Thursday, June 30, 2005

Everett Bride Calls Off Wedding and Holds Party for the Homeless

Here's the story you're looking for.

Our wedding is not being called off. Although there will be at least one formerly-homeless person in attendance, and we'll be doing our own little bit of charity.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

We like the DJ.

On the way home from our first shower today, the fiancee' and I dropped in on a pair of strangers' reception so we could see our DJ in action. He passed the test with flying colors.

It was a sleepy little reception...not too many people on the dance floor because (a) it was a small reception to begin with and (b) it was a very quiet, kinda dead crowd. Meat Loaf (we call our DJ Meat Loaf because of the physical resemblance he has to the "Paradise By The Dashboard Lights" singer) handled the situation wonderfully. Recall that my baby and I chose Mr. Loaf because he would not be Dan, Dan, the Dancin' Man. At a quiet, inactive reception like the one we were watching, a lesser DJ might break out the heavy artillery and become as loud and boorish as The Dancin' Man. Meat Loaf did not. While we were there, we saw him:

--Transition from "Celebration" to "In The Mood" to get some elderly folks out there.
--Move from "In the Mood" to "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" to get some younger folks back out.
--Walk up to us, perhaps a touch embarrassed, to say how quiet things were.
--Not say a word on the microphone. This really impressed me.

I think he was honestly worried we'd be concerned or disappointed by the reception, but my honey and I were actually very happy to have seen such a challenging situation. We told him so--saying we were impressed he didn't turn into Dan, Dan, the Dancin' Man when it might be tempting to do so. He actually physically cringed and recoiled when we mentioned Dan.

It's official. MEAT IS OUR GUY.

Now, our reception will be so damn rockin' that I don't think it'll make any difference. Comparing where we were today with past wedding receptions my family has been at is like comparing Alistair Cooke with Sam Kinison.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

But It's MY Day!

Two friends singing in the friend choir have now come to me asking about the dress code for the choir. In case there are any choir members reading this blog who were thinking of asking - the official dress code is "look nice." That goes for ushers and readers and anyone else who might have reason to ask.

One of the friends specifically asked regarding colors of the church, what the mother of the bride is wearing, etc. I told her the church is grey so I CHALLENGE her to clash, and the church is large enough that even if she doesn't match my mother no one will ever notice.

But then a thought came upon me. At the reception people will be sitting together. And mingling with each other. And pictures will be taken. And perhaps a guest wearing red stripes will be next to a guest wearing orange polka dots and someone else in purple plaid, and then there would be clashing and that would be HORRIBLE.

So now we're going to require that all the guests dress according to a pre-set color code to ensure that the candid photos will all be fabulous. We'll be sending you your swatches in the mail next week.

And now I fear I may have planted ideas of red stripes, orange polka dots, and purple plaid in people's brains. OH MY!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Yes, I Mean You

Been blathering on this blog for going on 10 months now, and what is is that gets folks commenting? BEER!

Although I shouldn't be surprised. After all, this is MY wedding we're talking about. (And Sweetie's wedding, but I think this is the one instance where I can say it's MY day and he wont complain any.)

Thanks for the ideas, all. Keep 'em coming if you like. And say your prayers that the local public house has some of these good brews available on clearance.

We don't want to be...

Just saw something funny on Pardon the Interruption. Believe it or not, I'd never seen the very funny video of Carl Lewis throwing out the first pitch at a Mariner game two years ago. (The too-slow but still-funny video is here.) If Swankette is nervous about her first pitch performance, she can rest easy knowing she'll do a better job than perhaps one of the best athletes the world has ever known.

Of course, I can turn to Carl Lewis as well, for tying Roseanne for worst National Anthem performance in history...only Lewis was actually trying! If you've never heard it, listen here.

So even if things go wrong, we'll have the same guy to thank for being worse...

Monday, June 20, 2005

MMMMMMM.... Beer......

The time has come to start thinking about the beer that will be served at the reception. The hall provides the bartender and we provide the booze and the liquor permit. That means at some point we need to buy the booze, but before we can buy the booze we have to decide what booze to buy. The beer must be in bottles or cans.

Which means the beer must be in bottles, because the only canned beer I've been willing to drink in the past 15 years was Oly Triple-Dark which was only available in cans (and not available any longer, as Oly sold out to Miller and became an evil beer). Oh yeah, and Guiness Pub Draught cans. Except when I'm drinking Stouts at home it will generally be of the Shakespeare variety, unless I have a happy jar of Terminator sitting around. Guiness is property consumed at the local pub. Apologies for forgetting this. And there won't be Guiness at the wedding.

