Thursday, April 30, 2009

Snippity-Do-Dah

I blogged about such an awesome day yesterday--and paid for it today.

Let's just say I get frustrated when people tell me I'm being snippy when I'm telling them the truth. "I'd like to order these shoes in red." "The shoes only come in black or white," I reply. The truth, that the shoes are only available in the two colors, is correct. Informing a person of that fact apparently makes me snippy. My delivery was almost dead-pan, so I'm wondering how "snippy" ever entered the picture. People are starting to ask, "is the wedding stressing you out? Is that why you're snapping and biting at me?"

For the record, no. The wedding is not stressing me out. People asking me about my stress stresses me out more. People inferring or even stating that I have an attitude based on the wedding stresses me out. The wedding itself... pretty much planned. We have to go over the liturgy and pick out a few more small details, but that's about it. :)

If I'm telling the truth, I'm not going to be snippy. I'm going to be honest, frank, blunt, even cold, but not snippy. Snippy is not something I do very often. You'll know when I'm being snippy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Footsies

I don't like feet. No, I don't hate feet, but they're just not something I really pay much attention to. I guess they're utilitarian, and that's good enough. Tonight, though, on a whim, I decided that my feet needed a little TLC.

And it's not like I treat my feet poorly: they are covered in plain white cotton socks from the time I rise to the time I go to bed with the exception of showering. I don't wear sandals or flip flops (they're still thongs to me, but that's another post) unless I'm showering in a public shower or near a pool (which is maybe twice a year). My shoes are extremely sturdy, usually Merrill shoes, though I'm dealing with my first pair of Nike shoes in over a decade (still not my fave, but at half the price of the Merrill shoes, I'm coping). I have gel insoles instead of the crappy factory ones plus another 3/4-length insole for the extra arch support--and I can get away with the extra bulk since I have super narrow feet. So my gel-cushioned, extra-supported, ventilated-but-not-too-much feet don't really take a beating sitting at a desk all day or watching TV in the evenings.

But a girl's gotta get girly every once in a while, right? So I broke out the fancy foot scrub that my sister donated to me (the by-product of a must-try-new-stuff fashionista). I set myself up on my bathroom counter and proceeded to fumble my way through a pedicure. You know what? The walnut foot scrubby stuff works pretty well. I like the cooling mint tingle on my toes. It feels kind of like walking in sand (best natural pedicure ever), but there's less risk of crabs... or jellyfish.

After finishing up and cleaning the sink (twice, ugh), I'm kind of feelin' it now. My footsies are happier than they were an hour ago. Maybe this won't turn into an every day thing, but once a week or month wouldn't be so bad.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I will not...

I will not watch scary movies while home alone.
I will not watch scary movies while home alone.
I will not watch scary movies while home alone.

I watched a scary movie... while home alone... because I'm an idiot.

For the record, Amityville Horror is a great thriller. Unfortunately I'm not particularly thrilled at the moment--more like "I want my mommy!"

Back to Mythbusters for me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm a plant owner. Again.

Some of you may remember that I bought a "lucky bamboo" plant not long after I moved into my apartment. It lived about a year on the shelf between the kitchen and dining room until I decided to fertilize it about 20x too much. For the record, a 12" pot is not the same size as a 2" pot, and bamboo doesn't really need to be fertilized. Ever.

(Yes, I realize that the "lucky bamboo" plant is really dracinea, part of the lily family and not the bamboo family, so don't lecture me. I still killed it.)

After going a few months plant-free, my boss gave me a primrose plant. Not wanting to subject such a pretty pink flower to my gangrenous thumb, I regifted the plant to my mother for her birthday--and she accepted it without hesitation. The little primrose has grown and flowered for a couple months in its little pot on mom's kitchen windowsill. Mom has many other houseplants, and she's well-known for breeding vast quantities of african violets (eeeeeeevil!). If she can do it, I can do it, right?

For Administrative Professional's Day, my boss gave me another plant, a miniature rose. Personally, I'd be happy with a Snickers, but now I have a plant to kill... or not. Yesterday, I went to Bi-Mart not knowing that it was their annual gardening day. I managed to get a pot full of free, high-quality potting soil, some fertilizer, and the windshild washing fluid I've been needing all for under $5! I took my treasures home and carefully repotted the rose, inserted the fertilizer spikes ('cuz I'm lazy and was told that they work great on potted plants), watered, and set the plant outside my front door.

