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Archive for January, 2010

It’s shocking how fast time has gone by and here I sit, a married lady for twelve days! I wish I had written about the wedding earlier, things are already starting to slip away.

For the first week I kept saying, “Dude! We’re married!” until he was sick of hearing it. But then he’d turn around and say, “You’re married to me! How does that feel?” We thought it wouldn’t change anything, getting married, it would still be just us, right? But there’s a definite feeling of being more closely bonded and shmoopy (though maybe that last bit is just on my part). He has a new-found, highly amusing tendency to tell me I have to turn down his side of the bed and have dinner waiting when he gets home. I laugh at him, or hit him, and then eat some peanut butter. It works.

As for the day itself, I’d been worried I’d forgotten to take care of something, or things wouldn’t go smoothly, and of course they didn’t. It wouldn’t be a wedding without things going wonky. From flowers that arrived packed not in boxes but flimsy paper bags, or with half the buds unopened (even to this day), to forgetting I would like an escort to the registry office, things were mildly difficult from the word GO! The car called to take the Moms and a bridesmaid, and the wedding dress and assorted items never showed up, but luck was with us in a roommate who owned a vehicle and hadn’t yet left for the wedding. The registry office was behind schedule and the groom and best man arrived before the wedding dress did, so I was in my riding outfit. A friend of ours from the States (who spent all her monies to get here!) was with me when she noticed them coming, grabbed me and steered me away, yelling at the groom to go away! but was not heeded.

In fact, he eventually came toward me, spoiling plans to keep us apart until the exact moment I walked in the registry office, but that was a foregone conclusion anyway. We ended up meeting in a lovely hug on flagstones, surrounded by friends, and staring at each other for about twenty minutes before the ceremony started, to The C-Quents’ “Dearest One”. This song is so ideal, a melding of his soul music and my doo wop, all wrapped in one perfect tune! With so many of our friends around us, our moms there, this fantastic song, my cheeks hurting because I was smiling so much, we walked in to begin the first steps to married life.

Wedding cake! An amazingly rich, three-tiered, marzipan-covered Guinness-soaked fruit cakestrocity! Apparently fruit cakes are customary at English weddings; I also had a fantastic vanilla cake layered with strawberry mousse and covered in cream cheese frosting, strawberries and silver decorator balls. It was gone in about 2.5 seconds flat but you bet I claimed the first gigantic piece for myself. Well, I did share a bite, as is traditional. And I ate marzipan cycling caps and cogs off the Guinness cake, as well as all I could manage of the richest cake I’ve ever eaten save flourless chocolate torte.

Dancing, drinking, eating, DJs, friends, bikes out the wazoo, we couldn’t have hoped for a better wedding day and reception! It passed in a blur, but at least we have the photos.

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Sunday morning, heading back south of the river from Bow, I was on the number 78 and crossing Tower Bridge when I looked out the window and had my first I-love-London moment. One day later, walking back over a different bridge at night, bike and boyfriend along this time, I had another. Maybe it’s just the river that I love. I’m not sure at this point because shortly thereafter, looking out over it from a pier, at a pink-floodlit building and houseboats moored at the center, trees lit up with blue and white lights, it just all seemed so surreal! I live in London! I have to learn how to get around on my bike! And on buses! Will I ever feel as well-settled as I did in NYC? I pretty much immediately took to that city though I did need about three years to feel like I lived there and wasn’t just visiting.

Two more days to the wedding! Tomorrow I finally get to meet the boyfriend’s mom, we’re so excited both our moms can be here for this! Many errands to do today; I pick up our rings and exchange his belt for the smaller one, and yes, I will ride my bike there. Eeek! I forgot to ask his help with the route! It’s up to me today, thank goodness I got up early (8 a.m.)!

Grocery store run for ingredients for root veg & lentil soup, homemade bouillon and enchiladas. That’ll probably be two runs unless I go on the bus, of which there are no convenient single-bus runs between us and the store.

We got our dress/suit back from the cleaners yesterday, mine’s floofing in the open bedroom but I still think I’ll need a petticoat. We have shoes, ties, hankies, makeup, jewelry, haircuts, … have I forgotten anything? *grin* We’ll know Saturday, won’t we?

OMG! Panic! Will I get everything done! Gotta get on it, starting with the three Ses.

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Last week I purchased the Limited Edition flavor Mascarpone, Passion Fruit & Truffles on impulse, lured in by my love of mascarpone cheese and passion fruit.

Due to consuming 1 bottle of 7.5% cider, this was a bit of a tipsy impulse buy, and that’s all I can come up with for my near-instant dislike of the flavor. It led me, also, to find the UK Häagen-Dazs website, to click on the “contact us” link, and to write an email all about how I thought it was an unsuccessful flavor combination and that I wanted my £4.79 (exorbitant!) back. The next afternoon, when I decided to give it another go, I found it unutterably delicious and finished off the pint. *shrug*

Today, the boyfriend came laughing upstairs and told me that Häagen-Dazs had sent me £5! I didn’t know if I would hear back from them, and thought that maybe if I did they would send me a coupon for a free pint (I had high hopes of several free pints). Instead they sent me a £5 postal order! How amazing is that!? So I have to write them an email thanking them for their good customer service and to tell them that I will continue buying their products (duh).