The beer must also be of the micro- variety as I do not drink macro-brewed beers. I'm sorry, but if I'm drinking rice it's going to be a nice sake, and I do not buy a beer because it tastes "the coldest."

The time is approaching for one of Rogue's garage sales, and given that there is a Rogue Public House in the greater metropolitan area in which we live (and I dig Rogue beers), it is at least worth checking out to see if we can find some steals. And this, dear readers, is where we need your assistance.

Dead Guy and Shakespeare Stout are, unquestionably, my favorite of their brews, but I understand they don't have universal appeal. And even if it weren't in the graveyard I don't know that I could bring myself to serve Yellow Snow Ale at my wedding.


If you are familiar with Rogue Brews, what are your favorite brews?

And what Roge Brews do you think have the most universal appeal? (Because I suspect that my regular readers who have a response to question 1 have answers very similar to my own)

If you aren't familiar with Rogue Brews, but are a beer drinker, what type of beer do you like?

Or what beers do you think sound good from their current offerings?

My luck anything worthwhile won't be available on clearance, but we've got to give it a try.

NEW QUESTION ADDED: OK, so it's obvious that I associate with folks with really good taste in beer (I suspect GrigorPDX will cast a vote for Shakespeare Stout once he reads this post). SO, I think I've actually got a case of Dead Guy that I can provide for those of us with discerning tastes. I'll keep my eyes open for Shakespeare Stout, because worst case I'm willing to drink that later or gift it around as well. BUT, for folks who normally don't drink such quality beer what do you think THEY will like? Plenty of people have tried Dead Guy and scrunched up their face obvious they don't really care for it. And let's face it, not everyone can handle dark beer. Plus, it's a clearance sale so I need to go in with LOTS of ideas, because who knows what the heck will be on clearance. And it's not like I'll be at the brewery, it will be at the local public house. Seriously, folks, I want input!!!

This post brought to you by the letter M

As the response cards flow back, there's a phenomenon brewing.

No, it's not the wonderful notes so many people are attaching...the regrets are doing a fine job of writing beautiful wishes. Especially you, My High School English Teacher! You're the best EVER!

It's the line where people are to write their names. It looks like this:

(followed by "___number attending)

This, obviously, is intended to start out a "Mr.," "Mrs.," or "Ms." But people are doing otherwise.

To date, we have received response cards from three people named Matthew. All are attending (it's a part of our Affirmative Action Program For Matthews). Two of them used the M to start their first name. In other words, one put "att Surname" in the blank, while another put "atthew Lastname and Dana Lastname" in the blank. Would I have thought to do that?

Stranger still were my parents. My dear mother wrote "om and Dad" in the blank.

Now I'm eager to have someone whose name does NOT start with M (or who I don't call "Mom") to use the M in a creative way. Something like: "ost happily, John and Jane Jones will attend."

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Cocktails, Anyone?

We (well, I mostly) have decided on the music for the cocktail hour and dinner at the reception. (Sweetie I approves, but it's much more a Swank thing than a Poet thing). The devil is in the details, which is where we're falling now, and I fear this is when the wedding starts to be all-consuming.

The saving grace is that it wasn't like I was sitting around going, "Oh, we need to decide what music needs to be played during the cocktail hour and dinner." It hadn't even really seemed important to me that we HAVE special music for the cocktail hour and dinner. But then inspiration struck.

It hit while I was listening to the new Paul Anka CD on the way to pick up Sweetie at the airport yesterday. When I was in Portland last week Mom was RAVING over it and INSISTING I get her a copy of the CD. Yes, my sixty-something mom who is about to celebrate her forty-eighth wedding anniversary and votes red is about to have "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as part of her musical collection.

The older crowd digs the music, because it's swing. The younger crowd will dig it because it's swing and it's modern. Between the maid of honor and my own music collections we can probably put together enough appropriate tunes in that style to fill the time. Worst case, I've got to drop a few buck on I-tunes to round out the collection, because I suspect this isn't stuff the DJ has in large supply.

But it will be swank. That's for darn sure!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Scenes From the Dressing Room

The following is an e-mail exchange between the maid of honor and myself:

ME: You can get a photo with your foot in my back (Everyone seems to want to have a photo taken with their foot in my back) AND one of you under my skirt adjusting all the slip layers if you want. Oh, the fun!!!