I am a plant owner. Again. Does anyone have advice or suggestions on how to keep or maintain miniature roses that are potted and receive full morning sun and indirect afternoon/evening sun?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Expressions: The Dress Shopping Pictures

(Picture Removed) So I finally have all of the wedding dress shopping photos uploaded to my computer and was able to compile some funny expressions into a collage for you. Just to answer a few questions from the start:

1. No, I did not buy any of the dresses pictured.

2. No, I didn't enjoy shopping for dresses. I don't like shopping. However, I'd rather go wedding dress shopping than to the dentist... :P

3. Yes, a few of these pictures are grimaces of pain, torture, and agony: I don't fit in a size 4, but some salesladies thought it would be funny to see if I did. Ha. Ha ha. Not funny!

4. My sister, The Boy, and Future Mom took the pictures. Extra special thanks to them!

5. The worst place to go was David's Bridal. The best place to go was Simply Grand in Salem.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Expressions

I've discovered something about myself as I review pictures of me trying on wedding dresses. My facial expressions are hilariously telling of my inner feelings about each dress. At one shop, I was all smiles. At another shop, I made everything from a grimace to a frown. Quite funny! I'll try to get a collage up soon (don't let me forget).

The dress I did order hasn't arrived yet. I don't have pictures, nor do I know the brand, size, or dimensions. I'm getting impatient even though I have six months to go.

Really, the picture of me in the poofy see-through wedding dress... RIDICULOUSLY funny.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Catching Up

My allergies are behaving a bit better today.  I opted for glasses instead of contacts to hopefully make some of the redness go away.  The itching has subsided for the most part.  I only sneezed a few times and put a much smaller dent in my Kleenex box today versus yesterday and the previous two days.  Ugh!  Eye washes and the prescription eye drops help when combined with Singulair and Zyrtec.  I'm not sure how the rest of the spring and summer will play out, but I'm going to be in the clear by the wedding.

Speaking of which, we're under the six-month wire now!  Some days it feels like I'm not going to be married forever, and some days it feels like tomorrow will come too soon.  We're both anxious and excited, but we know this summer is going to go quickly.  You think we'd be enjoying time apart now since we're about to spend a lifetime together... ha!  Not even close.

A few weekend plans in the works already, nothing special.  Hoping the weather stays mild and that the pollen count remains low for a bit longer.  Wish I was more exciting tonight, but I've rediscovered FX Network's awesome show 30 Days and can't stop watching.  It might inspire another post!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bad Day Indeed!

My day started off well: I awoke refreshed and ready to start another beautiful spring day. Then I began itching my eyes, sneezing, and being generally miserable for a few hours. By mid-morning, I'd upset one coworker by telling him I'd show him how to do his own job instead of doing it for him. He didn't really like that. I'm sticking to my guns on that front.

Not long after that, I had a horrible discovery that will remain unnamed. No one died, but an ego and appetite were sorely ruined for several hours. It wasn't pretty, fun, or repeatable.

Reeling from uncontainable gas (yeah, girls do that too), a shitty morning, and hard-hit wallet due to prescription costs that have set me over my budget for the month, my afternoon was fairly well doomed. I consumed my afternoon snack by 1pm. My afternoon pop was gone early as well. Tired, frustrated, and cranky, I stomped home to found myself blessed by a wonderful friend spoiling me with ravioli.

He's a keeper, for sure. ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Itchy Eyes: Part II

I couldn't stand it anymore last night and asked The Boy if he'd take me to immediate care. He kindly did, and we didn't have to wait but a couple minutes to be seen by a nice doctor. He explained things to me at great length and examined me before allowing me to choose my own path of medicine.

Diagnosis: allergic conjunctivitis. I have allergies that are making my eyes itch. Nothing more, nothing less. It's like hay fever on steroids.

He prescribed some eye drops to help with the itching (so far they haven't helped) and Singulair to be taken with Zyrtec at the peak of allergy season. I get to follow up with my regular doctor next to get more presecription Singulair (no generic available that I know of, ugh).

Hopefully those two things will put a damper on my sneezing, itching, miserable life. The doctor said that immunotherapy shots might be an option for the future, but that he also thought I could manage my allergies with medication. I'd rather take pills than shots any day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Itchy Eye Wall

I hit the itchy eye wall hard this afternoon. My eyes burned so bad by lunch that I went to the store to get some itchy eye drops. I found a brand new product that is the same kind as my usual eye drops (contact lens wearers will understand how important those are), so I trust the stuff without using it yet. Unfortunately, I can't put the drops in until I take out my contacts, and I have important stuff to do tonight that glasses won't work so well for, so I will wait and suffer a little bit longer before testing out the itch relief.

Meanwhile, I have become one with the cool rag, sore eyes, and a headache.

