noideadog: (Default)
It is Correspondence Day in the realm of Tanya, and that means that if you are one of the twenty eight people I owe emails to, today might be your day! (Prepare to be underwhelmed.) I might start setting up an autoresponder with the date of the next Correspondence Day and a warning that any email that needs more than a one line reply might get postponed until then. There is a tiny chance that people might find that ruder than just being ignored though. What do you reckon?

Today is also about ordering wedding announcements and thank you notes. I'm not actually sure what wedding announcements are, or why they can't be done by group email, but apparently people who absolutely know that we're already married should also be formally told about it. Like many things in this being-classy arena, I do not know or understand, but I accept that these are rules and that we follow the rules so that people continue to like us. We'll include a picture at least so that people can put us on their fridge or whatever. (Honestly unsure if this is what happens.)

Everything is good. I've been going a bit city-mental recently, but I didn't realise how much until I got out of the city yesterday and stretched out my brain as far as it could go. What a lot of space there is outside the city! It's insane that you can go an hour outside nyc and be in the deep and proper countryside. Tiarnan, Diana and I went for a big old hike in Upstate[1], covering 17km of mountainous terrain in six strenuous hours and 36 degrees (oh, 97, if you must). It was brilliant actually, in that way that being completely exhausted and blistered and wheezing and sunburned can sometimes be the best thing ever. We saw a deer and some frogs and enormous butterflies, beautiful dappled paths and mossy stones, stunning views over the river, kind tall shady trees, and unsympathetic rocky ascents where we looked each side for the trail markers and then realised that the path went straight on up. Ah, now. There is nothing, _nothing_ like the first beer after a hike like that, and after that Tiarnan showed us his secret trail guide which described the trail we'd just done as a "butt-kicker". "I didn't want to tell you until after we'd done it", he explained. (We'll maybe kill him later, when we have regained basic motor control.)

Today my calves don't really work and I have blisters on my blisters, but of course I can't wait to do it again.

Edit: Here's a picture of our hike. Those two dead ends aren't us getting lost; they're side trips to interesting views. Views mean goddamn peaks, but we tried hard to call a "Viewpoint Valley" into existence.

[1] Anything above 59th street. In this case, the beautifully named Breakneck Ridge.
noideadog: (monkey!)
Our super-ace wedding photographer wrote a blog post about our wedding. It's brilliant :-D

Edit:If you're in these and want a copy, there are tons more pictures and the option to buy prints at
noideadog: (Default)
What happened on our wedding day in excruciating detail, part two, including ceremony readings.

This one doesn't even have any pictures )
noideadog: (Default)
Where do I start? Today we're in Barcelona and yesterday we were in Paris and the day before we were in Dublin and Joel and I got married. How do you put all of that into a blog post? There's too much. I'm tempted to just say "everything is very good" and leave it at that, but I also want some documentary notes about what happened in case I forget any of it.

So I'm going to write lots of what happened, and it's guaranteed to go on a bit. I'll put these posts behind cuts, and I'll do a short highlights post when I finish all of this, but if you're interested, here's 8am to 2pm.

More detail than anyone but me will ever need )
noideadog: (Default)
Quick update from the 46A. (I'm heading out to Stillorgan to get my hair done.) Back at the (hilariously stylish -- will post photos) hotel room, a make-up woman is operating on my sister, champagne glasses are being delivered, and all is calm. Flowers come at 11, photographer at 12. Hairdos will proceed over the next few hours. I love this feeling of the wedding morning machine clicking and whirring while I sit on the bus kicking my heels and making a list of the many, many people I have to thank. Organising a wedding takes a village too.

I'm really looking forward to today and to a lifetime with my wonderful bloke. I did well for myself.
noideadog: (natural dancer)
Wedding minus three days. Dudes, I'm not even a bit stressed. It's really freaky. I should be at least my regular level of background-stress, but nope, nothing at all. Fingers crossed that it lasts at least until my family get here on Thursday to make me insane.

We're going to meet the registrar in the morning (We hope. She is hard to pin down) to make sure that our ceremony is acceptable to the civil registry people. They gave us a formal printed ceremony with a couple of blanks to insert our own song or reading. "Allocated time two (2) minutes", it says for each of them. Of course we've thrown the whole lot out, and instead pencilled in a few minutes at the end of our ceremony for the registrar to do the legal stuff. I hope they don't care either way.

Edit: They cared rather a lot but we reached a compromise.

