uber-productive Saturday

December 30, 2007 2:40pm
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Boy, was yesterday a busy day! Being the first day that Sara and I have both had off at the same time for several weeks, with the exception of Christmas Eve which was just chaos, mind you, we were pretty much out and about all day long, and actually got quite a bit done in the process…

Wedding Menu – done!
Well, close anyways. Our first stop was out to the hotel on the beach to do a tasting of some of the dishes that we thought we’d like to serve at the wedding and surprisingly, every last one of them was a hit! We first sampled appetizers – a variety of swedish meatballs, spanakopitas (small pastries with spinach and cheese), and assorted canapes (those little breads or crackers with meat and/or cheese on top) – and all were good, but the meatballs clearly took the crown for that round. As for entrees, we sampled both a jerked chicken and a mahi mahi with tropical fruit salsa, and needless to say that it didn’t take long for us to know that our decision had been made! Impressively, Sara doesn’t really even like fish, but she thought the mahi mahi was great. I’m still not sure which one I’ll personally have myself that night (leaning towards the chicken, but I might argue for a bit of both, you know, being the groom and all!), but regardless, it’s now official that we’ll be serving chicken and fish at our wedding!

Gift Registry – almost done!
Next stop was JC Penney to put together a gift registry. This has been a tough decision for us because unlike a lot of new couples, both of us have pretty much been “out in the real world” for a while now and thus we pretty much already have everything that we need for around the house. Sure, we could pick stuff just for the sake of getting new everything, but it just seems like such a waste because most of the pots and pans and towels that we have now work just fine. So a week or two ago, we signed up for a Disney Honeymoon Registry and setup some items there for people to be able to help pay for anything we might want to do the weekend following the weekend, and just to try to round things out we did the one at Penneys this weekend, too. It gave Sara a chance to run around with the scan gun, which she loved, and even though we really only picked maybe a dozen items, we still had a good time. I mean, I know it’s fun to dream, but you’ve got to feel just a little guilty when you spend so much time basically spelling out what people can buy you for gifts… :O

Give Life – painfully done.
As we parked at the next mall on our list, Sara noticed the Blood Mobile parked outside and seeing as we were planning on seeing a movie that night anyways, why not get free tickets for donating blood? Thankfully, my second time giving went a little smoother than the first, even though the needle stick itself was a lot worse because the lady just jabbed the thing into my arm with the bedside manner of a cranky wildebeest drilling for oil, but nonetheless I didn’t nearly pass out this time and that spells SUCCESS for me!

Tuxes – thankfully done!
Sara got this crazy notion that she wanted to see me in a tux while we were at it, so we took a trip over to Afterhours Formal Wear in the mall and ended up just picking out the whole darned thing. Oddly enough, she never did get exactly what she had wanted, as apparently they’ve only got random pieces in the store to actually try on – not samples of each exact get-up, but we got to see it all come together on a mannequin so I guess that was ok. Honestly, it wasn’t nearly as fun as I thought it might be because every tux looked the same to me and the colors were really already decided by her bridesmaids’ dresses, so she might as well have just chosen them herself. Don’t get me wrong, I still think us dudes are going to look pretty sharp up there, but it wasn’t nearly as fun as I’m told dress shopping has been thus far for the ladies.

All I can really say is that they’re white, well ivory actually, and my biggest question is still in wondering if I’m going to sweat to death standing at the altar…

The Movie – bleh.
So to round the day out, we used our passes to see National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets because we just watched the original again on Christmas Eve and Sara’s really been looking forward to the sequel … and it pretty much sucked all around! The conflicts seemed forced, even more so than in the first movie, and we were both scratching our heads as the credit rolled because we didn’t really see how anything had actually been resolved. Frankly, I didn’t like the first movie, and the sequel made the first installment look great, so you do the math. Also, the theater seating was just horribly uncomfortable and we’ll be sure to avoid that theater altogether going forward, so meh.

Regardless, though, it really felt good to make so much wedding progress because we’ve kind of been at a standstill for quite some time now. Next steps will be to put down deposits for a DJ and hopefully one other, along with finally sending out save-the-date cards and getting our wedding website updated with the registry stuff, hotel info, etc… The fun just never ends!

won’t be doing this at MY wedding!