HER: Don't ya think it's just a little bit suspect to have a dyke crawlin' under your skirts the day of your wedding?

ME: Mom did try to get me to come out to her back in 1999 when we were getting ready to be roommates again. We could have some real fun messing with mom's mind. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Rethinking the Honeymoon

Whoever the dumb-dumb is that came up with the concept that honeymoons should be in warm, tropical locations rather than a place like Antarctica really needs to be shot and killed and tortured and maimed and have other really bad things happen to him. It had to be a him. A her wouldn't have done it, because a her would know that then she'd need to go buy a swimsuit for the tropical excursion and nothing brings out women's body issues quite like going out to the store and searching for a new swimsuit.

Yes, I've been working out with a trainer. Yes, I've been making good progress to look kick-ass in the dress. But the thing is when you're wearing a poofy white dress you can completely ignore your thighs. Because no one sees your thighs in a wedding dress, but EVERYONE sees them in a bathing suit. Especially when you have pale, pasty white skin that will blind people with the sun reflecting off of them.

Last night I mentioned the not-fun I was going to have in the search for the suit, and he sweetly said that I would look fabulous in any sort of bathing suit. He doesn't understand that thighs grow LARGER in a swimsuit than they are when you are naked.

I started the search this weekend. I'll be able to mitigate the damage, and find something that's not horrible. But it won't be fun. And that's the project for today. I've got no work, I've got no Sweetie, so I'm hitting the gym then hitting the mall and I'm not coming home until I've got myself a swim suit.

If you don't hear from me soon send out a search party. But warn them to cover there eyes and don't look directly at the thighs.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Beautiful Bride

I went for my first (and last) dress fitting today. Some thoughts on that:

- All the wedding propaganda goes on and on about how you need to be careful not to be taken when it comes to alterations. Don't go to the bridal seamstress or the seamstress affiliated with the store, as they are simply there to try to take as much money from you as possible. Total cost for alterations: $9. OK, the seamstress also forced the bill up by suggesting I pair a different, better looking, slip with the dress. Cost for that: $6.

- As a bride you've got to chose your nearest and dearest to stand by your side because they are going to be SO up in your business. They'll be holding the dress as I shimmy my half-naked body into it. Then someone will have to basically get UNDER my dress to make sure all the different layers of slip and dress are laying correctly.

- I got bonus presents with the dress. A lovely little wrap and a white clutch purse.

- The time with the trainer has DEFINITELY paid off.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Off to Philadelphia for a week to:

1. Judge debate.
2. Try to keep my students alive.
3. Try to keep my still-alive students from pregnancy or STDs.
4. Catch Sunday's Phillies/Brewers game.
5. Not be at school finals week.

For the last time in my career, too. My kids made the tourney 7 out of 7 years...not too danged shabby.

Funny...this is the first time I've not been excited about going to the National tournament. Must be the new roommate.

Look for me again next Saturday.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mail Call

Generally the duty of collecting the daily mail falls to the Sweetie.

First, he gets home before me most of the time.

Second, the parking situation is such that his parking spot is significantly closer to the mailbox than my parking spot is. I would have to walk PAST the front door of the condo and PAST his parking spot to get to the mailbox, probably a good 20 yards out of the way, where as the mailboxes are maybe 15 feet from where he parks. If that. So even if I get home before he does, I let him get the mail, because all the extra effort just wouldn't be worth it.

Except the response cards have started coming back. No WAY am I waiting for Sweetie to make it home to go see what little bits of goodness arrived. And they have started arriving!

My parents listed themselves as "Mom and Dad (Swank)." I teased my mother about this a little earlier. She indicated that there are now two mom and dads in our lives, but after 33 years I think I could recognize her handwriting.

This is so fun!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Writing Is On the Wall.


Featured above the fireplace is a posterboard with a layout of our seating assignments. I'm too visual of a person, so need to see in one place how it all lays out. Which tables can use more people, how it all works together.

The names are all in pencil, so as people decline we can erase them off the poster and shuffle others around.

I was joking with Sweetie the other night, as I was setting it up, and telling him that we'll need to frame it after the wedding.

I think that it has officially turned into an obsession. But in a good way. Because now it's time to sort out all the details, and that's where the fun is.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Let Them Eat Cake

I officially ordered the cake today. The baker and I have almost completely incompatible schedules, so this is the first I could get around to it. The cake ordered is small, given that not everyone is going to need to eat vegan cake and vegan cake is EXPENSIVE on a per slice basis.