Other than that, there are bits and pieces of outstanding things, but life is pretty much under control. We have haircuts and dinners and suits and dry-cleaning, flowers to collect and hotel bills to pay, but it's well defined and doesn't take up brain-space, so it doesn't feel like work.

Maybe tomorrow it will all crash down and I'll realise ten things we've forgotten, so it's best to appreciate the peace while it lasts. For tonight, all of my chores are done and I'm not tired (uh oh) so I wrote notes for visitors from New York.

Enthusiastic disagreement is encouraged!
noideadog: (Default)
This weekend I: cut up my engagement ring, annealed, sawed, milled, soldered, hammered, filed, sanded and polished pieces of platinum for eleven hours, tried on my wedding ring, went to a nerd conference in Jersey, watched Iron Man 2, finished reading The Colour Purple, watched some Doctor Who, decided that it's ok to skip Dalek episodes from now on (iDalek episodes doubly so), and found out that my baby brother's Canadian visa situation means he won't be able to come to my wedding. Sad.

From Rings
noideadog: (Default)
Two pictures from today:

This is my beloved green bag. It currently contains:

One dentist goodie bag (toothbrush, floss, etc)
One copy of Fruits Basket
One metal water bottle
Two pens
One mechanical pencil
Two tampons
Six keys
One wedding dress

Joel said "I got you something. Look in the freezer behind the ravioli." I looked in the freezer behind the ravioli and found a mysterious plastic bag.

It's a loaf of Fallon and Byrne brown bread, hidden since he came back from Ireland. Hurray!
noideadog: (monkey!)
We picked our first dance for our wedding!

Ok, "we" means "I" and "picked" means "am trying to convince Joel that this is the ideal song for" and "!" means " (but it's not working)"
noideadog: (travel)
We have booked our honeymoon! We have a flight to Paris and a posh first class compartment on the Elipsos Trenhotel to Barcelona and everything after that gets made up as we go along. (I still get to cross "plan honeymoon" off the todo list, so it's a win.)

I'm really excited about the trenhotel. First class tickets! When I take overnight trains, I always get the cheapest possible bunk in a six-person room where you squeeze in around a carpet of backpacks and flipflops and sandwiches and hoist yourself up onto a little narrow bunk and do a seventeen point turn as you figure out how to get a sheet under your arse without dropping your book, your boots or your entire self onto the old Chinese woman in the bunk below you. I've never had a private compartment before.

Imagine, none of the weird social interactions: no awkward introductions between people who aren't sure of the etiquette of getting to know the person who'll be snoring fifteen inches away from for the next thousand miles; no deciding whether you care enough to confront the big beardy man who has totally stolen your pillow and he knows he has and you know that he knows that he has; no gap year kids from Pennsylvania who are talking loudly and earnestly for half the night about how quaint Europe is and how they really identify with this slower pace of life; no weighing the satisfaction you'd get from beating one of them with their own Lonely Planet guide against the realisation that they'd probably find it a Cultural Experience (and who wants to be one of those).

But it is the same? Do you still lie on your belly listening to the train noises and feeling good about everything, staring out the window for hours at the landscape that it's too dark to see and thinking about things you don't normally think about and making odd connections and starting to think that wow, now you understand everything and now it all makes sense and once it's bright again you'll remember it so clearly and you'll write it all down and then you'll always remember, but you never do and you never do and you never do (and it's probably just as well). If you have a compartment, do you just turn on the light and read your book instead? I hope not.

I think nighttime trains are probably my favourite thing in the world. I love them, mad strangers and dusty seats and profound 3am thoughts and all. It's magical. Even if I'm tired, I love staying up late being on a train, and even if I'm not I love falling asleep in the rumbling of the carriage. Even when it's mundane, it's exciting. You know?

I've never done a swanky overnight train before though. Is it like in old movies with the Orient Express? Will there be a murder? Someone will at least hand me a martini and make a cryptic remark, right? (Note to self: buy a hat.)

Here's a silly flash tour of the trenhotel:
noideadog: (Default)
me: do you know what?
in 5 weeks and 2 days, you'll have a wife
Joel: !
who is it going to be?
me: no idea!
Joel: it can't be lucy, because she's a cat
noideadog: (travel)
It is with great relief that I announce that we now have flights to our own wedding. Hurray! We're flying into Dublin a few days beforehand, doing some wedding, then leaving the next day. Some combination of trains, boats and planes will take us to Barcelona[1], then we'll travel slowly through the South of France in much the way that Pacman would (nom nom nom), have a look at Florence and fly back from Pisa. Something like that, anyway.