Dear allergies, how I loathe thee...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

As the World Turns... er, um, I'm Busy

Sorry about not posting yesterday. The Boy and I were visiting family and didn't get home until late last night. He came over this morning to help me clean my apartment, so now I am headed to his place to help him clean.

We have mocked up several variations on the type of wedding invitations we want to send out. That's a huge step, and I don't feel stressed yet about getting things done. We have just under 200 days to go, so there's plenty of time. I'm glad we're making progress though!

The vacuum cleaner approaches me as I type, threatening to dethrone me, so I'm going to cut this post short. Back tomorrow. Happy weekend. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Waterpik = Wet Face

I bought a Waterpik. Don't ask me why I thought I needed it or why I thought it would be a good idea... I bought one. After tossing the instructions to the side without glancing at them (how hard can a water-shooting device be), I proceeded to spray, squirt, flick, and otherwise disperse water to every corner of my bathroom.

See, a Waterpik is not like an electric toothbrush. That was my first lesson. Though it cleans things inside the mouth, it is nothing like a toothbrush. Though they both pulsate, the two are not equal. The electric toothbrush I have buzzes along until I push the button to stop it. Once I have pressed the button, it's off. But with a Waterpik, the button is a pause, not a stop. You can't pause and remove the sprayer from your mouth... it will just keep on spraying in whatever direction you don't want it to go.

The Waterpik sprays water constantly. You have to close your lips around it in order for water to not go everywhere. If you keep your lips closed, the water slowly builds up in your mouth until you have to take the darn thing out to spit and then you spray yourself in the face, neck, chest, arm, and ear before you manage to hit the damn pause button. It's a constant battle for me: spray in mouth until water comes out my nose, or spray water in mouth and all over the bathroom, but water actually drains from head without ejecting itself through my sinues.

But I'm a thinker. I also bought the Waterpik to sub as a fancy ring cleaner. I am tired of cleaning my engagement ring's many crevasses with a make-up brush and hand soap. The pulsating super-sonic water jet gets right where I need it to be to remove dirt, grime, and all the other fun stuff that collects on my ring through a week. Plus, the water won't hurt gold or diamond like chemicals might--which may also irritate my skin later where water won't. However, the act of aiming a super-sonic stream of hot water at my ring means water flies everywhere. It's crazy how wet I can get in twenty seconds. The sparkle? totally worth it.

If you have used the Waterpik, please tell me how you've learned to manage it. If you have another suggestion to flossing or ring cleaning. Do you know any other uses for a Waterpik?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Facetious is not the new Sarcastic

Sarcastic: marked by or given to using irony in order to mock or convey contempt. Think "quick-witted with a sharp tongue that should be used sparingly."

Facetious: treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant. Think "quick-witted, humorous."

Most of the time, people say they are being sarcastic. Unless they're being particularly cruel or stabbing with their words, they are probably being facetious.

For more information and examples about these two words, please see the following websites:
The Common Parlance
Impartations of a Shrinking Word Nerd

(as a side note, I've noticed that I am about as sarcastic as I am facetious... hooray for being blunt, er something.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So Much for Privacy

In a world of Facebook and MySpace pages, our lives are displayed for everyone to see. We upload photos thinking that no one will see them unless we want them to. We list our favorite movies, books, songs, and people. We play games, share ideas, and communicate via these networks. What we don't realize is the permanence and transparency of the websites.

When I upload photos or thoughts to Facebook, those photos become part of a permanent file set that Facebook owns forever. They have the rights to my photos by way of their Terms of Use agreement. It doesn't matter that I don't really like the idea... either agree or stop using Facebook. Anything else I have on there is also theirs to do with as they please. They can sell my photos, use my lists, and even share my name if they want. The fun and connectivity Facebook allows me comes at a pretty steep price.

The privacy issue gets to me even more. I have both my Facebook and MySpace accounts locked down so that only my friends can see them. I don't appear in searches. Unless you know me, and unless I've accepted a friend request, my accounts are off-limits to the world... or so I thought. Recent events surrounding a friend have shown me how un-private the Internet really is. This friend uploaded pictures to her page that had privacy controls placed on it. The friend only wanted her pictures to be shared with her friends. But one of her friends showed the pictures to other people who weren't the girl's friends--weren't even on Facebook or MySpace--and shouldn't have been able to see the pictures. Now the girl has to face these people who shouldn't have seen her pictures. It's not going to be comfortable for anyone.

Who is to blame? Should the girl not upload anything to the Internet? or should her friends not show or share her photos with others? Both, surely, but more fault rests on the girl for uploading the pictures in the first place. Nothing we do online is ever secure. We can't expect our photos or thoughts to be secure. They will be shared, stolen, and taken advantage of.

