. I did not attend her wedding (not sure if I was invited or not). Really, she's not on the list. No offense, just not one of the people I feel need to share in this day. The thing is, her mom has decided she is on the list and has already told my mom how excited they are to come. Mom supports my decision not to invite her, but also cannot tell her mom that really the daughter is not on the list. The compromise we've worked out is this: Mom's friend and husband will be the only ones invited. Mom supsects friend and daugther will come and husband will stay at home. That will be two guests. The uninvited will be sitting with her mom at that table, and if she's bored to tears that's her tough deal.

I really do sound like a bitch, don't I? I sincerely don't want to be one of those, "It's my day so I shall rule with an iron fist" type of brides, but a person's got to have limits.

So if you're at the wedding and you meet someone about my age and can't figure out what we share in common and why I'd invite her to the party you now have your answer - she's the uninvited.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Be My Bitch

Sweetie and I are actively interviewing photographers now. We met with one tonight, and are meeting with three more next week, so should be less than two weeks away from pictures. The photographer we met with this evening is married to a DJ. If we book both we get a deal on the DJ side of the package.

I know that I would make a good salesperson if I chose to take that career route. I understand the steps of making a sale, and how to create rapport with a client. What I do not understand is how someone can succeed in a position such as wedding vendor without understanding basic sales techniques. Like get to know your client. Spend 5 minutes talking to me about what is important to me, what I'm looking for, get an idea for who I am.

Upon arriving at the meeting tonight they had us fill in an information sheet about ourselves, but then didn't really ask us any questions and didn't pay much attention to what we'd filled out on the form. At one point in the spiel the photographer kept talking about me and my bridesmaids, making it sound like it would be a huge production to get all the iterations of photgraphs necessary when you got all us girly-girls together. The thing is, I'm having two attendants, so there aren't that many iterations available. And one of the two is a guy, so I don't see us getting all girly-girl.

She's taken photos at our ceremony location before. However, when I mentioned to her that photographs were not allowed during the ceremony, but are only allowed of the processional and recessional from the nave of the church she seemed surprised. Then she made a comment about the strict rules the Catholic church has on photgraphers. Except we're not getting married in a Catholic church, we're getting married in an Episcopal church. And then she said something so lame when I pointed this discrepancy out that I can't even remember what it was.

I was skeptical of the DJ from early on. To understand why you need to know a little bit about my Dad. He's a 70 year old former Marine and current republican who LOVES ABBA and digs the Village People. And if you know the guy this is not at all an anomaly.

So when the DJ hands us a list of the 200 most popular songs played at weddings Sweetie pointed out "Dancing Queen" by ABBA and said, "We'll need to play this one for your Dad."

My response was, "We will play that, but the one we'll be playing for Dad is 'Do Ya' Think I'm Sexy' by Rod Stewart." (If you want to see my Dad shake his thing just mention this song and it will get him moving. I can't explain it, I just accept it.)

The DJ (who I'm guessing is in his mid-40's) responded, "Oh, your Dad must be around my age." Um, no.

At the end of the day we got the feeling that both were more interested in telling us the rules of the game, rather than listening to the rules we wished to establish. Sorry, we're paying the money we make the rules. When it comes to the DJ I have very specific ideas of what I don't want, and when we find the personality that matches we'll just know it. It will be a cool person who is willing to be our bitch to our musical tastes and requests. Ideally, the day before the wedding when we're discussing the final plans we'll be able to tell the DJ that he/she is our bitch and they'll laugh along with the joke rather than not understanding what to do with that comment.

Scorecard at the end of the night: for both interviewed we think they'd do an OK job, but aren't feeling passionate about either of them at the moment. Then again, they're the first meeting, so for all we know they're the ideal of what's out there. But whoever I hire be prepared to be my bitch - I might write it into the contract just to protect myself.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hoping he will propose this holiday season?

Sweetie and I have opened a joint Yahoo e-mail account that is currently being used exclusively for wedding-related e-mail. Today I was scanning the spam bin, to make sure nothing important had gotten mis-filed, and came across the following e-mail:

HEY Girlfriend – are you still waiting for him?Are you or one of your friends hoping their guy will propose this holiday season? Need a little anonymous help from us? Just supply us with his mailing address and we will send him a simple, yet suggestive, greeting card from our jewelry store.

We promise not to contact him in any other way, nor will we allow anyone else to have his information. More importantly, we will never reveal our sources. The front of the card says: Hey Boyfriend! Is Ms. Right Waiting for You…Inside the card: …to propose this year? Don’t Panic! We can help.Diamond Education with FREE Steel Triplet 10 X Magnified Jewelers LoupePlus, $100.00 Gift Certificate toward purchase. We will “hold his hand” through the process of selecting a diamond for your hand this year.

Just email me with his address at xxxxxxxx . Or call xxxxxxxx Jewelers at (xxx)
xxx-xxxx. Ask for xxxxxxx. I will take care of the rest for you.

There are so many things wrong with this I'll let you come up with the complete list yourself, but here's the thing that perplexes me most:

The e-mail address in question has been in existence about 2 months. The only distrubition thus far has been: Vendors we are consdering or have contracted with and the wedding show I attended a couple of months ago. The jewlers in question had to get my e-mail from one of these locations. Odds are, it was from the bridal show I attended. Which means that there were people at the bridal show who were not engaged, but rather just planning ahead?

Don't get me wrong, I had had fantasies of my wedding day over the past thirty-something years. But even once the sweetie had the ring size and we had actively talked about the fact that we will probably get engaged someday, and had even started discussing theoretical options for the wedding it never occurred to me to start shopping around for vendors!

If any of my kind readers have a special someone they'd like to spur along, please e-mail me for the contact information. Although I'm likely to lecture you rather than sending you that information, so be warned.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


I had a wedding related dream last night.

It started 2 days before the big event. We still had to go over a playlist with the DJ and do a bunch of other stuff. Plus, we hadn't received responses from anyone as to whether or not they were attending, so we couldn't do assigned seating at the reception and had no idea how many people would attend.

Next scene is the wedding day. I'm in my dress and standing in the reception hall while the caterer is setting up. They're setting up long banquet tables, and I keep yelling at him "They're supposed to be round tables!" And he's yelling back at me, but I don't remember what it was he was yelling. I finally gave up on trying to have round tables, because I realize it's a futile effort (and who knows if there will be any guests in attendance to sit at the long tables anyhow).

The centerpieces started out as these 3 foot tall cylindrical stacks of M&M's. There was a 6" high glass bowl at the bottom, and then just a stack of M&M's perfectly aligned. I went through and knocked the stacks down to vase-level but then the M&M's had disintegrated and the bowls were filled with colored sugar in swirly patterns.

Psych 101 interpretation of the dream: Swankette's been a bum lately about lining up appointments with photographers etc. and needs to get back on the wedding planning bandwagon. No more procrastination here!