Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weekend in Review

Friday night I had a get-together with the group of classmates and professors I’ve kept in touch with from college. We were a smaller group than normal because one of us was on vacation in Turkey (I know, weird, Turkey’s not on my top ten list of places to visit either, but whatever…) and another was sick. But we made do and I was the only female attendee. Woo. This meant a lot of football and baseball talk that went over my head, but that’s ok. It’s like talking to Adam is sometimes. We went to Pullman’s (yes, again, not my idea, just bad planning) and I got there at 6:30, the designated time, and found no one else there. They all arrived at one time at around 6:45. I had put my name on the list for an inside table since it was supposed to thunderstorm but they all wanted to brave the outdoors rather than wait half an hour. So we got seated, put in drink orders (Stella!) and braved the windy conditions. When we began to see lightning in the distance and the wind really picked up we asked to be put on the list inside (which had now become an hour wait) and be moved to a table on the leeward side of the restaurant. We got a table under the eaves of the building and it was much less windy. We ordered our food (from the second waiter of our evening) and as we waited it began to sprinkle. The wait staff was taking umbrellas down and removing anything not cemented down so we thought perhaps we should ask to be moved in sooner rather than later. They were able to get us a tiny table up by the bar. Luckily we were a small group or else we would have been out of luck. Our food came shortly after we sat down and we did our best to eat without stabbing each other with our silverware or dropping our food in our laps. We had great seats to the many big tvs in the bar with the Brewers game on. We met our third and final waiter of the evening and after some confusion were able to get additional drinks and other requests taken care of. We were in the way of pretty much everyone who wanted to come into to or leave the bar area including wait staff and patrons. Oh well. We ate, watched the game until the top of the 9th, and then some of us took our leave. It was still pouring outside and I ran to my car, getting completely soaked. I knew I should have been selfish and lazy and taken the open spot right in front of the door when I had arrived. I got home around 9:30, dried off, and called it a night.

Saturday morning Adam’s dad came over so they could finish the cement work out underneath the deck. I stayed out of their way by watching Volver in the bedroom. I hadn’t realized it was in Spanish so when we had started watching it about a week ago Adam sat through about five minutes of it and couldn’t deal with the subtitles. It was an ok movie, kind of weird, but I suppose that’s what Almodóvar is all about. At least I didn’t have to deal with Penelope Cruz attempting to speak English. Her accent is so obnoxious. Anyway, after I finished with that I showered and got ready for the day. When the cement was done we did some shopping. We’re getting to be regular fixtures at the home improvement stores: Home Depot, Menards, Lowe’s. We stopped at my remaining two banks to take care of my name change stuff (which took forever!) We also dropped some change at Petsmart, stocking up on kitty supplies. Our last stop was Walmart for a variety of household and personal items including an Oust air freshener for the cat room. They are stinky fellows. We debated a few ideas for our evening but ended up sitting at home. Adam watched the Badger game while I started in on my first season of "Dawson’s Creek" DVDs, Adam’s wedding present to me (the complete series on DVD – excellent since TBS quit showing re-runs for me to DVR.)

Sunday we slept in a little (until almost 8:15!) and after reading the paper and eating breakfast Adam went off to exchange one kind of cement for another so he could finish up blocking the window in the basement. I planned to get gas (my light was flashing at me so I figured it would be a good idea) and then go to Kohl’s to search out the perfect pair of socks. I guess someone had other plans because as I got back into my car after filling the tank I was stung two or three times by a hornet that had flown up my pants. I, of course, didn’t know that at the time. I just got sharp pains on my upper leg as I sat down. I got back out of the car and tried to get it out of my pants but I wasn’t having any luck. So I got back into the car, high-tailed it back home (thankfully the gas station is pretty much right across the street from the house), parked (crappier than usual) and ran inside to de-pants. I still didn’t see my attacker but at that point I didn’t really care. I got out the baking soda, rubbed some onto the two most obvious points of entry, and laid down. After ten minutes or so I got back up and moved my car into the garage so when Adam got home he’d be able to park. When he returned he called me into the dining room to show me what had gotten me. Apparently it had been hiding in my shoe. Nice. Anyway, that pretty much shot all my plans for shopping. I contented myself by making lunch (crispy chicken wings and spinach-artichoke dip), watching some football, continuing in my "Dawson’s Creek" watching, and trying not to sit on my right butt cheek. It’s ok now and it’s good that I’m not allergic to bee-stings at all. It still sucked though. It seems I was having a bad day or something. In addition to the bee-sting I managed to drop almost an entire carton of eggs on the floor while making breakfast and I got attacked by baking sheets while making lunch. Ok, so perhaps that evidence indicates that I should quit cooking... in any case, a frustrating day to end the weekend. Oh well. Can only get better, right?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Unexpected Humor