I've been careful to not get too many friends on Facebook. The people I am friends with are actually my real-life friends and family. My MySpace account shows that I'm 90 and from Michigan (or Vermont, or New Jersey, or Florida, depending on my mood)... it's safe to say there is ZERO personal information on that nightmare of a site. If it wasn't for the fact that I actually stay in touch with a couple friends from high school through that site, I'd drop it instantly.

Be aware that the Internet is never secure, never safe. Just because you've allowed information to only a few people doesn't mean your information won't go farther. Mine does, even though I try to keep it within my safe little bubble. It's a little scary. What we have to realize is that being open to communication also opens us up in other ways. Be careful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lincoln City Cultural Center

As we drove north through Lincoln City looking for St. Augustine parish this weekend, we started doubting our directions. Okay, we didn't really have directions. We were using my sense of dead reckoning. Maybe that's not such a good idea. But sticking to the highway, we figured we'd find a sign or something. After what seemed like miles and miles of driving north, I decided we'd go another two blocks before turning around. Just at the two-block mark, I spotted the Lincoln City Cultural Center with a sign advertising an information booth. Good enough, right? The old converted schoolhouse didn't look particularly welcoming, so I wasn't expecting much. We parked and exited the car without getting our hopes up. An unlocked door opened to reveal a beautiful entry and split-level building. We climbed the short stairway to a fully-carpeted and well-thought hallway with signs above every door. The "information door" led us into a huge room with walls covered in brochures and booklets that covered everything from seashells to Oregon history to airplanes. A woman helped us find what we needed very quickly, plus she even pointed me in the direction of some neat Geocaching experiences (left the GPS at home, dummy me). I never caught the woman's name, but she was amazingly helpful and incredibly nice.

On our way into the building, though, the first door on our right was labeled "dance studio." I inquired about the room to the helpful woman, "can we look inside?" She led us across the hall to the room and let us in. We envisioned something far less spectacular, but the brand new hardwood floors, a wall of windows and two walls of mirrors, and a ballet barre all around... it was a beautiful room that someone had taken care to build. She asked why we'd want to look inside, so we told her we were ballroom dancers. Without letting us say no, she ran off to get everyone in the building that she could find so that they might watch us dance. We happily nightclub two-stepped and waltzed for them--without music it's harder than it looks! They seemed to get a kick out of our impromptu performance, and we (of course!) were thrilled to show off a couple steps. They even took our picture with an old Polaroid camera.

I wish we had more time to spend there. The people of the Lincoln City Cultural Center are wonderful, friendly, generous individuals. The building has character in every nook and cranny. If you get a chance to stop in and say hello, don't pass it up. This is one awesome place!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Our First Weekend Getaway

The Boy and I had our first weekend getaway this weekend to Gleneden Beach. My parents have a time share in the area, so we joined them for a couple days. The condominium sits right on the cliff overlooking a wide, flat beach that stretches for over a mile in either direction. Six picture windows look out on foamy surf and beach-goers, surfers, the occasional migrating whale, and sailboats when the weather isn't doing it's typical Oregon thing. Unfortunately, the rain gods did not look favorably upon us during our stay: it poured both days. But being the rain-savvy natives that we are, we managed to survive the torrents without incident.

Our drive over put us in Lincoln City for some shopping first. The Boy found a nice polo shirt on a huge sale, and I managed to walk all the way around the outlet mall without complaining that I was tired or hungry. (I think that's Boy 2, me 0, but who's keeping score?)

We spent Saturday evening having a fantastic dinner with my parents before playing cards late into the night. I think that's a tradition in my family that I can't really explain, but we're card players. Heck, I don't even know the name of the game we played! All I remember is that the first time we played the men won, and this time the women won, so it's going to be do-or-die next time. "For all the marbles" as Dad would say.

Sunday morning dawned entirely too early as The Boy and I got up for Easter morning Mass in Lincoln City. Excluding the facts that the church was filled to standing room only, was too warm, and was inhabited by smelly old people, it wasn't a bad service. The music... was... let's just say we won't be complaining about the music at St. Mary's in Corvallis any time soon.

We napped after brunch then enjoyed watching a storm blow in. By late afternoon, we were on the road home. With a tailwind the whole way, we made it to Corvallis by 6pm. It was a lot of driving, a ton of adventure, and included some really interesting people, sights, and moments. Not bad for a first weekend getaway (even if it was technically chaperoned...).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Unplug the Toaster Already

As Mr. Wonderful and I have become closer over the course of our engagement, we're beginning to learn the odd quirks and habits of the other person. I already blogged about his desire to have the toilet seat and lid down all the time (I'm a seat-down-lid-up girl). A few of the other gems we've encountered:

He puts the dirty dishes on the counter, while I put them in the sink.  I don't put many in the sink, just an occasional glass that I'm too lazy or busy to put in the dishwasher.  I don't like a sink full of stuff.  I also don't like a counter covered in dishes.  We're both very good about getting dishes in the dishwasher promptly though.

