Sarah has maybe never seemed happier than this moment, eating dessert in a comfortable hotel bed while watching a 'Real Housewives' reality show on her laptop.
Sarah: [looking at this picture] Ooo... the comforter looks like a wedding dress!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
It's a rushed trip, but luckily we had some time to see my friend, Brett, who lives in L.A. We didn't have much time, though, and were stuck kind of in the middle of nowhere, so we ended up eating at a Sizzler.
Sarah: Sizzler is a real place?
Me: I only know it as a joke reference. I always assumed it was some place that shut down in the '80s.
Brett: No, it's very real. It's not even underground. It's all over out here. Wow, I haven't been in one of these in a long time. I grew up in a very large family, so we never really went out to restaurants, except as a special occasion on your 8th and 12th birthday. I went with my parents to a Sizzler for my 12th.
Me: Why 8 and 12?
Brett: They're big birthdays in the Mormon faith.
Me: Ah yeah, I forget that you were raised Mormon.
Brett: 8 is baptism and 12 is receiving the priesthood.
Me: Wait, you're a priest?
Brett: An Aaronic priest. Not to be confused with an ironic priest, although I suppose I'm that too. Aaronic, as in passed down from Aaron.
Me: And your birthday's coming up in a couple days, too, isn't it?
Brett: Well, yeah...
Me: Dinner's on me. One more birthday at the Sizzler. 8, 12 and...?
Brett: 33. Thank you. I guess 33 could be a big birthday for the Mormons.
Me: Why's that?
Me: Oh yeah.
Monday, June 28, 2010
An impromptu trip to L.A.
The in-flight movie was Roman Polanski's 'The Ghost Writer.'
I tried to get some work done instead of watching the movie. Sarah watched the first half hour before realizing it wasn't 'Ghost Rider.'
Sarah: I kept wondering why I wasn't seeing Nicolas Cage.
Me: Or a flaming skull head?
Sunday, June 27, 2010
File this one under, "Wedding Tips That Are Super Obvious But I'd Never Heard Before."
Sarah wrote little numbers on the backs of the response cards before we sent them out. That way, if someone's writing is illegible, we still know who it is. Clever, right?
Of course, that doesn't help decipher hard-to-read funny "exclamations" at the top of the card, but oh well.
Some more guest exclamations that we could read:
"It's your special day!"
"In brightest day, in blackest night!"
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Two weeks until Megan and Alex's wedding.
Like most brides-to-be, Megan has been on a rigorous lose-weight-for the-wedding routine.
Megan: I just tried on my dress... and it's actually too big now.
Me: So you overshot it.
Megan: It's better than not losing enough, but it's still irritating that it may not be the right size.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Drinks with Hansen, Young and Meador.
Hansen: [to Young] So how is YOUR wedding planning going?
Young: Good. We have a church. St. Clements.
[doesn't register with any of us]
Young: You know... down by Frances' Deli?
Meador: Frances' Deli?
Me: Don't know it.
Hansen: [just shrugs and shakes his head "no."]
Young: Over by Graham Cracker Comics?
All Three of Us: Oh yeah. I know where that is.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I've mentioned this before, on another blog, but, besides a few pictures of Sarah and I, the only framed pictures I have are from friends' weddings. Trupe's on the left, Tom's on the right.
Sarah has several just-for-fun framed pictures of her and various friends. At a bar. Hanging out. Just goofin'. Hmm, this stacked double picture picture frame would be great for a 'hanging out,' 'just goofin'' combo.
For me though, if it's not at your wedding, it's not getting a frame. Frankly, it's probably not getting printed out at all. Sorry.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Sarah stopped by my workplace just in time for a tornado sighting that sent everyone in the office into the basement.
We basically just stood around while people tried to get weather information on their phones. People discussed which were the best weather apps for the iPhone.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sarah and I have been watching episodes of 'South Park' in bed on her laptop each night before we go to sleep. All of the seasons are on Netflix Watch Instantly, so it's easy. From the beginning, episode by episode. It appeals to the pop culture completist in me (I've never seen EVERY episode, but now I will). Sarah doesn't share this attitude, so if she gets bored with an episode, like, say, the one that's just a series of funny Christmas Carols, she'll yell, "NEXT!" and push the "Next Episode" button.