As I was reviewing payables batches this afternoon I got a laugh from one of the receiving documents. This is the note from one of the guys out there: “Accepted per Purchasing, but driver must have hit a skunk. PROFUSE ODOR.” You never know what you’ll find on some of this paperwork that will just make you smile…

Weird News

Weirdest Headline Ever: Police Taser driver, find live chicken in trunk

Cliff Notes version of just another redneck night in Sheboygan: A drug dealer gets pulled over, resists arrest, and takes off. Cop #1 chases him, gets him down, but the guy gets back up only to be tasered by a Cop #2. Unfortunately Cop #1 is still struggling with the suspect so he gets tasered too. (Whoops.) When the car is searched later they find a chicken in the trunk. The suspect’s explanation? He got it from a fast-food restaurant. (Hmm, did they forget to cook it?) Wow, this one’s full of comedic possibility…

And have you heard about the guy who sued God? I think the funniest part of the whole article is this: “There was no contact information on the filing, although St. Michael the Archangel is listed as a witness.”

Some people are nuts.

For instance, this guy. The guy admits to throwing the onion at his wife but says he didn't mean to hit her. The wife told police it made her head hurt.


IMA Begins

The first IMA meeting of the season went pretty well, I’d say. I got there very early (kind of by accident – I wasn’t sure where the place was and didn’t want to get lost) and had plenty of time to set up. I was thrown somewhat of a curveball in that the organizer of the venue neglected to inform me that I’d be collecting dinner choices while collecting money and checking people in. It was a little chaotic during the big rushes of people but I managed. We usually have family-style dinners so some people were thrown off by having a choice. I nicely requested that next time we have a venue where members are required to choose between two or three entrees that we mention that in the newsletter so they can tell me their choice when they RSVP. That way I avoid the evil eyes of the impatient waitresses.

The meeting was at Pullman’s, a new place out by the river. It is owned by the same people who own Good Company, the location of our rehearsal dinner, so a lot of the food is similar including the yummy garlic mashed potatoes. I didn’t attend the PD session – I was busy with some administrative stuff and wanted to stay in the room by my cashbox since I had started collecting money early before the speaker showed up. I spent a good half hour alone in the room, watching beach volleyball in the bar through the door. I was able to get out from behind my table for a bit and sell some raffle tickets before dinner began. I ate quickly as usual and got my cash reconciled before the after-dinner speaker began so I didn’t have to be rude. The after-dinner session was much more of a Q&A, interactive thing than we’ve had before. The mayor and the director of the Appleton Downtown were there to talk about projects currently in the works for downtown and around the Fox River. It was interesting to see what’s coming in the future and what people are concerned about. We learned that they’ll be tearing down the College Street Bridge in May of next year and it will be out for almost two years. Yikes. That will create some challenges. Luckily I don’t go that way very often (I generally use 441 or another route) but it will still be an interesting time. They’ll be putting in a roundabout at the end of the bridge and I can’t wait to see how inept people are at maneuvering through it. Roundabouts are not rocket science, yet people around here can’t seem to figure them out.

The speakers went a bit long but it was good to see everyone so engaged in the topic. Not like the tax update presentations in November where everyone is falling asleep. :) Our chapter meeting was pretty short – all we had were some announcements and my two raffles. The board meeting was another story. It went on and on. I suppose we got some good stuff done (a lot of it was treasurer related and some educational fund requests) but it seemed tedious. After we adjourned I gathered up all my stuff, stopped at Walgreens to pick up my prescription (only cost me $8!!) and went home. *big sigh*

We have a second meeting this month – a lunch meeting next Wednesday. This is completely uncharted territory for the chapter and no one is sure what to expect. I’ll be taking about 1 ½ hours off from work for it since I have to be there before anyone else to take their money. We’ll see how it goes. So far the RSVP list isn’t too impressive – just 13 – but they still have some time to sign up.

It looks to be the start of a good program year.

Movie Commentary

I saw a couple movies recently, one of which got me closer to my Oscar Challenge completion. I just may get to them all before next year’s nominations come out.

