Getting Engaged (Finally)

Calling this post long-delayed is a bit like calling the Pacific Ocean “wet” or the guy who slipped up on the Zune leap-year bug “fired” – it is a severe understatement while still being accurate. I was recently alerted by Nightsinger to the fact that my lovely wife repeatedly tells her version of the engagement story, which has certain elements which depart wildly from the truth. Admittedly, that’s mostly because she’s assuming chaos where there was intention, but there were equal parts chaos where she assumes intention. It evens out on my side, because I’m writing this.

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I hate Mandrina’s home town

Everyone sodding knows everyone. It’s a fairly populous area, but the place comes across as if everyone went to the same schools with the same people for years. Tara or Mandrina will give voice to how it’s a sucking vortex, and nobody escapes.

I hate it for entirely different reasons. I still have yet to be treated as an individual when I was there.

Case in point (and cause for today’s rant): I hired someone Mandrina approved of to take the wedding pictures. It’s been over a month, and I haven’t heard anything about them. So I asked. She’s an artist-type, I thought the photographer may have still been cleaning them up.

I got a response this morning — she had dropped the pictures off with Mandrina’s MOTHER. Why? Because she was in the neighborhood. Who paid for the photographs? Who arranged for the photography at all?

Not Mandrina’s mother.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Mandrina’s mother. This small town “everyone knows everyone” thing is annoying the heck out of me, because I don’t know everyone, so I’m just treated as an accessory.

We should have been the first ones to see the pictures after the photographer, and to pick and choose who sees what. This small-town mentality has ruined that option.

It will be a long time before I want to go back there again.

March 11, 2007 is a date that will live in

Something or other.

I was going to write a long-winded, lengthy post, but given that I don’t have time for that, I’ll post the great news, then move on to the less important items that are clogging up what little brainspace I have.

On March 11, 2007, Mandrina and I were married in Pensacola, Florida.

Pictures will follow. I didn’t take any, I was busy getting married.

Math error

I’m sorting through wedding response cards (oh, what fun!). It’s not that bad; given that I’m inviting people to what amounts to a destination wedding, a roughly 50% acceptance rate is okay in my book — most of the people who couldn’t come I’m not terribly surprised — other, closer friends weddings, the cost of airfare, etc.

But as I’m going through the invitations, there’s this nagging thought at the back of my head: this stack is really small.

Then I figured out why, and I will share my brilliance with you.

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I guess I’m getting married

I could have backed out of it, I suppose, but now I really can’t. I booked the plane tickets for our flights to the wedding site, and then from there to our honeymoon destination, and then back home. With free upgrades to first class — next time you need to book a vacation, call NWA World Perks Vacations at 1-800-800-1504, and ask for Samantha. (She was wonderful.)

So, I guess I’m stuck now. Oh well. Mandrina must not be reading over my shoulder right now, because she hasn’t yet glared at me. (I love you, honey!)

Small Ship Cruises

I’m getting married in March. This, at least, is what the invitation says. I’m currently of the opinion that both parties will be present, but I could be wrong.

Going on the assumption, however, that I will be getting married, I need to at least try to make plans for a “honeymoon.” Given that we’re paying for the wedding, it won’t be quite as extravagant as it would be if her father was paying for it, as she had originally assumed.

I’m still shopping around; I don’t know what will happen.

I came across a useful website for the peculiarities of our situation:

Mandrina hates large cruise ships. As in “deathly terrified” hates. So a site dedicated to small ships? Perfect, saves me a lot of time. Of course, they’re just trying to pigeon-hole you into using their travel agent system, which is nearly archaic. It also doesn’t list itineraries or dates of departure, so I’m taking the name of each cruise line, then searching based off it.

If I only had a few hundred thousand dollars more, I’d already have found the perfect cruise! (If I only had a few hundred thousand dollars more, I don’t think I’d be still looking.)

There’s the link, in case anyone else needs to find a cruise ship holding less than 200 passengers.

Sitting with kittens

I’m watching crappy television — the new “Blade the Series.”

It’s just entertaining enough that I’m going to see if it improves — it’s no Buffy, that’s for certain.

I’m reading up on CSS and XHTML — apparently, frames are a no-no — as I have to create the website for our wedding. I should probably not care so much, but I kinda liked the neatness of the Google Web Toolkit — recreating the page dynamically via AJAX seems like fun — albeit overkill. The wedding page needs things like the location and time, not fancy-schmancy effects. Note me still reading up on CSS.

Meanwhile, I have a kitten named Bit on my right, leaning right up against my leg. I have a kitten named Pixel leaning up against my left leg. I have a cat named Glitch sitting at the end of the futon. And now Bit just ran off, probably to do something she’s not supposed to do… I can’t believe I just watched 52 minutes of Blade, and only now is it getting violent. Disappointing.

Looking for a Honeymoon

Trying to find a Honeymoon location has been a hassle.

Originally, Mandrina wanted to go to Vienna, Austria. I wasn’t thrilled with that, but I came up with a wonderful compromise — three or four nights in Vienna, an overnight train to Switzerland (I want to open a Swiss Bank account!), then another train to Belgium — which is for my stomach — Gauffres, Belgian Chocolate, and Frites, baby!

Then someone realized that a March wedding would lead to a March honeymoon would lead to Vienna in March which would lead to dealing with 30 degree temperatures. Mandrina wants a warm honeymoon (“Bare shoulders!”).

So I suddenly have to deal with coming up with a new destination.

Mandrina wanted Egypt. A Nile River cruise, Pyramids, Cairo. I agreed it would be neat. Then I spoke to a friend, Egyptian parents, who advised me that it probably wouldn’t be too safe to go to Egypt. Doh.


Australia wasn’t too popular, nor was New Zealand. Peru (Machu Picchu!) met with similar issues — actually, the primary one was the lack of options for going to see Machu Picchu — it appears to always require a tour.


Casablanca was the most recent idea (our first dance is likely to be to “As Time Goes By”). Morocco isn’t necessarily unsafe (I don’t know yet), but the cost to travel from New Orleans or Atlanta (nearest two major airports) to Casablanca is rather high.


Nile River Cruise, train to Casablanca. Whoops. I’d have to cross Libya, which I seem to recall is a terrorism supporter. That’s not so good…



I don’t have a “Next” yet. Hrm…