Near the end of season four there's an episode where they retell the story of Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations.'
Sarah: This one is boring me. I think we should skip it.
Me: I'm fine with that. I just want to see what Miss Havisham looks like first.
Sarah: Miss Havisham?
Me: Yeah. She's a pretty big literary character. An old woman who was left at the alter on her wedding day... or maybe the guy died... I don't remember. Anyway, she goes crazy and spends the rest of her life in her wedding dress, and her room stays just the way it was that day even though the cake gets moldy and disgusting. A crazy old woman in a wedding dress.
Sarah: Wow. [pause] I never read 'Great Expectations.'
Me: I just read it in high school.
One of Sarah's prize possessions is a collection of the complete works of Charles Dickens which sits on a shelf in our apartment.
Sarah: When my grandparents moved into a smaller place and needed to get rid of some things, they were the only thing I wanted. I thought I was going to have to fight for them, but it turns out no one else wanted them. I have to admit, I've never read any of them.
Me: I find it more fun to talk about Dickens than to read him, honestly.
Sarah: I started one but never finished it.
We never finished the 'South Park' adaptation of 'Great Expectations' either.
Sarah: NEXT! [pushes button] Oh... the next one's called 'Fat Camp.' That sounds like more our speed.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Lunch with my friend Nick. I stood in his wedding... seven years ago. Wow, it doesn't seem that long ago.
We talked about some of my top secret wedding plans. Entertainment, etc.
Nick: When you talk about your wedding, it makes you sound like a king. Having people perform for your amusement.
Me: It does sort of sound like that, doesn't it.
And we talked about weddings we'd each been to over the years.
Nick: I was at a wedding recently where something strange happened during the speeches. The bridesmaid stood up and gave an Irish toast and really knocked it out of the park. Then, right after, the father of the bride got up, fumbled through some things, it wasn't going very well, and then just launched into the same Irish toast. The same one that we'd just heard two seconds ago. I don't know if he wasn't paying attention or if that was just what he'd rehearsed and thought, "I've gotta do it! It's all I got!" It was really weird. Toasts can be tricky.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sarah's dress was in the trunk of the car for a day between the cleaner and the tailor.
Sarah: Don't look in the trunk.
Me: I won't.
Sarah: I mean, it's in a bag, you won't be able to see it. You won't see anything. But still... just... don't open the trunk.
Me: Okay. No problem.
Wedding dress in the trunk. Wedding shoes in the trunk. It's sort of like there's a bride in the trunk of my car.
Sarah: You know... they use special hangars at the cleaners. Hangars with boobs. Sort of shaped like a woman's torso. So... just the shape of it... it does kind of eerily look like there's a body in your trunk.
Don't look in the trunk.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
The evening took a strange turn, and, along with a group of friends, we ended up at a dance club downtown (you know, the kind with plasma screens playing two different movies from the Fast and the Furious franchise at the same time). The kind of place I end up in maybe once every two years, if that. Not really my scene.
Still, it was fun. And hey, two Fast and Furious movies.
Are these clubs always flooded with bachelorette parties? Because we saw several of them. Even more of them than we have to contend with in Wrigleyville, where we perform. Which is a lot.
One of the parties must have lost a tiara, because we ended up with it, each taking turns trying it on.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Alex and Megan's wedding is only a few weeks away. They scheduled a dance lesson to help prepare for their first dance, and since they were allowed to have another couple participate for free, they asked Sarah and I to tag along.
Alex: We're learning the foxtrot.
Megan: So I guess you guys have no choice but to do a foxtrot for your dance too. Either that or this lesson will be a total waste for you guys.
I was pretty good at walking to a beat, and swaying back and forth, but when it came time to put those elements together into an actual dance... not so much.
Dance Instructor Quote That May Be Some Kind of Cryptic Relationship Advice That I Don't Really Understand: Your man may seem like a solid sturdy door. And he is a door. But he will open for you.
After the lesson, the four of us went to see the 'A-Team' movie. So, a deeply romantic night from beginning to end.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
A (probably fairly obvious) tip for people getting married and registering for gifts. Registering at stores is cool (you can get a slow-cooker!) but, since it's good to register at more than on place, doing something like Honeyfund is also a good option. Basically, they're just sites where, if people want to just give cash, they can do it online. You know, to help pay for the honeymoon, or in some cases, part of the wedding itself.