November 10, 2007 6:30pm
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http://www.madskies.com/18/bad-idea-crash-wedding/

Ouch.

a very good weekend

September 23, 2007 11:51pm
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Sara’s been working just crazy hours lately … try not getting home until 2:00am … by choice, though, to help pay off bills and get us moved next month. The good part about that is the money has been helpful and somewhat of an end is in sight, the bad that we rarely ever get to see each other except for an hour here or there or on the weekend! In fact, this was the first weekend in a while that she’s had both days off, so to say that it was a good weekend is a bit of an understatement…

evening fun at the Magic Kingdom
Last night we went over to Disney (yes, again…) to check out the refurbishments at the Haunted Mansion. Technically they re-opened last weekend, but we only had time for a few hours then and were more in the mood for Epcot anyways, but this was just as good. I think we maybe waited five minutes to get in the door, only because the cut-off was literally right before us, but we were still in momentarily. As for the updates, it was kind of hard for me to distinguish what has changed just because it’s been so long since I’ve ridden, but there were a lot of really cool effects – namely the MC Escher room with the stairs and the floating crystal ball. I’m sure there were other changes, but I wouldn’t know.

Other than that, it rained a bit and we learned where the best places to watch the electric parade and fireworks aren’t, but it was still a good time. We ended up getting park-wide fast passes at Big Thunder Mountain because it shut down right before we were about to board, so we rode Space Mountain instead and then tried our hands at Buzz Lightyear on three separate runs – always good times! Rounding off the evening with ice cream at Ghiradelli at Downtown Disney, it was a nice, little getaway from the stressful world that Tampa has been recently.

Ant Attack
Our kitchen is currently seeing the aftermath of a massive sugar ant invasion. I uncovered swarm after swarm while doing dishes yesterday, which lead to a spraying down of the entire counter area, less the stovetop…which they’ve all made refuge to at this point. Sara sprayed some really nasty stuff around the door where they’ve been coming in when we got home, so while we may be dead from the fumes by morning, with any luck so will the ants. Keep your fingers crossed…

We have an officiant!
Of course, the biggest news is that as of about 3:00pm this afternoon, we now officially have an officiant for our wedding, which given all the problems and roadblocks we’ve had on this road in the past, is quite the relief! I was very pleased because although I’m more touchy about this part because of my own beliefs, the Reverrend was very helpful and is intent on helping us create a ceremony that’s just right for us. As we walked out the door, I told Sara that I wish more religious folks were like him because he ended up being very easy to talk to and needless to say, this part has been particularly apprehensive to me! I also learned more from this guy about weddings in the hour and a half we sat with him than from everyone else who’s tried to sell us their services along the way – I’d definitely recommend him to anyone else who’s in need of an officiant, and our ceremony’s still over a year away!

End with a relaxing evening…
After running a boatload of errands around town, we finally made it home and have enjoyed the last several hours just chilling, eating dinner, watching the premieres of The Simpsons and Family Guy on FOX … the Family Guy rendition of Star Wars is now quite possibly one of my favorite episodes ever! Tomorrow we both go back to work – back to the real world, and all of the chaos that it offers. But hope is in sight on many distinct fronts – I’ve been writing more lately, so my website might go back up this year yet; Sara’s car and my furniture may very well get paid off this year yet, even though we found even more new furniture that we’d like for the new house while we were out today!; and in another month, we will get to pack all of this stuff up and move. Busy times, those are the days of our lives…

stupid comment spammers

August 18, 2007 10:55pm
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I just wasted a half hour of my time putting a simple security check in place on the guestbook page of our wedding website because some spammer started filling it with advertising spam this evening. I’ve never had to do this sort of thing before, so I hope what I did will be enough – I just added a simple field for the person commenting to type out Sara’s or my name to validate that they’re making a legit post. Assuming that this was just a spider that found the board, this should be fine, although I guess if there’s an actual person behind it, it’ll be back to the drawing board and even more time wasted… 🙁

Funny thing is, I actually wondered about this when I first built the site, but then wrote it off thinking that it would be such an isolated page that no one outside of our friends and family would ever see it anyways. I guess I do have a link to it here now, so I shouldn’t really be too surprised, but still … talk about a pain in the ass. As if having a link from Scott and Sara’s Wedding Info is going to just skyrocket your Google Pagerank right to the top!

Where, oh where does the time go???

I guess it’s been a while since I’ve last blogged – we’re in a new month (my birthday month!), the summer’s almost over, and … well, that’s about it. Nah, surely things have happened since my fateful last post on July 23rd when I made the trip that would become the highlight of my summer (thus far, anyways)…

The Simpsons Movie
We saw it the weekend it came out and it was every bit as awesome as I’d hoped it would be! Not at all like the Family Guy movie that FOX attempted a couple of years back that was little more than three episodes stringed back to back, this one felt just like a real movie with all of the gasps and nearly tear-jerking moments, and of course, “Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig…” I’ve been waiting for this movie for a long time and it by far exceeded my expectations – just as a feature length story from The Simpsons should.

