Monday, September 29, 2008

Football Widow

I'm not sure how many of us are out there, but I think that it is critical to find out if you will be a football widow before you get married. Not only does our television magically turn itself to football from Saturday lunchtime to Monday night, but my husband is a Buffalo Bills fan. Some of you may not understand that, but the Bills have been heart-breakingly awful the three seasons that I have known my husband. That is, until now, when they are undefeated through four games - the last time they were this good was in 1992.
The problem is that the Bills were never on television in Texas, but a quick trip to the wings restaurant or local bar with Direct TV solved that problem. We thought that there might be a few more games offered in NYC, since Buffalo is somewhat close, but there haven't been any yet, which means that it's four hours in a bar drinking $5.50 beers (one day I might get used to the price of beer here).
Anyway, my husband loves football, which is why the house went into panic mode when yesterday morning, the cable box went into error message mode. Yes, at 10 am on a Sunday, the box decided to crap out after three weeks of service. Loud expletives ensued. Calls to the support line were made. More expletives ensued when he found out he couldn't get a replacement box until Tuesday. I think we'll be ok, after watching the late games at the bar yesterday, but I think Mr. D was a little disgruntled about the lack of high definition.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Job Hunting, or Something Like It

My job hunting day:
This weekend, we're having our friends J & R, who also moved from Austin to NYC (also from the same building to the same building) over for dinner, so I pulled together an order of groceries last night. I asked J (who is also job hunting) if she wanted to come to the Union Square farmer's market with me to see if I could find any of the required produce, and she readily agreed.
Even when we woke up this morning and it was gross and rainy, J and I still went to the market, we just went via the subway instead of walking. Only about half of the vendors showed up, so I couldn't find most of the things I needed, well, at least not in the quantities I wanted.
Since it was such a quick trip, I invited J up for coffee, so we sat and had a lovely chat while we sipped on our coffee. We commiserated about job stuff and life stuff, and it was just a pleasant hour. Then we realized it was almost lunch, so J went to her apartment to do job search stuff, and I pulled up my laptop and applied to several jobs.
After lunch, I ran a couple errands and then came home to find a package, not expecting one to be there. It turns out it was from my mother-in-law and, since she just returned from Norway, she sent us a goody box from her travels. Included in the box was a lovely necklace for me (I hope), a bottle of cognac, and two boxes of chocolates. Yum! This, of course means, that aside from my job hunting exploits, I made a trip to the farmer's market, had coffee with a friend, went to the farmer's market, and ate chocolates on the couch. I think I'll need to have a martini or something in order to turn myself into a total "housewife," but I think I'll abstain in order to save myself from the stereotype.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Old Married Club

I dedicate this post to a-bla, because I too am an old married. You know, the kind of person who is perfectly content sitting at home on a week night, or even a weekend night. I mean, it's nice, though occasionally one party will need to tell the other party that they have to put the laptop and random surfing away and just sit with the other person.

This recently came to light when my brother (in med school) and two of his friends I actually cringed when the guy behind us at the stadium recommended a place that was "a crowded frat party," especially when the guys practically cheered. Now, Stan's is exactly the place that I did go to in Houston before Astros games, and it is nice to just go to a place where you can grab a beer (although $6 for a Bud Light is getting old quick), but a loud, body-to-body frat party just doesn't hold the same appeal as it used to. Yes, it was fun after I found a spot where I could stand AND breathe, and the music was pretty good, but I don't know if I would ever actually desire to go there.

The past weekend was much more my speed. Friday was a bit dicey for planning things, since the hubby was at work late and thought he might have to go back in, so just a quick dinner at home. Saturday, we were invited to a "Pig Party" at our friend's brother's apartment, which involved meeting some really nice people, a lot of ribs, and some really delicious pies. The kind of night that goes by quickly because you're having a good time.

Best Show Ever

Alright, our honeymoon and subsequent trip up to New York have really interfered with our television schedule, which is tragic, I know. It really wasn't a problem for anything, until we were cruising for something to watch during the football commercials last night. We saw that our guilty pleasure show was on: "The Hills."

Now, our Monday's have been somewhat free for a few weeks, so it was kind of disappointing to find out that last night was episode 7 of the show. When we turned the "last week's episode" on, we discovered the most amazing new marketing tool. During the episode, user-created comments were displayed on-screen - it was fantastic. I had to stop uploading the wedding photos to Kodak to watch the comments, which were hilariously snarky. MTV - you guys are geniuses.

I'm not sure if all the re-runs have the backchannel comments, but the Monday night pre-episodes definitely do. To compete, users log on during the new shows and enter and vote on comments posted by other viewers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More on the Name Change

I had been putting off calling the credit cards to change my name, because I thought it would involve faxing things. I also didn't want to have issues with using my cards and having a different name on the account, which proved to be an issue when I changed the address (finicky Metro card machines).