Plus, guest can pick what their money is "really" going towards. "Hotel Night ($200)." "Beach Day ($35)." Like that. It's cute.
My favorite part, though, was that you can come up with your own donation descriptions, which, of course, I mostly used as an opportunity to make jokes inspired by the stock photos they had to choose from.
Sarah suspects, and she may be right, that people are more likely to pick the funny ones ("Dolphins!") even though they're clearly not for real things. We'll see.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
An email exchange I had recently with my friend, Trupe.
Trupe: “Arnie I have a secret to tell you that I am embarrassed and sad about. I can't fucking find your great invitation in my house! I'm in an RSVP dead zone!!! Can I reply online? I think Viv [his daughter] may have hid it. We want to attend your wedding!”
Trupe: “Also, do not tell your fiance about this invitation debacle, Arnie. “
Trupe: “I AM STILL LOOKING FOR IT! DON'T BUST ME YET! WONAK [his wife] WILL BE MAD AT ME! FOR SERIOUS.”
Me: “Sarah says, ‘tell Trupe we can send him another one, OR he can write me an apology in the form of a poem and pick two songs’.”
Trupe: “YOU FUCKING FUCK! I TOLD YOU IT WAS A GODDAMN SECRET!”
Me: “Just write a heartbreaking poem. You do that all the time, right? It's how you pay for lunches.”
Trupe: “It’s okay. My life is over anyway. Now I’m going to have to interrogate Viv in a manner I was hoping to avoid.”
Trupe: “I’m sorry I yelled at you Arnie.”
Tonight I gave Trupe several extra copies of the invitation, although I realized none of them included return postage. So when it comes to minor wedding etiquette faux pas, we are equal.
Monday, June 14, 2010
One more picture from Chris's wedding.
I wish I could have gone, to take it all in, but it's just too expensive a year for a trip like that.
So much of it sounds really interesting. In this picture you can sort of see the elaborate henna drawings Nimi had on her hands and arms.
Chris: I had to find my name hidden in the lines. I had no idea it was going to be that hard. And it wasn't all together, you know, my name, Chris, written out, I had to find each separate letter. C's and S's are hard to find!
The ceremony ended with the two of them walking around a fire four times. Three times he led and then the last time she led.
Chris: I don't want to say it was anti-climatic, but you're used to a ceremony where you say "I do" and she says, "I do" and then they say you're married. There wasn't a moment like that. We walked around the fire and Nimi whispered to me, "We're married now." I was like, "Oh. Okay. Awesome. We're married."
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Hung out with my friend Meador.
We talked about wedding music, how Sarah and I are going to bypass having a DJ altogether and just make our own playlists.
Meador: I recently had to save a wedding from the DJ. No one was dancing. He kept playing all these mash-ups. I get what he was trying to do, "these are two songs that people like, I'll play them at the same time," but it was not working. I went up to him and said, "Look, you have to play a Michael Jackson song NOW. Any Michael Jackson song. But it has to be next." And he did. And people started dancing. And he seemed to get the idea after that. Wedding saved.
[By the way, Meador didn't feel like having his picture taken so he hid behind this exercise ball.]
Meador: Oh, and guess what Michael Jackson song he played.
Meador: Yep. Thriller. So it wasn't as much of a win as it could have been. But it was FINE. It worked. People did the Thriller dance.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Laura: I was so excited about your wedding invitation but then I realized I have another wedding that same day. And I'm in that one. I'm so bummed that I'm not going to be able to make it to yours.
Me: Wait... you have two weddings on September 11th?
Laura: Yeah. I actually went to a wedding on that day three years ago too.
Me: And how was it?
Laura: [thinks for a moment] Fine.
Me: It wasn't weird?
Laura: It wasn't weird.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
This is Sarah's engagement box. The box I opened to ask her to marry me. Sarah cleaned out her purse recently and this box ended up sitting on the coffee table for a few days.
Sarah: I thought I needed it in my purse in case I needed to take off the ring, to have a safe place for it, but I don't take it off, so I don't need it.
So, this box has been floating around the apartment without a permanent home. Now it's on top of my dresser. I'm not sure if Sarah put it there to say, "You figure out what to do with this."