Mind you, it doesn’t hurt that the flick already made $128 million after only two weeks in theaters, holding its own with the top blockbusters of the summer and proving that the longest running cartoon of all-time still has its place twenty years after it first debuted. They’ve effectively doubled their budget after just two weeks – Transformers and Shrek the Third are the only other two blockbusters that can even come close to that kind of boast, but it still took Transformers over a month and Shrek the Third close to three. Doh!

Harry Potter and the Last Freakin’ Book
So I finally finished it Sunday afternoon, and I’ve got to admit, I was a little sad to see the story finally end, too. To think that I first got started on the series when I was working at the warehouse up north – maybe 2002 or early 2003. I burned through the first four volumes one after another, yet didn’t even crack the 5th one until after I moved down here. Since then I’ve seen three of the five films in IMAX and really gotten somewhat attached to all of the quirky students from Hogwarts, and their teachers and even He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! It was sad to see the tale end, but also I think she did a good job of wrapping everything up – I had a few qualms about things at the end, which I still won’t get into here because I don’t want to be a douche like The Associated Press and every subsequent paper who ran their “story” about JK Rowling that just happened to explain what the title was all about before their disclaimed of SPOILERS AHEAD! Hint: just because you’re not into the books doesn’t mean that you should go out of your way to ruin it for anyone else who might be. There were plenty of other mentions that could’ve filled that column – as far as I’m concerned, it was no better than the Washington Post, whose article ran three days before the official launch date, even though the defended it by saying that they got it “through legal sources.” Anyways…

Wedding Planning 90210
Not much news since we picked the date a couple of weeks ago, but things are overall still going well with all of the wedding-related stuffs. We went to a bridal show one weekend, which was an experience, to say the least, and I’m sure it would’ve been even more fun if I hadn’t been a man, but I won’t get into that now because I’m kind of over it at this point. I’m told that there are more coming up in September anyways, so I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to revisit the topic then! Regardless, last night we met with a videographer and were pretty impressed with what he brought to the table, so even though we haven’t officially put down money for either him or the DJ yet, we’ve pretty much made our selections for those. The officiant himself is still up in the air after an unfortunate turn with the catholic religion in general … again, I’m just in too good of a mood to get into this now, but I did write a rather energetic column about it for my writing website, whenever that finally gets up and going! But nonetheless, I think we’re both feeling optimistic about how things have gone thus far and we’re still well on track to having the bulk of the pre-planning done before Sara starts school in January and all hell breaks loose…

The Search for a Better Domicile
I swear, this is going to drive me nuts before all is said and done. Our original plan was going to be to find a rental house sometime in the month of August because our lease is up on Nov. 7th and we need to give 60-days notice, which pushes us back to Sept. 7th to decide whether or not we’re leaving, however unfortunately it seems that most people aren’t really interested in waiting two and a half months for our current contract to run its course before we start paying them, so we’re kind of just stuck waiting right now. Instead I guess we’ll be going crazy in September (and hopefully not October) trying to find something, seeing as we’ll have had to put in our notice by then and officially we won’t have anyplace to stay in November unless we find a new house! Here, crazy and logical me thought that landlords would respect that we’re finishing our current lease the right way, but I guess I can understand their perspective, too – until then, they’re having to pay the mortgages themselves while the places are empty. For what it’s worth, though, we have been finding some pretty decent places online that are within our price range and with any luck, more of the same will be available when we check back for real in about a month or so…

Summer Madness
But I guess ultimately the summer of 2007 hasn’t really been all that lazy. In fact, we’ve probably gone out and done something just about every single weekend just because I feel like we should be out doing something fun when we’re actually both off for an entire weekend together! We’ve been cruising around in the new car a lot, even though we’ve had to do the ever-embarassing pull-over-on-the-freeway-to-put-the-top-up-when-it-starts-pouring-rain move on more than one occasion since we’ve had it! We’ve played a few rounds of mini-golf, the latest of which was nearly cut short by one of those very same downpours that left us completely drenched for the hour-long trip home! We’ve had a few walks on the beach at night, albeit to get our exercise before going to the movies because we felt guilty, and of course, lots and lots of trips to the movies. And that same evening that we saw The Simpsons MOVIE, we also spent part of the evening at a comedy club over in Clearwater, which was a lot of fun, despite the fact that Sara insisted we sit at a table in the very front row!