Anyway, we went and saw The Nanny Diaries in the theater a few weekends ago using a gift card we got as a wedding gift. (Yay.) The movie itself wasn’t that impressive and although I really like Scarlett Johanssen, I’m not sure I liked this movie. It was kind of boring and pointless. Sure, there are a few fairly good laugh moments but that’s about it. Yes, there is a subset of people out there who this movie is about. I don’t know any of them. I’m not one of them. I can’t relate. That’s about it.

The second film was Children of Men. I watched this one alone one night a couple weeks ago when Adam was watching wrestling (or Ultimate Fighting, which I’m told is NOT WRESTLING as they are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.) This movie was like Blood Diamond in that it was a whole lot of fighting. It was unlike Blood Diamond in that I was able to watch the whole thing. It might have helped that it had a distopic, futuristic plot, and we all know how much I enjoy those. I’m not a fan of Clive Owen (he’s kind of funny-looking and that distracts me) but it was an ok film. Plot twists, who’s the good guy? issues, and the quest to save the human race. Good, clean, movie-based fun. I probably wouldn’t watch it again because it just didn’t interest me that much. But at least I got through it once which is more than I can say for some other movies.

And Now, Finally...The Day Before & The Wedding

Well, despite my failing to keep up with posting during those last couple days before the wedding, things proceeded and everything went remarkably well.

Thursday and Friday were very busy days. Thursday morning Adam went to go get his tux only to discover that his shirt was about 6 inches too short. He stopped at Casual Male to get a replacement later in the day. Catherine and I caught up on some of my DVR shows. When Adam got home we went to the florist to check out the flower arrangements. After that we parted ways for most of the day. Catherine and I got some lunch and then headed up to Adam’s parents’ house for our makeup test run with Sarah.

We finished up there quicker than anticipated and decided to go over to The Meadows early. Adam’s sisters came along as did Catherine (the roommate.) We started decorating the hall with favors and other décor. Because we had so much extra help (Adam and Tony showed up a little after we got there) we finished up in about half an hour. After some final confirmations and the like with the hall I paid the bill and we were off.

Adam went back home while I took Catherine (the sister) to her hotel to check in. We happened to pull in right as my mom and June got there. They got checked in successfully and I called my dad and brother to see where they were. We hung out in the lobby for a little while until Evan and Jodi showed up. We helped them haul their stuff to their room and socialized until Catherine and I had to leave to go get our nails done. I got fake ones put on and that was an experience! I'd never had anything done to my nails so the dentist-like drill sounding thing she used to buzz down my nails was a little scary. But they turned out great. Much better than my normal, wussy nails. My one complaint is that they were so smooth I couldn't scratch anything. If I had an itch I had to just rub it vigorously.

After nails were done we went back to the hotel to check on everyone. Dad and Cheryl were there by then and we agreed to meet them at the church. We headed over for the rehearsal. Shockingly, everyone was there on time. Good job guys! It was pretty painless and a fun time. We went to Good Company for the dinner. Gifts were given, conversations were had, and I hope everyone had as good a time as I did. It was nice to have everyone together and for my family to meet Adam's.

After the dinner Catherine, Catherine, my mom, and June headed back to our house where we played a few rousing rounds of Snorta. (See previous post about this game...) Everyone went home, I did some final prep work, took a shower, and went to bed.

I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't fall back asleep. I don't think it was nerves but who knows. I woke up because I had three questions that we hadn't thought of and I needed them answered. But I just wrote them down and left them for Adam to deal with. And he did. Which was good. I got up and showered (with a shower cap on) and got dressed. My mom, June, and Catherine showed up around nine. My mom and I left June and Catherine to their own devices while we took a walk around the park across from our house. When we returned the three of them serenaded me with some schmaltzy tunes before we gathered up everything we needed and headed to the hair salon.

We arrived a bit early because I'm still not sure exactly how to get there but they were waiting for us. My hair went up pretty quickly and everyone else was able to get a style they liked. Even my mom gave it a shot.

After everyone’s hair was done we stopped at Erbert and Gerbert’s to pick up lunch. I felt slightly ridiculous going into the restaurant with my glammed-up hair and tiara. But what are you going to do? We took the lunches back to Adam’s parents’ house. Evan, Jodi, and Gabriel were already there along with Sarah and Adam’s parents. We ate lunch together and although I didn’t eat much (half of the sandwich and some water) it was a good time. It was nice to see my family and his getting along so well. After lunch Evan, Jodi, Gabriel, my mom, and June all took off to go back to the hotel to get changed. Sarah did my makeup and then Catherine (the sister) helped me get dressed while the other Catherine got made-up. After everyone was prettied up and dressed we hopped into Sarah’s car (well, in my case, I shoved myself into the car) and headed to the church.