Changing my name on my Discover card was super easy. I called the customer service number, and (after I verified my identity) they issued me a new card. I went to my online checking account and all I have to do is mail a copy of my marriage certificate to the bank, which is not that bad. Since we're consolidating our accounts, I only have one card left to go, and the others just get canceled.

The biggest problem has been switching out my email address. Luckily, gmail let's me forward the old to the new, but there's still a bit of a delay with that. Now it's just time to email all the relatives so that they can note the change, but still use the old address anyway. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Stranger in My Bed

Well, strange thing in my bed, rather. I woke up last night at 5 am and my toes were burning. I scratched at them, not knowing what was going on. Several possibilities (all so, so rational) went through my head:
- an extremely strong sudden-onset case of athlete's foot
- some weird rash from my shoes
- a scorpion
- boils (seriously, these were huge bites)
- tetanus (I nicked myself with the box cutter breaking down boxes that morning)
- hives ( I have allergies)

Finally, I got to the rational explanation of a spider. Then I realized that cortisone cream was maybe one of the three first-aid items I didn't throw away while moving, so I went and got some. Then I put on socks, so the spider couldn't get me again. Then I realized he got me on my finger where I was itching, so I obviously needed more clothes, so I put on the equivalent of mummy pj's.
Next I turned on the light (hubby did not even stir, but poor puppy did), and pulled the covers back to find the offending spider, but no go. I moved the dog and looked under her (I woke her up with the light, poor thing), but I still couldn't find it.
Not wanting to be covered in bites, I decided that the most obvious way to protect myself was to sleep on top of the covers and with the light on. Needless to say, not an easy night's sleep.

Where the heck did that spider come from?

Crate & Barrel Registry

So, the first of our two furniture orders from Crate & Barrel came yesterday, and I am still not done breaking down the boxes - yargh. We got a dining table and 4 chairs (yes it fits, and now we finally have an eating surface aside from the coffee table), and a bar cabinet. What is even better is the good deal we got on the furniture.

Now, our salesperson told us not to tell everyone about this, but he/she said it with a wink and a smile, so I don't feel so bad. While we were at the store picking out the furniture, I casually asked if we would be able to use our completion coupon on the items. Our friendly salesperson let us know that he/she could add them to the registry and then we could use the coupon. Now, this took a while because the computer system didn't update, so I suggest doing your homework and adding the items, then ordering later that day or the next.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Program Note

I forgot to mention the money-saving idea that our printer had for the programs (it could also be a "green idea" now that I think about it). A friend of my husband's parents owns a printing shop and offered to print the programs for us. He sent us the swatch books for the different papers, and we selected a card stock with a green marble-y finish.

Instead of printing the programs on the expensive, patterned paper, he scanned the image of the paper into the computer, and added the wording to the top of the paper. Then, he just printed the program onto a lighter, glossier paper. I was a little worried about how it would look when he was explaining it to us, but they turned out fabulous, if I do say so myself.

Some things are better kept private

I would like to voice a complaint that has been in the back of my mind for months, but I've just kept forgetting to write about. When I started perusing a certain website that caters to brides (I'd rather "not" say in order to "not" have the followers of said site accidentally finding this post through Google), I would go hunt around through some of the blogs and message boards to see what I was getting into, and I would like to send this message to some brides.

Dear message-posting-bride,

While there is a forum to voice your concerns over sex and romance (preface - I did not venture into this particular forum, but a particular post showed up under "recent posts"), I believe this was a forum for general, relationship-type questions. Please refrain from including descriptions of various bodily fluids; this is a topic of conversation that should be shared between close friends or your physician, not a virtual room of strangers. It is quite a shock to open your computer and read your post, especially when I was just looking for a post on finding a florist.

Thank you,
Catholic Wedding Girl

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Hunt Begins

And today the official hunt for gainful employment begins. I don't know if there is anything less pleasant than job-hunting; it's almost painful, especially when, well, always. Baring your soul to the (often) nameless, faceless hiring manager, who will look at your resume and decide whether or not to put your bio into the "I'll consider this one, when I actually decide to look at things, because finding a new person is my least favorite thing to do."

I think part of the difficulty is that I have been in school, so it's been two years since I've been employed for longer than a three-month stretch. Going to school was fun, and going to back to work seems a bit daunting, and almost alien. Not that I don't miss working. I miss the rush of going into work everyday, running around like crazy, talking to clients, and leaving after what feels like only a couple of hours.