I fold clothes, especially towels and blankets.  They're the easiest things to fold!  The Boy, on the other hand, does not fold much.  He doesn't match up socks, doesn't even flatten his t-shirts... it's just wad or hang.  I don't know why he has a dresser, come to think of it.

He leaves the toaster plugged in all the time, and I unplug any appliance I'm not using.  It's a habit I learned growing up, and I'm not sure exactly why my parents insisted upon not leaving things like toasters plugged in, but I figure it's not a bad rule.  Doesn't hurt anything to unplug it.  Especially now with appliances that are on-and-hot when plugged in (no on/off switch) like a waffle maker, if it's not plugged in, I know it's definitely off.

When I take out the garbage, I put a new liner in the can right away, even before I take the full garbage outside.  The Boy takes the garbage all the way outside and won't put a new liner in until he has to use the garbage can again.  This particular habit actually does drive me nuts since I don't look before I toss something in the can.  I just assume that the bag will already be there, and I won't apologize for throwing things in a can without a liner.

I have a few nice kitchen tools, small appliances, and a stock pot that I don't put in the dishwasher.  95% of my stuff goes right in, but the wooden handled metal spatula that has been passed down a few generations doesn't go in.  In The Boy's kitchen, it all goes to the dishwasher.  I have a hard time explaining to him why he shouldn't toss my Calphalon stock pot or rice cooker in there: those get washed by hand.  They just do, okay?

It's not about saying who is right or wrong, about ranting that we need to change, or about putting either of us down.  I simply find it interesting that two capable adults do things differently and both live perfectly normal lives.  The Boy isn't a laundry folder, so I have taken over that job.  I'm not into dishes after doing that for so many years as a job, so he does that for us some nights (getting them in the dishwasher, and out when they are clean every few days).  We have things we will need to compromise on.  We can learn from each other.  It's exciting!  It can be frustrating.  But really, it's exciting!  I look forward to learning from him and about him for the rest of our lives.

What are some of the odd quirks you've encountered over the years?  Where have you had to adapt to gel with another person (roommate, spouse, family, etc.)?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Allergy Season Begins

It started with a drippy nose.  Within a week, I've progressed through itchy eyes and constant tearing to blowing my nose every half-hour or more often.  I finally broke out the Zyrtec and hope to be clear-headed and breathing easier soon.

Growing up in Oregon, I had no problem with allergies until my adult years began.  About 22 or 23, I developed mild hay fever when driving past fields as they pollinated.  The big yellow clouds hanging over fields were so cool until they caused me to sneeze violently.  Now, I roll up the windows, change the air circulation, and hold my breath as long as I can.  Ugh.

I've heard an interesting idea to help seasonal allergy sufferers in the valley: make the grass growers grow something else that we're not allergic to!  Because obviously my allergies can determine how other people make their living, how Oregon makes billions of dollars, and how thousands of acres are used.  I think not.

For now, I'm sticking with Zyrtec.  Later, I'll add in the Claritin.  On the worst days, The Pink Pony returns (Benadryl is my friiiieeeeeend).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Comment Moderation

When I first started blogging, I didn't moderate comments. I didn't really receive many, and the few I did get were from people I actually knew. Since I knew them, I felt obligated to not edit or remove their comments. It's a free world, I thought, they can say what they want.

After years of blogging daily, though, I find that sometimes comments can be not only harsh, but even cruel or threatening. I've had people tell me everything from "you're full of crap" to "I want to rape you." Seriously. I wish I was joking, but I've received threats.  At some point, I decided that my blog was not going to be a place where I felt threatened. It's not worth it to feel like I'm a bad writer, a bad thinker, or even a bad person for having a blog where I post my emotions and desires.

People have come here hoping to find their comments tallied up on my blog only to see that they weren't posted. Simply put, I moderated them and opted not to post them. I can hear people now: "What gives you the right to post something and not allow feedback? Isn't that what blogs are for?" It doesn't really matter what other blogs intend: this is my blog, and I can have whatever I want written here. You don't have to agree with me. I don't even mind it when people tell me they disagree with me--that's fine! But please be respectful and considerate. I get to rant and swear: you can do so in your own space.  If you have a blog and I comment unsatisfactorily, you can delete mine too.  It really is a two-way street.