As we came up 8th, Sarah and Catherine saw that the guys were standing outside the front of the church and yelled, “DUCK!” I reflexively put my head down to hide in the backseat. Adam tells me that they were getting pictures taken and he didn’t even notice we were there, but it was still a close call. Adam’s mom opened up the door at the back of the church and we snuck down to the Bride’s Room the back way. We hung out for awhile. Katie, my mom, Adam’s mom, and various other people (including the photographer) popped in and out in the time before the ceremony. We played “Duh!” for a bit to pass the time. The Catherine’s were stolen away for a little while to take pictures with Adam. Then my sister and I made our first joint trip to the bathroom since it’s pretty much impossible to go by yourself while wearing an enormous white dress. Interesting experience… At least I can take comfort in the fact that she’s a med student so perhaps she can write it off as practical experience. Anyway, as 3:30 came and went I started to get antsy. I had been told that Fr Mike would call me on the phone when they were ready so I kept staring at the phone, willing it to ring. Instead, Katie came down to get us when the time came. We rode the elevator up and got into position, the Catherine’s at the edge of the back of the church and me hiding further back. As the guys came out and the processional started, the roar of a train and its whistle could be heard outside. Of all the times for a train to pass… Geesh.

There are certain times in your life where you’re overcome with this surreal feeling. You’re not sure if it’s your life you’re living and you just move without thinking. I got this same feeling during my high school and college graduations. There are pictures of me walking up to get the diplomas, shaking important peoples’ hands, but I really don’t remember it too well. This is how it felt to walk down that aisle toward the front of the church. Yes, I definitely concentrated on not tripping and keeping my dad off my dress, but other than that my mind was clear. I have no idea who was in the pews and since my back was to them most of the ceremony I couldn’t peek later on. We got to the front, my dad made small talk with Adam for what seemed like forever (in his defense, he was just following Fr Mike’s instructions) and then we got started. I had been concerned about the kneeling thing in the dress and big shoes. There was no need to worry. The dress kind of padded my knees and I had no trouble getting up and down in the shoes. Whew!

The ceremony is a little clearer in my mind than the trip down the aisle to get there was. There were certainly times where I really had to concentrate to make sure I said the right thing into the microphone. I could just see myself saying, “I, Adam” or something equally stupid. But most of the time it was just listening to what Fr Mike had to say and standing up and kneeling. Everything went well. No one tripped, there wasn’t a baby meltdown from the pews, nothing caught on fire, Dave remembered the rings (although Adam put mine on backwards…), everything went as planned.

After the ceremony we came back up to the front to have the marriage license signed and take pictures. It went pretty quickly and was almost painless. I say “almost” because almost everyone who took pictures with me kept yanking my veil. It was attached to my head! Ouch. The pictures in the church were mostly family with a few singles of me and some wedding party. When we were done Catherine (the roommate) bustled my dress while the guys messed around with our flowers. We headed outside where I decided it might be prudent to remove the veil since it was pretty windy.

Adam and I got into his car (closely followed by the photographer, snapping away) while the other members of the wedding party divided themselves. We went to City Park for the second round of photos. There were some people at the fountain as we arrived but they left soon after. We took pictures in front of a garden-looking area first. While we were there a group of high-school aged hoodlums on bikes showed up and started screaming, laughing, and jumping around in the fountain (interesting, since there’s a sign that clearly states “no jumping in the fountain.”) We managed to avoid them and even got to take some pictures in front of the fountain. The problem with that was the wind kept blowing in our direction so we were getting wet. Adam and I took a couple more pictures by a tree and then walking back to the car. The photographer actually got in the back seat of the car this time and took more pictures before we left for the reception.