Being a stay-at-home wife is fun for a little while, as I found out over the summer. I spent the morning cleaning up the dishes from the night before, straightening up, and getting dinner ready. I made a lot of homemade pasta in those days. Of course, even staying at home gets old quickly. There are only so many days that cooking and cleaning are fun, and as I soon found out, our dog apparently sleeps all day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My New Name

My new name is finally somewhat official. My social security card came really quickly, it was here when we checked our mail the first day we were here. I had to wait until Saturday for my driver's license to come, but both the Texas and New York licenses came on the same day, which was a relief - I've been carrying around my passport for the past week in case I got carded. I must say I am quite impressed with the photo for my NY driver's license, I think it's the best identification picture I've ever taken, and it even has the atrociously long wedding hair which, of course, is the length of hair that arises for growing your hair out over a year and not having it cut nearly as often as it should be.

So now that the big things are done, I just have to change my name on the credit cards and bank accounts, and my passport. The passport just irks me, because I had to get it renewed right before the honeymoon, but I couldn't do it with my new name, so now I have to pay for it again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Since Wednesday night, we've had our first batch of guests in NYC. My
brother and two of his friends from medical school are crashing on our
floor (they actually got here before we did on Saturday). They're in
school in Galveston, so we spent most of yesterday trying to convince
them that there wasn't anything we could do about their stuff from
NYC, so they should just have fun.

We had tickets to the Yankees game last night, which would have been
fun - we even went early to watch batting practice, but it was
raining. We waited it out until 8:30 (it was little bro's b-day), but
they postponed the game until today. Bad for us - good for Yankee
stadium concession sales.

Then to Stan's across the street to drown their sorrows, and then to
one closer to the apartment. The hubby and I went to bed, but the
boys went to the corner store and grabbed some 40's to play drinking
games while watching Geraldo's storm coverage (drink every time you
hear surge).

Luckily we heard from my sister this morning, and her house is OK,
just no power. The parental units are out of town, but hopefully
she'll get a chance to go over there - maybe to raid the hurricane
supplies again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Settling In

It's been a while since I've posted, mostly because we've been moving in. We got in to NYC on Sunday night (more about that fiasco on another day), and have been unpacking and finishing out apartment.

Monday was mostly about waiting for the movers to get here. At our new building, they are extremely anal about reserving the service elevator, and we had told the moving company that we had the 10-1 slot which, of course, meant that they didn't show up until 11:30. Then we started surveying the damage they had done. Both of the bookcases had holes in the back - I mean, they're IKEA, but a little care would have helped. I could have overlooked the bookcases had our coffee table not been scratched up all over the top (and that's not IKEA - it's a table that was passed from my brother-in-law's parents to my brother-in-law to me). While the movers were unloading everything, my MIL and I taped off the trim and the walls, because we wanted to paint. Luckily, only the bookcases, the coffee table, and our simple human trashcan were damaged by the movers.

The movers wrapped up around 1:45, so we called down to my FIL, who had been sitting/standing down by the truck on the back street. Yes the whole time (from 10-2). He's afraid of heights (a lot more than anyone thought or he had mentioned), so he couldn't bring himself to even get in the elevator. Anyway, we all wanted to get lunch and my husband had his sights set on 'wich craft, Tom Colicchio's sandwich place, which he had seen on the food network, and it looked like fun because you ordered from a computer screen then brought to the table.

Unfortunately, the one we found was 10 blocks away (bad for my FIL's bad back), and was just in the lobby of an Equinox gym, so there wasn't anywhere to sit down (even worse for my FIL's back). We started the walk back to the apartment, and stopped at a little park to sit down and eat the delicious fare. After we got back to the apartment, we parted ways with the in-laws (at the truck) and went upstairs to get painting. We managed to finish off the bedroom before we started digging into some boxes.

Later, we met up with J&R (R came from work considerably later) at Les Halles for a delicious dinner (meant to be enjoyed with the in-laws, but they had to leave early for lack of truck parking in NYC). After wrapping up with a delicious dessert, we headed back to the apartment, and realized that what we really needed were lamps.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I will write about moving in, but it seems rather inappropriate to do so today. I feel like I'm intruding on New York today. I wasn't here seven years ago, so I don't feel the same way about it as people who were here then must feel now. What happened was more distant for me - when my roommate woke me up, I couldn't even comprehend what she was saying. We spent the day watching the news in disbelief in our dorm room. I still don't even know how to comprehend how people in New York must have felt.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Payable To: Mr. and Mrs.