Bottom line: if you can disagree with me and not be cruel, threatening, or a bully about it, you're good to go. If you can't say anything nice or criticize constructively, don't even bother.  You can always start your own blog and rail against me if your comments are that important.  (Though I think it'd be hilarious to have an anti-Jaggy blog on the 'net.  As if my ramblings are worthy of such action, ha!)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Compare, Compare: Part 2, the Apology

The meaning was right, the wording was wrong. I was wrong. Allow me to apologize.

Recently, I posted a rant about how much I dislike being judged regarding my own wedding plans. What I'd intended to be a discourse on the trials of opening up my relationship to the world turned into a selfish monologue. I failed to explain myself fully or to find ways to allow advice without being mean about it. I received several comments highlighting my shortcoming, and I would like to rewrite what I originally intended.

People care about weddings. It's big business. Everyone gets excited and wants to share in the big day. When The Boy and I became engaged, when we opened up our tiny relationship to the world, we had no idea just how many people would come out of the woodwork with ideas. Family certainly was excited, though they've actually left us alone for the most part. It's nice not being pressured by those closest to us to have the wedding they've always wanted, but rather gently pushed to have the wedding we want. Thanks to those who have been so helpful.

Every once in a while, though, we stumble on people who make a point of comparing us to themselves or others. One occasion found us glued to a couch with a true bridezilla having a "moment" right there with us. She described how she's forcing her bridesmaids to sign contracts requiring certain hair lengths and colors. She pushed us to know our budget and how we were financing our day. After snobbily depicting her $10,000 outdoors-in-November-in-Oregon-because-it's-pretty (are you nuts!?) wedding, we'd both had enough. When she exclaimed that I was stupid for wanting to hand-make my own invitations and that I'd be too stressed (I'm crafty and love doing that kind of thing), we quickly ended the conversation. She obviously had no interest in helping us create the wedding we want.

The other moment I remember involves a happily married woman. She found out we're planning our wedding and lit into me about my options. She went so far as to offer to help me buy the flowers so I could grow them myself. She wanted to make my bridesmaid dresses for me. She was heavily invested in something I hadn't even looked into yet. Telling her that we're not planning to grow flowers to save money or that we hadn't even decided on colors yet was almost too much for her. She flew into a rage demanding that I decide on colors right then and there so that she could help me. I told her I'd have to discuss things with my finace. She got in my face about how the groom shouldn't be involved. That's when I ended the chat: The Boy is 50% of this process, and if she didn't like it, she could find another couple to harass.

When we became engaged, we didn't expect to be so overwhelmed with advice. We didn't anticipate being lumped in a pile with everyone else that is getting engaged. It's hard to go from our tight little two-some to a wide-open relationship where everyone wants to know every detail like they're in on some secret. The purpose of my original post was never to offend, only to inform. Planning a wedding is hard enough when we're trying to sort through the dozens of decisions we need to make, let alone tossing emotional advice and reminiscing on the load.

If family or friends have real advice (like not having a wedding on an OSU home football game day in Corvallis) or helpful suggestions (don't pick super-young flower girls: they rarely do what they're supposed to do), we do appreciate them. However, if you find that your ideas are being dismissed, please don't be offended. We're trying to make our day ours.

Apologies to anyone who thought my original post was dismissive. I have no intention of being a bridezilla. Additionally, my blog is often the only outlet I have for rants and raves. If you don't like what I'm saying, you always have the option of not reading.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

ER Series Finale

ER premiered in September of 1994.  I was just starting fifth grade.  My bedtime was probably around 9pm, but my parents let me stay up late to watch ER on school nights.  Maybe they thought the show was educational.  Perhaps it was then.  I know it was now.

I wish I could say that I was drawn to the show due to the science of emergency medicine.  Even though I learned more anatomy from the show than a year of college courses (not joking!), I still new from that young age that not every sick person needed a chest tube or to be intubated (still cracks me up how often they did those).  The show had ups and downs over the years.  I didn't always have time or was too tired to stay up until 11pm to finish the episodes each week.

Over the course of seven summers, I was stuck at home through the day.  My sister and I would spend the entire day indoors crafting or reading or watching TV.  We'd play games in the garage or maybe run through the sprinkler on the hottest days... but we weren't allowed to go anywhere.  I was still too young to work.  Seven summers.  The only thing that got me through the long days was TNT Network's airing of ER reruns.  I caught up on past episodes I'd missed and rewatched old favorites.  To this day, the only two episodes I haven't seen are of Carter in Africa.  Those two episodes somehow managed to evade my watchful eye over the years.