Brits, complaining doesn’t always get spit in your food. Try it once in a while.

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Wedding Bells

Less than a week to the big day! I have a lot to do today, call a hair stylist, take my wedding dress to the cleaner, figure out how to get an American appliance to work here on 220V (yes, I know, a converter. still have to make sure I have the right adaptors, too, it was bought in Spain), vacuum the bedroom, make the list of people to send invites to, whether or not they’re actually coming to the wedding, give myself a pedicure (is it too early to do that?) and decide which of the borrowed jewelry I will wear with the dress. Oh, and find a piercing shop to have my old septum ring put back in, unless I decide to have a gold one made.

*phew*

Here are my lovely wedding bell earrings. They even jingle!

I can’t wait to be able to show off the wedding rings our friend made!

We had been pretty bummed because we didn’t think we’d be able to have any family members out here for the wedding, ticket prices being what they are, but last week we got great news: both moms can make it! Not everyone is able to make it out here but for they who can’t there is streaming video hosted by the registry office. Sweet! Both moms arrive on Friday morning, within an hour of each other, at distant airports. So the meet-n-greet will have to take place back at the house, not at an airport or major transport hub since neither of the airports easily link up to the same hub. : ( Guess we’ll all just have to wait a little longer. I kind of fancied a big meeting at King’s Cross, myself.

I suspect this week will be a blur of minutes and hours and preparation and worry over what must get done and then the day will be here and gone and we’ll wonder where it all went!

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Stackalacka!

Momentary pause in the going-out-in-the-rain process to bring you this photo of stackness.

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Snow!

We thought that with the thaw underway yesterday we’d be able to ride our bikes soon but woke up to this!

Mary Poppins, yo!

As you can see, though, it is already beginning to melt.

Last bit of wedding dress fixery has been completed, only have left to find good dry cleaner and potentially purchase storage bag.

Ooh! Fox just walked through the back garden. They have pale bronze eyes.

OOOH!! The boyfriend just came in and handed me the new Vampire Weekend album, Contra, and the single for Yeasayer’s Ambling Alp on vinyl! I now truly risk overplaying that song.

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In this article, the Avatar Effect, the Daily Mail reports on various reactions to the movie. Avatar is an incredibly beautiful and life-like movie; friends and I discussed how immersive it was, exactly as one would hope one’s favorite sci-fi novel could be transferred to the big screen. I could easily empathize with the pain and depression felt by protagonist Jake Sully, as he awakens to “the real world” after once again having the use of his legs while on Pandora. I felt the sadness other viewers have reported after taking to heart the, admittedly, hammered in idea that humans can act like rapacious cancers wherever they go. But the strong depressive and suicidal responses stated by some viewers is shocking.

It is a film. It is a film that was beautiful and thoroughly captivating, but with a heavy-handed, overweening message. But that’s it. How have people become so detached from their everyday lives that viewing a film can make them feel suicidal?

Suicidal thoughts as a result of watching Avatar makes me feel for the people experiencing them but the call of racism was annoying. I am so tired of people calling down the “white hero” phenomenon. Let me ask you this: a people with staggeringly superior technology and the knowledge of their one weakness (yes, I’ll bring up Independence Day’s deus ex machina device of the alien invasion being subverted only through their lack of ability to survive Earth viruses) begins the destruction of a people. How, but through people who know how to use that technology, is such a destruction to be averted? A similar charge of the “white hero” idea comes in the story of Snow Falling on Cedars. I’m left wondering if people see racism in this purely because they think it’s racist or if it would seem less like racism if we had more representations of racial minorities triumphing over adversities through their own actions. Or how about not facing any adversities at all and showing minorities and whites alike experiencing the joys, boredom and everything else of life. Also, I just remembered the Chosen One aspect of the film. But that still goes back to the vastly different levels of technology in use by the two factions.

If you want to see racism, look to the obvious lack of feeling the Giovanni Ribisi character, Parker Selfridge, had for the Na’vi. Or the clearly xenophobic attitude of Stephen Lang’s Colonel Miles Quaritch. See racism in the exoticification of the Na’vi by Joel Moore’s Norm Spellman or in the Sigourney Weaver character Dr. Grace Augustine. But even that, I think, could simply be a case of the inability to fully flesh out the emotions of characters in such an ambitious plot. At nearly three hours long it still felt like so much was left out. If this were novelized (likely serialized), we’d have a much better understanding of all the characters and the message and actions of the “evil” characters wouldn’t have to be so heavy-handed.

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