Monthly Archives: 

January 2006

Bridal shows…

Mandrina and I went to a bridal show today.

It was my idea, I’m not complaining. Much.

But I wanted to share my creepy experience with all of you.

So I’m at this bridal show, with maybe a dozen or two other guys. Most people there were women. Brides-to-be, friends, mothers, what have you. I felt a little excluded. I can deal, don’t get me wrong, but it definitely wasn’t targetting the male demographic.

Mandrina and I sit down early for the fashion show — the main reason we went, she needs to pick out bridesmaids dresses — and are flipping through the little “magazine” they give you when you arrive. Free gift. Ignore the fact that it cost you money to get into someplace where they’ll try to get you to spend more money, just go with it.

I’m looking past Mandrina for a moment, and see the bride-to-be two seats down turned to a particular page in the magazine. Now, I don’t remember the name of the place advertized, “Centerfolds,” maybe. But it’s advertised as being Seattle’s ONLY all-male strip club.

I blink.

We’re here to talk about all the romance and planning that goes into a wedding… and they’re advertising strippers.

And only male ones!

Lack of gender equality aside, I was still a little surprised. I steal the magazine from Mandrina’s control, and flip to the page. Weird. We go back to looking through the magazine.

A little bit later, the announcer comes out. “Entertains” us for a few minutes. Then it’s time to start the show.

A semi-muscular, bald-headed African American man comes out in a Flamengo (is that the style?) dancer costume. A moment later, an attractive woman comes out. And they start dancing. I’m no one to judge, but she’s pretty good. He’s WAY too into it, though. Think, “shaking it like you just don’t care.” He’s OVERLY enthusiastic.

His dance partner goes back inside, and then the Parade of Gowns starts. He stays out, and does these “longing” poses with kneeling stretching bows.

He looks vaguely familiar. Memory clicks.

I flip back to the Centerfolds ad.

Yup. The main companion for the bridal models is the featured stripper from the club.

Explains his dancing. Explains the fact that he had cowboy chaps the next time he came on the stage. Explains the sailor costume.

Doesn’t explain to ME why he was there, but…

It was just plain WEIRD.

When I think Bridal Show, I don’t tend to think “stripper practice.”

Most stressful thing I’ve done recently…

Mandrina doesn’t get along too well with her dad.

I’ve met her mother three times now, and in all of them I’ve spent a large amount of time with the lady. Miss Polly is a sweetheart through and through.

I’ve met her father twice. Once the day before he was getting remarried, and the second time at his wedding. The evening I met him, he proceeded to show me his gun collection.

Mandrina insists that I shouldn’t feel threatened — he let me hold one of them. I insist I should feel threatened — us Northerners don’t tend to have closets full of assault rifles! And letting me hold ONE assault rifle when he has the entire closet — and all the bullets — doesn’t seem like anything other than a promise not to kill an unarmed man!

The second day I met him, he made a fairly suggestive comment — telling a joke about the aphrodisiac effects of Oysters ran out “after the sixth one!” I felt awkward, to say the least.

But Mandrina has years of stored up horror stories, so I was the obstacle she chose to put in front of her father when it came time to tell him we were getting married. We “didn’t have her cell phone charger” while we were in NY, so we couldn’t call him. We sent him a copy of the newspaper clipping, and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being the Father of the Bride” or some such, along with a note saying I don’t know what, but apologizing for not calling (no phone number without her cell phone’s phone book!) — and providing my cell phone number to call.

So a week or so goes by. We realize we’ve sent the package to the wrong address, so we weren’t sure if it was going to be received by him, or returned to my parent’s house where we had mailed it from. Then, while we were at the Seattle Bridal (Wedding?) Expo, I missed a phone call.

Mandrina still hasn’t listened to the message, but I have. It’s not that he wasn’t pleasant or polite… I just got the impression that the man was speaking through forced manners. Mind you, having only spoken to him twice before, and neither time at length, I’m not in a valid position to pass actual judgment. That being said… if that’s Mandrina’s father being HAPPY for us, I’d hate what it would be like if he was angry.