It seems like a keepsake, right? If the symbol of our engagement came in this box, is the box a symbol as well? I had the ring delivered (sending it out of state saved some money), so this box came in another, slightly bigger box. Should I keep that box too? (In fact, I think I do still have that box, tucked away in a closet somewhere.)
Should we buy a safe and keep our valuables' boxes inside the box the safe comes in?
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Chris is back at work after his three day traditional Indian wedding ceremony in England. This picture of him riding a horse to the final day of celebration has been floating around the office.
Chris: It was great. And I knew it was going to be… elaborate… but I had no idea. Like the horse. I thought I was going to ride it around a corner or something, but no, I rode it all the way from my hotel, with drums and people dancing all around me. Oh, and I guess the horse was a famous horse. They said it had just been on TV.
Monday, June 7, 2010
This morning, Sarah told me about a nightmare she had, probably inspired partially by watching 'The Road' and partially by a vampire class she's taking soon for school.
Sarah: We were in the suburbs, trying to survive a vampire apocalypse. But you got bitten. You were lying on the driveway, dying, and you asked us to kill you before you turned into a vampire. I laid down next to you, and hugged you and you said, "How beautiful." Then my uncle snapped your neck. A couple of days passed and I was holed up in my old house with my family and your body was in the driveway. Every day I had to look out the window to make sure no vampires were coming, but I'd just look at your body.
Sarah: The upside to my dream was that I was a really fast runner. I remember being impressed with myself when I was running away from the vampires. Like "Whoa, I can run really fast. I must be in awesome shape."
Sunday, June 6, 2010
We've started receiving some very nice comments on the "Guest Book" page of our wedsite.
Oddly, some of the comments are from people who aren't invited. I think my mother gave the web address to the other teachers in her weekly retired teachers lunch at Panera. So, I'm getting some nice notes from a few of my old teachers and librarians.
This picture includes the last few sentences of my favorite comment. I'm guessing she didn't realize what she wrote would be publicly viewable since it ends with, "don't tell your mom I said that."
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Sarah bought some clothes for the wedding. Bras, etc. (Am I supposed to buy special wedding underwear?)
Sarah: Do you know what Spanks are?
Sarah: I tried some on for the first time today. They're terrible. Oh my god. They make you the meat in a sausage casing. It hurt. A lot. I literally almost broke my finger. It got caught under the waistband and it hurt so much I screamed. I'm not exaggerating.
Me: That sounds terrible.
Sarah: I told a friend that I've never worn Spanks before and she couldn't believe it. She says "everybody" wears Spanks. Oh, and she said every time she wears them... the squeezing gives her explosive diarrhea.
Me: Every time?
Sarah: Every time. I don't want that. No Spanks. Fuck Spanks.
Me: Fuck Spanks.
Sarah: I mean... I'll probably end up wearing them, but still...
Thursday, June 3, 2010
A high percentage of the invitation reply cards have come back marked "able" to attend. In fact all of them were marked that way until we made the joke, "It looks like everyone's coming to our wedding."
Then the very next card we opened, from my friends Brett and Natasha in Los Angeles, was marked "unable." Then the card after that, from my old Whirled News castmate, Haskins, also in L.A., was another "unable." Things aren't looking good for having any California guests.
The reply cards all have a space set aside for guests to offer two song suggestions for our reception. Only about half the responses so far have come back with songs written in, but 100% of the people who won't be there have definite ideas about what we should play.
Brett and Natasha wrote, "Even though we will not be there (and will be heartbroken about it) I SINCERELY hope you don't hold it against us, and therefore honor the request to play: Jessie's Girl. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!"
Haskins wrote, "Sara Smile by Hall and Oates (Gross! I know!) Ice Ice Baby. I DEMAND these are played in my absence."
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Sarah and I watched the new HBO biopic about Jack Kevorkian, 'You Don't Know Jack' (not to be confused with the funny trivia game). Watching Al Pacino as "Dr. Death" helping patients with brutal terminal diseases prepare to euthanize themselves, and watching couples old and not so old struggle to find some way to say goodbye during their final moments together... well... it's only natural to imagine yourself there, to feel this inevitable future sense of loss creep in.
As we prepare to begin our marriage, we found ourselves contemplating its end.
Sarah: For us... for me... I could see under the right circumstances wanting that for myself. But I don't think I could do it for you.