Lots of trains, some driving, scuba (if Joel has his way) and maybe a bit of bicycling (if I do). Lovely lovely. I'll have to get my folks to re-emphasise the 'no presents' policy to relatives though: backpacking through europe with a sandwich toaster and a delightful piece of waterford crystal would be the wrong kind of hilarious.

If you have South of France or Tuscany recommendations, lay 'em out, please.

[1] The Elipsos trenhotel from Orleans sounds rather nice, but I can't see how to do that without changing trains in Paris, and that's more stress than we'll want on day one of the trip. Paris is very fine, but it does make you earn your transit privileges.
noideadog: (buttercup)
Wedding update:

We're staying at the Morgan! I'm pretty excited about this for reasons that don't stand up to close examination. The Morgan (in my head) is a delightful place, full of mystery and wonder. It is not for the likes of me. Look at its very purple website! In reality of course it costs what hotels cost, and Victoria negotiated us an excellent rate besides. It's funny how things can be special for no obvious reason. (If you stayed there before and it wasn't magical, you don't need to tell me).

We still don't know what we're doing for a ceremony. Something with lots of people saying stuff, probably. We might want a musician of some sort for the promenading parts, but I have no idea how one arranges that, so we might not bother.

My mum and sisters want their make-up done at the hotel that morning. Any recommendations for make-up people? I hate the pantomimey wedding war paint which is popular in Ireland, so I probably won't partake unless someone knows a make-up person who is extremely classy and doesn't own any bronzer.

People are being all "OMG I haven't booked flights to your wedding yet!" and I have to admit that no, neither have we. Tina says "wouldn't it be funny if you couldn't get to Dublin in time".
noideadog: (meerkat)
This weekend I: finished week six of Couch to 5K by running 2.25 miles, watched Strangers on a Train, read some of Northanger Abbey and a bunch of Green Arrow comics, baked bread (very good!) and scones (rubbish!), had a fantastic massage, had my first ever facial and didn't like it much, drank champagne at the Bubble Lounge, got so rained on that my contact lenses were swimming around in front of my eyes, saw Balkan Beat Box in concert, wrote, addressed, stamped and sealed 21 wedding invitations, played ScaryGirl, and watched the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special. I'm so nearly up to date now that I can't watch more than one episode at a time. What will I do when it's all done? (Watch the back-catalogue, obviously, but is it kind of... uh.. how do I ask this diplomatically?... shite less good?)
noideadog: (Default)
When I think about our wedding day, here's the one thing I get especially enthused about: going on the Luas in a wedding dress.

We're looking at taking photographs on the canal at Charlemont just so I have an excuse. I don't know if I can even explain why. I try to tell people about it and they invariably ask "Why don't you take a car?", like it's not the most completely obvious thing ever. Because the Luas! DING DING! It's so brilliant.

One of my favourite Dublin memories ever was watching a long, long queue of people waiting at Stephen's Green a couple of days after the Luas opened, all lined up for a jaunt out to Sandyford and back. It was sunny and there was a festival day atmosphere, like you could imagine that everyone was off for a big day out at the seaside and there was going to be ice cream. The best bit was that the Luas staff were totally into it, and having as much fun as everyone else. A man in his sixties with a BBC accent and a big smile was calling "Don't push! Everyone will have a chance to ride the tram!". He was so engaged in the tram-riding experience. Everyone there was. I guess I've been lucky not to have to take it every day, so it's still like that in my brain. Everyone will have a chance to ride the tram! Trains and trams make me really happy. It's the engineering and co-operation and civilisation and accomplishment they imply. I'm all about municipal order, I guess.

When you're committing to spend the entire rest of your life with another person, and when people are travelling across continents to help you do it, and when you can basically do anything you want for the day, I'm not sure that public transport is supposed to be a highlight. Mentaller. (DING DING!)
noideadog: (monkey!)
Well, we have a photographer, an option on some cheese, and a few cases of wine. It's not a bad start for a wedding, is it? Furthermore, we have a reception venue, two good choices for a ceremony, familial buy-in on which relatives to invite, a good hotel rate for that night, and a website with some information on it. There's a lot of stuff left to do, but I'm not too stressed about the wedding right now, which makes a nice change.

I like being back in Dublin. Most things are exactly the same, and I've been doing all of my favourite things: eating scones at Keogh's, getting chips from the place beside work, looking at the river in the dark from various bridges, being annoyed at Grafton Street, shouting "Ding ding!" when the LUAS goes by, having pints with a million people. My Dublin trips are fairly deterministic.