The cost of the cake is also less than the cost of delivering said cake. In theory we could pick it up, but we'll have enough on our plates the day before and day of the wedding, and we're still coming in way below budget.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Assigned Seating

The more I ponder our current seating chart (which will be happening more and more as the responses come in) the more I'm looking forward to the weddding and the more I'm excited about the combinations that we've put together.

There is one table assignment that is as scary as it is good. One of the people is one of the corniest people I have ever met. As in my dad has a dry sense of humor next to this guy. One of the other people is an almost equally corny person on Sweetie's side. We can't separate them, because it will be sheer magic, but I don't think I'll go anywhere near that table. My godparents are currently assigned to that table, but I know they won't be coming, so that's OK. I'd be rearranging things if that weren't the case. But a couple of Mom's friends will be sitting there that are up to the challenge -- I called to warn Mom tonight just in case. (They might not be coming either, in which case we will reassign folks who have the stamina to stand up to the cornballs, but I want to be prepared for anything.)

Is the Lady of the House Home?

OK, there is now one reason I can think of NOT to get married to my Sweetie. Although with the several billion reasons TO get married, it's not going to be tipping the scales anytime soon.

The phone is in Sweetie's name (since the condo was his first). When the telemarketers call the refer to me as Mrs. RefPoet, and I know instantly that they're out to sell me stuff. As opposed to legitimate creditors, banks, etc. who would refer to me as Ms. Swank. Once I become Mrs. RefPoet I won't know if they are a business I already have a relationship or out to sell me stuff.

On second thought, it's not so much a reason not to get married as it is a reason not to change my name. But it's not going to change anything at all.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Yesterday's lunch hour was the buying of the stamps. Last night's post-work activity was the photocopying of directions and invitations to the rehearsal dinner.

Last night I stuffed and Sweetie sealed and stamped (continuing on this morning) and now the invites are in a box ready to be taken to the post office. Once I'm done with this post and get some workout clothes on I am off.

The last 12 hours have been perma-grin, as this is the official proof that we are, indeed, getting MARRIED. We're both excited about getting the response cards back. I'll be obsessively watching the mailbox until the first one comes in.

Groom is a bit bummed, because he will be out of town June 11 through June 18 which will likely be when we get a big chunk of the early-response envelopes back. When he realized this he actually asked me to wait until he got back to open them. I questioned whether he was really my Sweetie or not, as anyone who knows me knows that patience is not one of my virtues.

So if you read the entry and receive an invitation the groom asks that you either get it back before he leaves town, or wait until he's back, so he can be present for the opening of the envelope.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Price of Piece of Mind


Bought postage for the invites today. The prototype I weighed to make sure we put correct postage on was EXACTLY one ounce. I went ahead and bought 60 cent stamps, just in case.

In the grand scheme of the budget $25.30 is a small price to pay to KNOW that all of the invitations will make it to their destination in a timely fashion and without postage due. Otherwise I'd be paranoid that I happened to weigh the lightest invitation of the group, and they all came up short on postage.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Some Assembly Required

No one ever informed me that assembly would be required when it came to the invitations.

OK, I knew that we'd have to put all the pieces together and put them into the envelopes (DUH!), but the invitation actually required assembly. Or dissassembly. Folding. But it was complex.

Now you're either totally confused or totally intrigued. Tomorrow I weigh the sample, but the stamps, and produce the inserts for directions and the rehearsal dinner. They're going into the mail this weekend if it kills me.

The groom is nervous...

about music.

We have 12 friends who have agreed to sing for us, and we're thrilled about that. Now, what will they sing?

There's always the standard tear-jerker semi-sacred piece from college. That's a given...I've known that'd be sung at my wedding since about 1989.

But then there's another piece.

It needs to be pretty. Since there are so few singers, I want it to be a cappella--the organ would drown them out. I want it to be relatively easy. And there are certain lyrics restraints...I don't want them to be English words that are stupid. (Foreign stupid words are fine.)

I've almost decided on Beati Quorum Via by C.V. Stanford. oh man...I'm worried about the six-part harmony, especially the contrapunnel (sp?) bit at measure 76. We've only got 4 men, plus one woman-posing-as-a-man. That means somebody's singing his part alone. Even though I have a couple of people who have sung this before, will six weeks of solo rehearsal plus a couple of days of working together be enough?

Or maybe I should just chill out.