When we arrived at The Meadows (earlier than anticipated!) we waited outside for the DJ. We ran into my uncle John and my friend Tina and swore them to secrecy before we let them go inside. The DJ came out to do a final confirmation of some stuff and then we went inside to wait in the foyer for our Grand March.
We were announced, went to the table, and then stood there for a minute looking dumb since we didn’t know how to tell people that’s all we had, go back to the apps. We went over by the cake, cut it, had some good photo ops, and then the party could start. We tried to say hi to everyone there but I’m sure we missed some people. Everyone looked like they were having fun and it was good to see everyone mingling. We were a little late getting the head table to start dinner because we kind of lost track of time. Oh well. We had some toasts, Fr Bob said grace, and then dinner started. The food was wonderful. Yummy potatoes. After dinner came cake and although it was delicious I couldn’t even eat an entire piece. (Fear not, I made up for it with the top layer we took home.)

We had our first dance to Clay Aiken’s “Everything I Have” (Adam probably hates that I just told everyone we danced to Clay Aiken!) and even though the song is only something like three and a half minutes long it seemed like forever. After that the DJ took over and people danced. We did the bouquet toss (which I sucked at) and garter toss. Then we got to make Tony and Paula dance together which is always the best part. I got a little scared when guests started what seemed like a mass exodus. Lots of people did leave by about 8:30, but enough people stuck around and were having fun that we were able to make it to 10:30 (versus an 11:00 original stopping point.) After the last dance we pow-wowed with the parents to make sure they had their instructions and then we took off.

We got back home and I immediately had Adam let me out of the dress. It wasn’t really that uncomfortable, but the sequins on the bodice had left a rash on my arms and I really wanted to get out of the boning and strapless bra. And the garter. The stupid garter cut off the circulation to my leg and left a big indent. And my feet… my poor feet! Ugh. Anyway, after de-dressing I stood in the bathroom undoing my hair. I counted 31 bobby pins of varying sizes and two tiny rubber bands. And a can of hairspray, some putty stuff of some kind, and lots of hard work with a curler. After I managed to extract all the pins and foreign objects I stood in the shower, letting all the crap dissolve while trying not to yank on the snarls. It all came out pretty well and left my hair just slightly frizzy the next day. And then we went to bed.

The next morning we were up bright and early to finish packing, get ready for a week away from the house, and prepare for our impromptu breakfast party. Everyone showed up, enjoyed some donuts, divided up our leftover cake, dropped off all the stuff from the reception, and had a good time until we kicked them out so we could get to the airport. Although I suppose we didn’t have to be as rude as we were since our flight was delayed over an hour and a half. Oh well.

So, there’s my recap of the wedding. Hey, I’m only a month late…

As far as I know, everything went off without a hitch. If there were any problems, everyone did a great job of hiding them from me. The flowers were gorgeous and everyone who has seen the pictures comments on them. My hair was great and it looks very red in all the pictures. The food was wonderful, the cake rocked, the venue was lovely. My only complaint, perhaps, might be the DJ. He kept playing songs that no one was dancing to. And he kept playing songs that I’m not sure you CAN dance to. And he was not as interactive as I’d anticipated. But, oh well, as long as people had fun it’s ok. I was happy with how it all turned out. Now I just need to get my act together and put the hundreds of photos into the photo album.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oversharing Blog Post #too many

Hopefully this can be the last over-sharing blog posting for a while. Believe me, I’m getting just as tired of it as you are. I was going to try and do one of those expandable post things so you could click if you wanted to read all of this but it looked too complicated. So read on if you'd like. Or don't. It's your choice. We're all adults here.

I had mentioned a while back that at my last doctor’s appointment they gave me Seasonique in place of the Seasonale I’d been on for the past two years because it mysteriously quit working (tons of breakthrough bleeding.) I started taking the Seasonique right away and for about a month things were fine. And then in the middle of July it started. It went on and on, ebbing and flowing, completely unpredictable, uncontrollable, a constant frustration. I had to break down and buy maxi-pads for the first time in about six or seven years because I couldn’t predict when it would start or stop so I didn’t want to use tampons. There were days I actually had to take drugs to be able to function because I was cramping so badly. The Wednesday before the wedding was one of those days. After returning from the drive-in with Adam and Catherine I laid down in bed, took two Pamprin, and tried to relax my discontented uterus.