The only thing that has changed a lot is the Docklands. Where did that come from? Nobody told me that we'd suddenly become a Modern European City. William and I walked around there on Tuesday evening, admiring the gorgeous new Samuel Beckett Bridge, the red and green lights at Grand Canal Dock, the convention center, that weird sideways building that looks like it might turn into an arts centre, and the clean, calm modernity of it all. It the least Dublin thing I've ever seen. Well, the whole area is still a bit culturally sterile -- I saw a couple of polite wine bars and thirty places to buy an expensive cappuccino, but no theatres, cinemas, restaurants or reasons to be there in the evening -- but it feels like good things are happening. By the way, if you haven't seen the fantastic natural-gas installationdown by the toll bridge, you should go take a look, preferably after dark. It's cool that there's still crumbly brown brick buildings in the middle of everything. Good work, docklands developers. I like it a ton.

Since I'm talking about things I loved doing, here's another: Saturday was my hen party. We went to the lamer-than-lame wax museum, kind of just for the laugh, and it was even worse than you'd expect: all of these dead writers and looming popes and Figures Of Irish Interest that it's hard not to feel embarrassed about. It was good fun though. Not really 'so bad it's good', but certainly 'so bad it's hilarious sociologically fascinating. Gerry Ryan in a Matrix-style coat and sunglasses? Bronze Age St Patrick with mitre and crozier? The Stormont Agreement signatories made comical by ill-fitting glasses? What can they have been thinking? The plan to take obscene pictures of Bono was thwarted by the 'no touching' signs, and Joe Dolan wasn't easily accessible, so we have a single picture of us all clustered around an Episode One Anakin Skywalker. Lame. Brilliant.

We went to the Shelbourne for Posh Tea, cucumber and egg-and-cress sandwiches, little glasses of trifle, scones and cream, easy-listening tunes from a grand piano and other delicacies, and then we went back to our penthouse suite for a pyjama party. Both of these were exactly how I've always thought I'd like my hen party to be, and it was perfect, really ideal. I won't tell any stories from the evening, but I'll echo someone's suggestion that we should repeat the exercise next year. Count me in.

In other news, we're still waiting for Baby Bean, my first ever niece-or-nephew, to show herself or himself. There are plans to begin dislodgement tomorrow, so I'm going to take Wednesday off and go to Galway on a gamble that there'll be a baby to see. Either way, I'll be back in Dublin in the evening, and will be in the Porterhouse from 7 or something to celebrate anything that needs celebrating. Hoy!

And finally, in case you didn't notice the bit above where I mentioned drinks, here it is again: drinks, the Porterhouse in Temple Bar, Wednesday from 7pm or something.
noideadog: (coffee)

2009-11-30 21.44.37
Originally uploaded by xymb.
So on to Thanksgiving, and family, and more family, and twenty four people for dinner, and all of that was actually really good fun, though my introvert-brain got a little tired from being 'on' for the whole day, and I needed an hour of internet time in the evening to recharge. And then the next day was my bridal shower.

Here's what happens at a bridal shower, or at least here's what happened at my bridal shower, which is the only one I've ever been to.

- Joel's mum and aunt presented everyone with cooking aprons with our names embroidered on. This is a variant on the awful 'matching clothing' theme you get for hen nights, but didn't make me angry because high-quality cooking aprons are actually pretty useful things to have, and because it was rather nicely done.

- We cooked peach empanadas, and salad with lots of avocado, and and something else that I don't know what it was, but it included New Mexican green chiles, so I ate tons of it. They made it all veggie just for me, which was rather nice. Tasty food.

- We put a Julia Child DVD on, and, in between cooking, watched scenes of her negotiating the purchase of olives, and making bechamel sauce and things, and that was good too. She's brilliant.

- We played a game where every time a timer went off, a name was pulled, and that person had to choose a present from a basket of household things, like trays and clothes pegs and things.

- Then gifts, and Joel's mum sat beside me and took notes on who gave me what, which is something that Bridal Shower Etiquette says I was supposed to ask someone to do, but which I was feeing weird about. But apparently everyone knows these rules (apart from me), and so she did it without me asking. And then I got presents: nice yellow measuring cups, and chocolate, and massage oil, and wine glasses and Derby china. Hand-knitted dish-washing clothes and a bright green happy spoon from an aunt I hadn't yet heard of. Amusing cotton nighties from Joel's mum (not a bit sexy, but beautifully textured cotton, and they'll be perfect if I ever need to run around the moors looking for Heathcliff).