And there’s still more to come, as my little sister is talking about coming down for a much-needed break here in the next few days, and on top of that, we mustn’t forget my birthday which will be here before we know it and of course only great things will come from that weekend! Time, it certainly does fly by fast, and on that note, I’ve got a rousing game of Bubble Bobble to return to – tonight my record so far is level 32, but I’m determined to set a new record. Man, do I miss those days with the old school NES and not having to start from scratch after I die…

possibly notable events

July 21, 2007 6:26pm
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So yesterday we were a little busy…

We’ve Got a Date!
It’s official, and loads upon loads of stress have instantly been lifted from my shoulders – the official date is October 9, 2008 (yes – 10/9/08). It’s a Thursday, which some people remark as being weird, but I still think it’ll turn out ok. At least now we get a little break from the wedding planning, and I do mean little because Sunday Sara and I are going to some bridal show downtown to have even more business cards thrust in our faces. But we have a date!

Movie Time
We ended up filling the bulk of our time yesterday with not one, but two movies – first Ratatouille and then Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at midnight in IMAX 3D downtown. Ratatouille was good – a very quaint Pixar tale (tail?) with a good message and some truly beautiful animation … I swear, every movie they put out ends up having the best animation I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if it ranks as high as Cars did, though, and it didn’t necessarily have the feel of a “classic” like Toy Story, but it was still worth seeing. Harry Potter was also a good movie, although I think I liked Goblet of Fire better. Also, I was a little miffed that they didn’t actually use the entire height of the IMAX screen, so for all I could tell it may have just been the same version blown up on the bigger screen, and also, the “3D finale” wasn’t all that impressive in my eyes. I’ll still buy it on DVD when it comes out, and make a point to see the next one in IMAX as well, but overall #4 was still better.

2am Geeks
And of course, afterwards it seemed only fitting to pick up a fresh copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the way home, so we walked into our otherwise deserted local Wal-Mart, grabbed one off a pallet right next to the registers, and were out in a matter of minutes. The cashier said that the place was insane about two hours earlier and there was a line going out the door, but it’s not like we were going to read it at 3:00am last night anyways. Sara started in this morning and is a ways in, and I read the first couple of pages before we got in a fight over it and she wanted her book back … apparently we should’ve bought more than one copy! Oh well – as long as people aren’t complete jerks and I can get through the thing before some local writer or disc jockey tries to be cool and “ruin it for all the dorks,” we’ll be ok…

Rain, Rain, Go Away…
Anyways, now it’s been raining pretty much all day and I’m very, very bored. I know I’ve got lots of things to do, but I really don’t feel like doing them. We were going to go check out the Kwik-E-Mart over in Orlando, but it’s just too yucky to go anywhere, so hopefully next weekend won’t be absolutely nuts with the release of the movie and all. I need to go find something to do…

Scott & Sara’s Wedding Website

July 7, 2007 1:54pm
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It’s finally done!

http://www.scottandsaraswedding.info

Photos of the both of us growing up, a questionnaire to help us with the planning, and all sorts of other wedding-y goodness! Enjoy.

Weekend Recap

June 24, 2007 11:44pm
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It was good. It was busy. But it was good.

This was the first weekend of Sara actually getting weekends off from work, and despite the fact that we spent most of the time catching up on things that had gotten put off, running around for errands and doing chores and whatnot, it was ultimately good to just be able to spend some time together that isn’t 11:30pm after she gets home from work. It’s amazing how even something as mundane as grocery shopping can be better with the one you love.

But aside from housework, chores, and all sorts of other things that nobody really wants to hear about here, we did also make some significant progress with the wedding planning today that we’re both really excited about. Now mind you, things aren’t written in stone or signed with blood yet, but we’re pretty confident that we’ve finally found the location for the whole shindig! It’s a hotel called the Grand Plaza on St. Pete Beach – you may remember my writing about it a few months ago when it stood out on a random walk on the beach. Well, this evening we got the grand tour of the place by the Catering Manager and were pretty much blown away by what we saw. The hotel itself is right on the beach, which means no worrying about how to get guests across a busy Gulf Blvd. for the ceremony on the beach like the last place we were considering. The prices are considerably cheaper, and this is one of the only places we’ve found that actually discounts the food itself and not just the minimums on non-peak days (right now we’re shooting for a Thursday or Friday, with my vote actually towards Thursday). And the room itself, well, although the pictures below aren’t the best and they in no way do the view justice, they still give a pretty good idea of what we’re talking about – this room is ten stories up at the top of the hotel and offers a panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico through floor-to-ceiling glass windows all around.