I was there before George Clooney became famous.  I watched as doctors came and went from the show.  I bawled my eyes out when Dr. Greene passed away.  It took me two different viewings to sit through that whole episode.  I cheered when one of my favorite actors, Scott Grimes, joined the cast as Dr. Morris.  The last few episodes have been a trying experience complete with tears, laughter, and incredible joy as the ER ship sailed one last time.  The one moment that killed me was when Haleh took Neela down to the basement to put her locker nametag on the wall next to the others of those who have left the show.

The Boy didn't quite understand how much it means to me to say goodbye to the show.  I realize my JAG fan days might cause some think I get too involved in silly TV shows.  But, for once, I know I'm not alone.  ER is the most Emmy-nominated show in television history.  The show sparked careers for more than one of it's doctors and nurses.  It opened the eyes of millions of people each week to dramatic characters, exciting plots, outstanding filmwork, and even taught us some medical jargon.

It's been fifteen years.  I've coursed my way through the end of grade school, middle school, high school, college, and now the real world with ER as my trusty Thursday night companion.  It's a bittersweet goodbye.

Bible Shopping

Some might call me stubborn.  Others might call me persistent.  I think determined and picky might also cover some bases.  In any case, I wasn't giving up without a fight.

I've been searching for a new Bible for quite some time, six or seven months at least.  While I had one I liked, it wasn't a Catholic edition.  Plenty of people balked when I told them I had a New Living Translation Bible because it "wasn't accurate."  Even though it might not match the exact wording or meaning of each and every word in the ancient texts, it is easy to read and understand.  For someone who is definitely not a religious scholar, it worked very well.

The search for a new Bible led me to several towns and some very neat little bookstores.  I shopped Borders and Amazon frequently to see what they had in stock.  The Boy and I ventured into nearly every Christian bookstore in the mid-valley, including Mt. Angel Abbey and Holy Family Supply in Salem (both neat but tiny... great selection of books though).

I new I wanted the New American Bible, the Catholic "standard" in the United States, the version used in churches during Mass.  Most people tout the King James Version or the New King James Version, and some like the New International Version.  These version typically do not contain the Apocrypha, or books of the Bible not found in Protestant versions.  I know about the New Revised Standard Version, but I still wanted a New American Bible.  That's my decision, not yours.  I know it might have flaws, but at least I can understand the plain english!

Store after store had Ignatius Bibles (huh?), St. Joseph's versions (still don't know how those are different), and large print texts.  I didn't want something big and heavy.  I didn't care about red letter vs. black letter.  Gilded edges weren't high on my list of necessary things.  I didn't particularly want a study bible.  Just a plain, durable, small-but-not-miniature, nice-looking Bible.

Yesterday, I stopped at Borders in Corvallis to see if they had a book I wanted in stock.  On a whim, I perused their Bibles.  The Catholic Bible section there is terribly small, usually only two or three on the shelf at any time.  Yesterday, they had five.  Today they have one less. :)

I chose the New American Bible - Fireside Study Edition, published in Witchita, Kansas, by Fireside Catholic Publishing.  It's reddish leatherette cover contains a full three-year cycle of readings for the church, an explanation of the parts of the Mass, a short encyclopedic dictionary and Biblical reference guide, several maps of the Holy Land, and, of course, the scripture I wanted in a typeface I love.  The version contains introductions at the beginning of each book and footnotes at the bottom of each page that explain things a little bit more.

It was a long search, but I'm so glad I waited until I found the one I wanted.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Blue Raspberry

Can anyone tell me where the idea of making raspberry-flavored foods blue came from?  When I was little, I always wondered that.  Out on the farm, we learned that raspberries are red.  They start out green, sure, but they turn red when they ripen in the warm summer sun.  They're best when they've been basking on the vine in that sun all day and get picked and popped right into a mouth before dinner.  I'm not an expert on raspberries (eating maybe, but not genetics), so I don't know if there really are blue raspberries out there.  Maybe there could be... but I don't think so.

Having established that raspberries are naturally red, and having tasted those juicy red berries so often, I'm perplexed.  Blue?  Really, marking guy?  Blue?  Why not yellow?  Why not pink?  Cherry-flavored things are red.  Strawberry things are red.  Even the generic "berry" suckers and chewwies and drinks are red.  Blueberry things are blue.  So raspberry... logically... RED.

I don't understand.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Compare Compare

I've learned that I don't enjoy discussing my wedding plans with other brides-to-be (or even former brides-to-be). Somehow it ends up being a game of who can spend or save the most, who can have the biggest bash or be the most traditional, or some other odd comparison.