I had considered calling the doctor in the week before the wedding to see if there was anything they could do to help me out, but I didn’t. I probably should have. On Friday morning it was still there. At that point, though, there was really nothing I could do about it except make the best of the situation. Luckily it wasn’t turbo-style, just an annoyance, but it still lingered at the back of my mind throughout the whole day. When we left for Alaska it was a minor inconvenience. But by Wednesday it was back with a vengeance and made the excursion in Skagway almost unbearable. It was the longest one – an eight hour bus/train ride up to Yukon and back – and let me tell you it’s not a pleasant situation, being stuck in a bus for hours in that condition. I stayed sitting in the back of the bus most of the time. I didn’t want to risk standing up because it was such a disgusting feeling. We missed our opportunity to get our picture taken by the “Welcome to the Yukon Territories” sign because I’d decided I couldn’t wait and tried to go to the bathroom on the bus. By the time I came back out everyone was back on the bus. I broke down in the back of the bus, fearing I was ruining our honeymoon because my stupid body refused to cooperate. I’m tearing up even writing about it now.

I know it was frustrating for Adam too but really there was nothing either of us could do about it. I had not anticipated it would reappear so fully (blindly optimistic of me, I suppose) so I was forced to buy overpriced stuff from the ship’s store in brands I didn’t like just to survive it. Wednesday was definitely the worst day and though it remained a bother, I was able to function and deal with it a lot better for the duration of the trip since it was confined to just one area rather than attacking my whole body at one time.

This, of course, led to discussions about what we were going to do when we returned. I had considered throwing the Seasonique into the ocean half way through the trip but I reconsidered that when I realized that I was completely unprepared for a full-blown appearance. So I kept taking the pills although I abandoned my 7AM on the dot concern to which I had remained so religious. I stopped taking them the Sunday we got back. And, true to my prediction, was soon thereafter hit by the full-blown, hormone-control-deprived results. Without anything foreign in my system it went through its usual route and was gone about a week later. For the first time in over two months I could get dressed without worrying about getting the towel dirty or deciding which level of protection to go with.


But this still left us with the decision of what to do. I had actually talked through this a little over lunch with Catherine (the sister) on the day before the wedding. I know there are many non-hormonal birth control methods out there. My problem is I like most of the effects of the hormonal methods. I was on a 28-day pill for a couple years back in college and it was great. And even the Seasonale worked wonderfully for almost two years. I went on the 91-day pill to avoid all the side-effects of my natural cycle. I’m all for having something control it a little. Plus, most non-hormonal methods require, uh, planning (ahem.) We’re lazy. It’s much easier for me to pop a pill every morning.

So I called my doctor yesterday afternoon to request a prescription for the 28-day pill again. It’s not my ideal solution but I’m hoping it will solve my breakthrough problems (as in, there should be no unexpected bleeding. EVER!) and will be a satisfactory and dependable birth control method until it’s decided to un-control birth. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Recap (and my new hideous driver's license picture)

With Adam no longer working every weekend we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the two days we didn’t previous have to spend together. This weekend his parents were out of town so he couldn’t spend most of Saturday outside working on filling in the leaky basement window like he did last weekend. Instead we did some power shopping on Saturday morning. We were originally going to go look at snow-blowers but after some thought we decided to wait on that to see how much snow we actually get at the house. He warned me that I might be recruited to shovel but we’ll see about that. :) We went to Home Depot to use up some gift cards we got and bought fire extinguishers (a little late…) and rakes (a little early...) We also looked at what they had for fireplace doors since we plan to replace the shoddy screen with glass doors to keep the cats out and the soot and ashes in. We have all the evidence we need to know that the cats have already been exploring it.

The only size they carried in the store was the medium and we needed the large. So we went to Lowe’s to see what they had. All of their glass doors were by special order only and since we had a lot of gift cards we picked up the brochure to look at and think about. We also picked up a fan dimmer switch since Adam wanted to change the fireplace fan to be adjustable. We stopped by Menards to see if they still carried stand alone glass doors but discovered they carried only the same kind of doors with a frame that Home Depot and Lowe’s had. We went home and Adam changed the fan switch over without electrocuting himself. We then went back to Lowe’s and ordered the fireplace doors since we couldn’t do it online because we had an additional 10% off coupon. We got the doors and some random hardware (for hanging the fire extinguishers) for less than $20. Yay for gift cards! We stopped by Walmart on the way home to pick up a gazillion pictures and announcement cards I’d printed the night before. Adam baked our second batch of Amish friendship bread (yum) and watched some football while I cleaned hamster cages and prepped the announcements and pictures. We headed over to Menasha for the Rotary Club’s Seafood Fest for dinner. It was a decent-sized event with live music and very reasonably priced (and good) food. It was a bit chilly but we walked a little by the lake before heading back home. On Sunday we went up to Green Bay to visit with Adam’s grandmother (and restock on cookies.) We stopped for some shoes and additional pictures before getting back home to watch the Packer game. I spent most of it putting honeymoon pictures in the photo albums and doing laundry. Adam painted the garage side-entry door this weekend and we started stacking firewood in the storage space next to the fireplace inside the house as well. All in all I think we did ok for keeping busy.