The best thing ever: a hand-made wooden box from an uncle I also hadn't heard of, filled with family recipes from his wife and other members of the family. This is such a beautiful thing. I was a bit overcome by how lovely it was. (It is probably rude to single one thing out, although I can't imagine that any of Joel's relatives will ever find their way here, but seriously, what a great gift.) Here's a picture of the box of recipes, and I included the bright green happy spoon because, honestly, I'm just delighted with the concept of the bright green happy spoon.

- Then I gave Joel's mum and aunt presents for organising the shower, which were a Nigella book (recipes from the old world) and a Sweet Melissa book (recipes from my favourite Carroll Gardens patisserie).

- And then we talked and it was nice. And then the menfolk came home.

noideadog: (meerkat)
Dudes, I guess I have to accept the fact that Joel and I are getting married in six months and that we should be doing something about that. Does anyone have recommendations for a photographer? I hate all of that posed "pretend like you're closing your shoe" and "pretend like you're fixing your hair" and "peep around the doorway at different heights like you're a boyband" bullshit. I want someone who is able to take real life pictures (as well as the mandatory shots of people grinning at the camera) and ideally someone who's kind of nerdy so we'll be able to be relaxed and communicate with them. It's always easier if you have someone who speaks your language. But even if not, I'd love some recommendations if you have them.

Also soliciting recommendations and suggestions for: someone good at mixing cocktails, city center hotels that will do a good deal if I block-book twenty rooms (and that aren't ratty), and pubs with decent pints that will let you book some space and open some bottles of fizz on a Friday afternoon.
noideadog: (meerkat)
It's interesting, buying houses, because the rules aren't really obvious. Do you offer the asking price, if it's a reasonable price? My dad says no, not under any circumstances, are you a fool? But the internet says both yes, offering a lower price might alienate the seller, and maybe, depends how much you want it, and some co-workers agree that it's good form to offer the full price if it's not overpriced. Overpriced is a funny thing too, because after a while the numbers stop having meaning, and you start referring to a $600k apartment as "way too cheap", and wondering what's wrong with it, because you just don't get a thousand square feet in commuter-Brooklyn for that kind of small change unless there's only one window and actually it's boarded up. How can an apartment be worth so much money? You don't even get to own it, you know; you get to own shares in the co-op that owns it. It's so strange.

We sat down with some internets last night, and looked at every single place which was comparable to the place we've decided we might probably want, and read too about what kind of offer is a good offer to make. The conclusion that there's not a single better place on the internet (for the kind of money we can convince a bank to give us) is both exciting and scary; maybe this is going to be where we settle down and grow turnips and small dogs and domestic joy, or maybe this place is already gone and we have to wait for something else good to come along, or maybe it's not gone and we buy it and move in and hate it straight away and they shut down the F train and the cheese shop goes out of business and and we catch swamp-lung from the canal and end up all negative equity and depression (and swamp-lung). So, it's pretty exciting, is what I'm saying here.

Neighbourhood of the week is Carroll Gardens.

The other thing that's going on with me is that the hotel we've been wrestling with for wedding stuff finally sent a picture of the room they're pushing for a wedding ceremony, and it's a lot like where you'd hold a small internal conference if you were a beige reseller of enterprise human resources middleware. You can just about see the three ring binders with inspirational slogans about customer trust. I mean, I think there are some in the photographs. The Church of Elvis gets more and more tempting. (Or faking Catholicism, but Elvis has better music.)
noideadog: (shutup)
My bank kindly blocked my ATM card while I was travelling, without calling me first. To unblock it, I had to type my card number and pin three separate times into their phone system, as well as reading it out to three separate people, and providing my name, birthdate and social security number three times. After twenty one minutes (which is pretty good for a bank, I guess), having eventually spoken to a real human who had the power to unblock my card, I asked them to cancel the "security" "feature" which keeps leaving me stranded in foreign airports. But they can't, or won't. They want a phone call every time I go somewhere. Very weak. Time for a new bank.

In other "do you hate having customers?" news, the hotel where we're considering having a wedding ceremony is entirely ignoring my requests for extra information. The wording of my last email has changed a whole lot from the initial "When we book with you" to "if you're the hotel we choose". Businesslike and intolerant of foolishness is my new email tone.

Whoa, lots of crabbiness today. Enough of that. Look, here's a picture of a puppy.


noideadog: (Default)

February 2014

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