Then Mandrina’s new step-mom stole the phone, and she was all warm and fuzzy, wanting to know the details of the proposal.

It’s been almost two weeks since then… and I just worked up to calling her dad back.

The time zone thing doesn’t help. During the day, he’s likely to be at work, and I only have his home phone number. And then there’s only so large a window in which it’s polite to call — particularly to my future father in law! — namely, between dinner and bedtime. Then there’s the, “No, you do!” conversation I had had to have with Mandrina.

So I found myself near trembling today… but I called. We spoke, for almost ten minutes!

He pointed out that Mandrina is high maintenance, I assured him I had noticed. He was surprised when I mentioned we were considering getting married “down there” — Florida, near where Mandrina’s from. He told me an amusing anecdote from Mandrina’s past that she’s never mentioned — she had owned a BMW as a teenager. She claimed she liked BMW — his version is she liked how she LOOKED in a BMW. Hrm…

Mandrina is supposed to call her step-mom tomorrow during the day, as she wanted to know the details of the proposal… I’ll bully her into it, if need be. Mandrina knows she needs to be civil… and the step-mom is a nice lady.

I don’t get afraid easy. I get nervous, I get ansy. I get irritated at the drop of a hat. But I don’t tend towards actual “afraid.”

I was more afraid of making that call than I was of actually proposing. How odd.

Laptop tax…

My five year old laptop is dying.

It’s far from dead, but I’ve already replaced the batteries, portions of the motherboard, and the harddrive, and there’s currently something rattling around inside it.

So Mandrina and I briefly discussed my getting a new laptop.

Then I did the math.


A desktop is bad enough, but…

I paid about $2000 for my laptop in my junior year of college. That was five years ago (six?). In February, as a matter of fact. So five.

$2000 / 5 = $400/year.
$400 / 12 ~= $33 / month
That’s a dollar day, every day for the last five years!

There have been a few special cases that make it worthwhile, but WOW.

I was looking at two options for my theoretical replacement machine — high end, low end.

High end I figure can hold me for another five years. Low end, give it three.

$2000 for the high end will end up the same stunningly depressing math.

$500 for the low end gives me a laptop at $13/month. While I won’t be able to do as much with my lowend laptop, I’m more willing to pay the $0.40 /day tax than I am a dollar a day!

The $500 doesn’t strike me as scary. Heck, the $2000 doesn’t either.

Now, both numbers do. What was I thinking when I bought that engagement ring? I could have bought a new laptop instead!

(I love you, Mandrina! =] )

Long week to come…

Three times so far today I’ve thought to myself, “Well, because today is Friday, I need to get this done in a hurry so I can…” and planned out exactly what I need to do in order to actually finish tasks.

Then, a few moments later, I’ve realized it’s very definitely NOT Friday. It’s not Thursday. It’s not even Wednesday.

And with the sinking realization that it’s Monday, I realize it’s shaping up to be a long, long week.

Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla

So I went to be healthy today, and fill up a water bottle in the kitchen at work. Then I caught sight of a sign on the door to the refrigerator: Coca-Cola Vanilla has been discontinued, coming in January 2006 try Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla.

I thought to myself, sure, I’ll try it when it comes, but there better be a diet version!

Then I looked inside the fridge, and low and behold, there was a stack of this new flavor of soda!

So forget the water, I grabbed a can of the Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla.

My dear friend Abigail gasped when she saw it. I then got suckered into letting her try. Her comment was that the black cherry definitely tasted different than the ordinary Cherry Coca-Cola.

My comment, when I finally got my can back, was “wow, that’s a lot of vanilla!”

It’s okay, but I won’t be getting it every day.

Well, who’s terribly surprised…

On December 23, 2005, at approximately 12:45pm, in the center of the ice rink at Rockefeller Center I finally officially asked Mandrina to marry me, surrounded by a few hundred random strangers.

She said yes.

And there was a photographer there from the New York Daily News… Wanna see?

Details of proposal to follow; details of wedding when decided.