My week is a little busier than usual with hand bells tonight, IMA tomorrow, and a UWO accounting group get-together on Friday. I went to the DMV during lunch today and would have been in and out in about 5 minutes except for the fact that the teller I went to couldn’t figure out how to change my name on my car title. She sat there clicking around on her screen and getting frustrated for about 15 minutes. She finally got fed-up and told me to go to a different clerk. She was able to do it in 2 minutes, I got my picture taken, and was out of there. *sigh* It never goes smoothly at the DMV. So I am now officially a Paalman:

I’ve sent off most of the notifications to change my name elsewhere. Now if I could only get the HR person at work to get me the paperwork. Our new checks arrived on Saturday along with my new debit cards. Things are going well.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Aftermath of a Wedding

1) My nails are in terrible shape. You can tell exactly how much they’ve grown in the past month because you can see where they filed the heck out of them before gluing on the fake nails. It’s going to take some time for them to grow enough to get rid of the ugliness that also makes them break off in sheets a lot faster than normal. Argh. I think this is a thinly veiled ploy by the nail salons. They make your real nails look like crap so you have to keep going back to them to make them look pretty…

2) Adam is constantly telling me that I need a hair cut. I started growing my hair out last year so the hair stylist would have a little more to work with. I haven’t cut it since a week before the wedding. Adam wants me to chop it off back to above my shoulders. I want to grow it out indefinitely. Let the power struggle begin.

3) I have a wedding dress taking up room in the guest room closet because I can’t decide what I want to do with it. I really don’t have any reason to keep it other than the fact that it’s, well, my wedding dress. I’m 99.99% sure I’ll never wear it again. I don’t plan to keep it for a hypothetical daughter of mine to wear. So I’m at an impasse. Do I get it cleaned and preserved and keep it in the back of the closet or in the basement? Do I sell it (on eBay, to a consignment store, etc.)? People I’ve talked to so far are divided. There are those who look horrified when I suggest I might sell my wedding dress. Others are of the more practical camp and understand that it takes up space and is pretty much useless. I don’t know. I suppose I should decide eventually.

4) Along the same lines we also have a unity candle, wedding bears, and a bunch of other wedding stuff from the reception. Are you supposed to keep that stuff? Is it wrong to throw it in a box in the basement? Are you supposed to display it somewhere?

5) We still haven’t gotten around to printing any of the hundreds of reception and honeymoon photos. We recently got the professional pictures back and they’re sitting in a box by the computer. I think we need to go photo album and picture frame shopping…

6) My name-change process is moving along slowly. The corporate HR person at work is having problems getting me the paperwork (read: She keeps “forgetting” to send them to me through the intercompany mail system…) so although my email has the correct name, my paycheck, benefits, and 401(k) are all wrong still. I’ve changed my name at our main bank and ordered new checks with the correct address as well. I have a couple more credit cards to change along with the second bank. That’s the bank where the mortgage is though so I have a few more steps over there since I need to add Adam to that (well, not to the mortgage, but to the house deed.) My new SS card arrived today so I can get my new license now. Then we'll head to the insurance company and hope that our rates go down now. It’s going along easier than I anticipated but I’m sure I’ll still be in last name limbo for a few more months.

7) Thank-you cards have all been sent out for gifts received. I tried to do that as soon as I could so I didn’t forget about it. It seems like such a tedious process and most people (myself included) probably don’t really even read them unless you’re close to the person. Meh. Etiquette is annoying.

8) I’m already tired of people asking, “So, how’s married life?” It’s not really that different from “living in sin life.” What has changed? I guess I’ve got a slightly heavier ring to wear. I don’t know. It’s not that getting married wasn’t important. I just don’t see the life-changing aspects of it. Maybe I’m missing something or I need an attitude adjustment. Or perhaps since Adam and I lived together for awhile before we made it official I went through that transition a long time ago. I don’t really remember moving in together being some big shock or struggle though. It went pretty smoothly. But maybe I’m repressing memories… We do annoy each other occasionally, that’s for sure. We both have habits that the other finds obnoxious but that’s just how it goes. We’ve managed to be married for 27 days without fighting. Yay for us!