The thing I dislike most is advice. It comes from everyone: family, friends, coworkers, strangers, and even people online. They want to help me find the best deal on a reception location, the whitest flowers, the biggest wedding dress. People are invested in weddings. They think they get to have a say since other people had a say in their weddings.

It's hard to tell people to keep their ideas to themselves, too. The Boy and I have ideas of what we want to do and say at our wedding. We're designing this shindig together. The constant interference is annoying--especially when it's purposely rubbed in our faces. We do not need the name of your photographer, the super-awesome place where you got your goofy invitations, or the best way to arrange roses in centerpieces.

Our wedding isn't going to be like anyone else's. It's not going to be ultra-fancy or ultra-small ultra-anything. We're not like that. And we don't appreciate people comparing us to them or others. Don't judge us for not spending a fortune or going into debt. Don't judge us for being money-conscious or thrifty. Don't judge us for being traditional. Don't judge us for breaking rules of etiquette. Please stop trying to make us the "typical couple." We're not here to prove anything. Comparing us to others or yourself only makes you look bad.

(Mom, Dad, Future Mom, and Future Dad, we absolutely value your input. The four of you, and only the four of you, may feel free to disregard this post. Thank you for the advice and support!)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pictures, Visiting, and Headaches

Yesterday was a busy day, thus no post. The Boy and I were both up early in order to venture to Portland for the second weekend in a row. This time we were up to visit his brother and my college roommate, and we also had a few engagement photos taken. Lunch out with family and friends, adventures in the sun, and plenty of laughter left us exhausted by the time we got home yesterday evening. I had a roaring headache the whole drive home, so bad that Mr. Wonderful made me soup for dinner before sticking me in bed with a cold rag on my head.

The first set of engagement photos were in the studio. We got some fun shots, and the photographer took some incredible silhouettes of us. After those, we went over to a park and sat on some benches, retaining walls, and even in a fountain. We'll get another photo shoot closer to home in a month or two. I will not be posting any photos from those shoots anytime soon as the photos aren't even here yet. The photographer has some post-processing to do (removing zits, you know...) so it might take a month before I get to see them.

Sorry for no post yesterday, but I can't sit here every single moment of the day to fill you in on exactly what I'm doing. I am not into Twitter. You're lucky I blog most days. Yesterday was just not one of them. *sigh*

Friday, April 03, 2009

Driving Laws Apply to Cyclists Too (gosh darnit)

Driving to work this morning, I nearly hit a bicyclist because he did not stop at the stop sign. I was puttering along minding my own business when my leg jumped over to the break and slammed down on it. My mind took a moment to realize that the reflex just saved some idiot's life.

Stop means stop. I know legislators are trying to pass the "Idaho" or "rolling" stop in Oregon, but cyclists have been doing that for years anyway. Why make it legal? If a cyclist claims they executed a rolling stop before I plow them down, now I'm liable for their stupidity. Great.

Wear a helmet. They're not that expensive. Consider it insurance. No, they don't block your view. No, they aren't that much warmer. Yes, you might get helmet hair, but wouldn't you rather look goofy than be dead? I haven't heard a single good excuse for not wearing a helmet while biking or skating (of any kind!).

If you're stopped at an intersection where I don't have to stop, don't expect me to stop. If you're walking your bike across an intersection, then I have to stop, but not if you're still on the saddle, bucko.

And what is it with bicyclists not signaling their turns? Left hand up means right turn. Left hand down means that you're stopping. Left hand out horizontally means left turn. Left hand with finger up nose means you are riding distracted (I saw that!). Please learn to signal correctly and do so at every turn or stop not just for a second, but until you complete the turn. It's helpful to drivers to know where you're intending to go.

Seriously, no bonus points for getting run over. I'd feel bad. You'd get an owwie. Not good.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

We're gonna be a power couple, look!

Mr. Wonderful and I posed for his brother at a recent business event. I think we're entirely too cute here, but I'm also a bit biased.

There is another picture of The Boy looking at me just before his presentation. He's all smiles. I am not in the picture, though, as people are blocking the camera's view. It's one of my favorites.

Special thanks to the photographer. It's not often I post others' photos on my blog, but this one was too good to pass up.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tower Blaster

I LOVE this game!  When I get some downtime or maybe during commercial breaks while watching TV, I'll play a round or two of this game.  Sometimes I can play an entire game in one commercial break.  Give it a shot.  "Let's get 'em!"


That's all for today.  I'm working on laundry (both The Boy's and mine--it's easier to do them together, especially when I'm bleaching whites and don't have enough of mine to make a full load each week).  Good TV is starting soon, too.