The only real caveat is that the room is a bit small – capacity is 100 people – so we’re finding ourselves having to change a few preferences, including switching the meal from a buffet over to a plated meal and being a little more selective on our guest list, but after going over things tonight when we got home, the guest list editing wasn’t nearly as bad as we were expecting and we’ll probably still be able to make some adjustments once we can get an idea of who is actually willing to travel for this. But it’s sooooo worth it for the view – we nearly agreed in the car that we’d cut the guest list down to 20 people if we had to to go with the view … it’s really just incredible and it’ll be another something to remember forever. All in all, it was a great addition to the day and I know I’m feeling a lot better about being able to pay for things next year just by watching the reception bills drop by several grand from one location to another! We’ve still got a long ways to go, but we’re getting there! 🙂

life, etc…

May 29, 2007 12:24am
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I realized tonight that I haven’t really blogged much about life in general lately, at least not since the engagement, so as I try to unwind and prepare for bed this evening, here we go…

Memorial Day Weekend
I had planned to get all of this great stuff done and make loads of progress both with my writing and around the house … but I didn’t. Instead, I layed around a lot, slept a lot, and started playing Final Fantasy 3 again which ate up gobs of my time all by itself. Didn’t get a single word of writing done, didn’t go down to the gym once – yeah, what a waste of a weekend.

Also, I had great plans to try a new recipe and make some teriyaki meatballs for lounging around the house today, and apparently they were great this morning when Sara got home, but by the time we got up in the afternoon apparently the crockpot wasn’t set right and they were burnt to a crisp. I still think they tasted kind of funny even this morning, but oh well…

El Dieto
It’s going ok … just ok. I’ve been holding off with hopes of being able to post about breaking my all-time low scale reading, but it still hasn’t happened yet. Granted, I’ve pretty much been slacking off since the holiday weekend started, so I don’t really have anyone to blame but myself … it’s just that I was doing so good there for a moment! I didn’t slip at all while we were on vacation and found myself right on the 213/214 line last week and the week before, but now I’m jumping between 214 & 216 again. For the record, 212 was my all-time low the last time I tried dieting, so I’ve told myself that there will be a little celebration when I break 210 … whenever that is.

Goals
Like I said, the weekend was pretty much a bust so not much to report here. I sorta set myself a goal of where I wanted to be with writing before we go to New York in June, but seeing as that’s about a week and a half away, I don’t really know how feasible it is anymore. I really need to do some writing tomorrow, but then again, arguably I could be writing columns instead of writing this post!

Wedding Planning
It’s going…

But honestly, there are parts that I like and parts that I don’t like. I think the hard part for me right now is finding the site itself, and granted, Sara’s pretty much doing all of the research and finding the places – I’m simply looking over what she’s found, going with her to the walkthroughs, and so forth. She’s really been the driving force with that effort, but I think what just gets to me is all of the pressure that comes from this decision – the date can’t be set until we pick a place, and everything we look at is mad busy even a year and a half out so we need to make a decision, like, yesterday; and bigger yet, the BUDGET is completely dependent on where we go with because the reception is by far the most expensive thing. Of course, this is a touchy spot just because I have no idea how we’re going to pay for all of it, and we’re trying to brainstorm creative ways to save wherever we can because although the last thing we want to do is limit our guest list, I honestly and sadly don’t see many other options. 🙁

And of course, then there’s learning after the fact who we can and can’t talk wedding planning stuff with because they think the money being budgeted is just insane. I’m going to stop here because I don’t want to get all worked up over it again, but A) the beach wedding we’re planning is going to be more expensive – period, and B) there have been weddings just as grand and expensive in Northern Michigan as what we’re planning, so it’s not as crazy as you think.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still crazy, but I digress…

Coming Soon
Anyways, that’s my crazy life in a nutshell, as of this point, anyways. Tomorrow we’re going to look at – you guessed it – more reception sites after work, which means that I really should be in bed by now. Hopefully some day this week we’ll be able to get Sara’s fish tank back up and running, as we picked up new gravel and whatnots for it yesterday but didn’t get it completely cleaned just yet. Meg, expect happy fish pictures … eventually. Friday we may go over to Disney because after that our passes with fall under the summer blackout dates and we won’t be able to go back until mid-August, although with the way things are going thus far I don’t know if I’m going to want to do anything but sit at home by Friday. Next week we fly up to New York mid-week for a wedding for one of Sara’s cousins or something, and also some R’n’R with her family. After that, well, we’ll get there when we get there…

“I’ll be WATCHING you…”

May 24, 2007 9:21pm
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LOL, literally! I’m reading through a list of “suggested romantic first dance songs” for the wedding and this one just jumped out to me as a bit of a no no:

13. “Every Breath You Take” (The Police)

Apparently I wasn’t the only person completely clueless to the fact that this song is about a stalker?! Not exactly how I want to share my first dance as husband and wife! Talk about creepy…

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