9) Fortunately the “So, when are you going to have kids?” questioning hasn’t started up yet. Well, except for one of our waitresses on the cruise ship. She served us at Le Bistro for our complementary honeymoon package meal/wine/cake deal. When she discovered we had just gotten married she suggested that perhaps we could start our family while on the cruise. I just laughed. No way.

10) I don’t really have anything else wedding related to say here but I figured a list with ten items was better-looking than a list with nine. Wait, I lied. We’ll be sending out announcements soon… whenever we get our act together and print some pictures. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cats, Part Deux

Adam managed to get a photo of both cats - by laying on the floor and sticking the camera upside-down under the bed. Meh, whatever works.

Ted is on the left, Conner on the right.

We took down the cage this morning and are content to let them roam free together since they apparently get along just fine and Ted's cold seems to be gone.

Professional Wedding Photos...

can be found here. Enjoy! We've got a copyright release if any of you want to print any of them. Let us know if you need a copy!

Saturday, September 08, 2007


This past Wednesday night we went out to the Saving Paws shelter to take a look at two cats we saw on their website we were interested in. Their names are Conner and Theodore. And they are the newest members of our growing menagerie of animals. Here's Theodore (who I've taken to calling Ted):

He's in a cage right now for a few reasons. 1 - He and Conner are both cats who were rescued from down in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They are a little traumatized. 2 - He and Conner don't know each other so we want to avoid an all out Kitty Death Match fight. 3 - He has a kitty cold and Conner has giardia (a parasite thing in his digestive system) so we want to keep them apart for that reason as well. He doesn't seem to mind it much and should be able to be out of the cage in a week or so.

I don't have a picture of Conner as he is a master hider and wouldn't stay in my sight long enough to get one. He looks a lot like Conner, but a little bigger.

The Final Damage - Our Wedding Budget Results

This is the most complete breakdown of our wedding budget you'll probably get. Now that it's over I'm less likely to analyze it further. So here we go (along with the huge space blogger inserts when you put a table in...):

Category Amount
Administrative 236.62
Gifts (all) 809.42
Bridal Fashion 1,169.89
Bridesmaid Lunch 70.26
Cake 428.60
Cameras 106.87
Ceremony 34.96
DJ 615.00
Favors 193.41
Hair & Nails 227.96
Honeymoon 5,432.17
Photography 1,984.50
Postage 95.15
Reception (Food, Linens) 1,760.40
Reception Décor 407.28
Rings (excludes engagement) 1,018.48
Stationery 105.99
Grand Total 14,696.96

You may notice a few categories missing: flowers, alcohol at the reception, to mention a couple. This is because Adam's parents generously covered those categories so I have no information about costs since we didn't pay for them. My parents also chipped in a bit but they are of the "here's some money, do with it what you will" camp so I did include the dollar amounts from their categories in our totals.

Any questions, feel free to ask. I might have done some creative combining to get the number of categories down.

In other wedding news, we got an email from our photographer with a link to our proofs. It's password protected so I can't share them but I browsed through them a few days ago and it looks like there's a lot of good stuff there. More on that in the future.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Identity Crisis and a Guy with a Gun

Gah! Falling behind on blog posting!

Anywho, forget the weekend because I'm probably not going to get around to talking about it. You can see the great tree chopping from the last post. We also did some shopping. Had some people over for a cook out last night. That's about it.

Today I went to the Social Security Administration building during lunch to apply for a new card in the Paalman name. Did you know they have armed guards at the SSA office? A dinky little building in downtown Oshkosh and they've got a big guy with a gun sitting at a table when you walk in. And they have an automated machine to give you a number that the clerks never call. In any case, it was a piece of cake and I should have my new card in 7 to 10 days. Then I get to go wait in a line at the DMV. Then I get to wait for months to get everything else changed. Woo.

I'm kind of in a Paalman/Dodds limbo. I'm Paalman at work but Dodds pretty much everywhere else. It's an identity crisis of kinds. Who am I? Luckily my initials are pretty easy to fudge a D to a P or vice versa.

In other news, I finally went through all our pictures and weeded out the crap so we can go ahead and print them. I ended up with a little more than 500 total - wedding, reception, and honeymoon. And this doesn't include any professional pictures! Wow.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, my favorite picture so far is courtesy of Evan:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Adam's Weekend Project


So he lopped off its branches...

Pulverized it with a stump grinder...

And turned it into a hole and a pile of sawdust...