Since we're moving into the new apartment today, I wrote this one in advance (and while I was thinking about it). A word of advice for all the yet-to-be-married's and about to send a check for a gifter's: have someone put out the word that when friends and relatives are writing a check as a gift, they should make it payable to John or Jane Doe, not John and Jane Doe. This is a nit-picky little detail that will drive some bank tellers crazy and that some will be nice enough to overlook.
The first time that we went to the bank to deposit a check, the teller made both of us show ID and sign the back of the check. Prepared, both of us went to the bank the next time, but the teller didn't have a problem with it that day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New York Reception

Last night, my husband's parents hosted a post-wedding reception for us at their home in New York (western, not NYC). His mom decided to have a "Mexican theme," which I was a little bit wary of, because, umm, people up north don't always "do" Mexican well, but the party was great.

Lots of my husband's relatives came over, so did his friends from high school, as well as friends of his parents. We had tacos and beef and chicken fajitas. My husband made the beef fajitas, and I made some guacamole, so we had a few things that registered as spicy for us (because we tend to see mild salsa as tasting like ketchup), and some delicious mock-fried ice cream for dessert (roll the ice cream in crushed up corn flakes mixed with cinnamon and sugar).

After everyone ate, my FIL almost set himself on fire while setting up a pyrotechnics show in the yard behind the house. Luckily it had rained that morning, because several of the shots had showers of sparks falling on the roof.

A good time was had by all, except for my husband, the best man, and me when one of my husband's five-year old cousins a couple removed made me play "I Spy" with her. I blame the candy (form the pinata) that she was eating at 8 in the morning.

Later today we're going to make the last leg of our journey over to NYC (6-7 hours with the in-laws and our dog in their truck - some prayers might be needed).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Police Involvement - Reception Drinking

While my husband and I are visiting his parents before we head over to NYC, we've been talking with them about everything that happened at the wedding and reception. They were somewhat mortified at the amount of drinking that went on at the wedding. I was not - my family is Irish Catholic, my friends know how to drink, and so do my husband's.

The worst that happened is that my brother and brother-in-law were doing shots, so they were, as we say in the biz, hammered. They both had rides home, though my brother had the keys to my parents' car in his hand when he went outside so was stopped by the security guards/police officers. I think my husband's parents were more embarrassed by the fact that the best man fell down the grand, curvy staircase (only about half of it - and after we left). In my eyes, this is tame.

Let us review the facts from my sister's wedding that led to the police being involved three times:
1) After the rehearsal dinner, everyone was at the hotel hanging out at the pool having some beverages. This apparently intimidated the desk staff, so at 10:00 they called the police to come and tell us that the pool area was closed.
2) Also the night before the wedding, one of my second cousins had been drinking and then went to the casino down the block (wedding was in St. Charles, MO). One of the police officers at the casino decided he was too intoxicated to make responsible gambling choices (MO watches out for you when you gamble and will cut you off). J mouthed off to the policeman and was escorted downtown to be bailed out by my dad and his uncle.
3) One of my brother-in-law's relative's car was stolen out of the hotel parking lot (including the two car seats for his kids). (Not really scandalous police involvement, but a black-and-white appearance nonetheless)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Program Idea

I just had a thought for programs that I wish I would have had (kind of, because it would take quite a bit of work) before the wedding. I was inspired by this bride who decided to put a crossword puzzle on the back of hers.

I think most of us wish that guests would write us a special note in the guest book (I did, but I have a feeling that my mom was standing there hurrying people along, since the guest book's primary purpose is to "make a list of people who came to the wedding so that you can figure out who a gift is from in case you lose the tag." Riiiiiight). I have seen bride's who put little cards out and then later affix them in a book in case they get someone who writes "Elvis was here" on their photo matte (really happened, heard about it last week). Wouldn't it be a good idea to put the card into the program? You could just slip a card (with instructions) into the program, and while everyone is waiting for you to come down the aisle, they could write a lovely, funny, sweet, or at least non-alcoholically-influenced note for you, the happy couple.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rehearsal Dinner Hijinks

I'm still going back to the list of things that I thought about at the airport after the wedding was over. One of the things that I still want to blog about, but haven't done yet is the rehearsal dinner. Let this post serve as a warning to all brides that have a ham for a husband, talk about how you will present gifts before the rehearsal dinner (if that's when you are doing it). [Quick background on the hubby - he's going to be a lawyer, was in the Future Business Leaders of American (ha ha) in high school, and when he gave his valedictorian speech, he sang it** - I should have known what would have happened]

I envisioned the two of us giving a somewhat general thank you speech to everyone and then handing out all of the presents at the same time. My husband started out with the general speech, and as I thought he had finished, I started handing out the bridesmaids' gifts. I was shut down - "Aren't we handing these out one by one?" he asked. And, master of extemporaneous speech that he is (at least he better not have written these beforehand without telling me), he proceeded to give a short, witty speech before handing out gifts to each of the groomsmen. Everyone was laughing and just loved what he said to each of his friends.

I, on the other hand, only attempted short, witty speeches (I am notorious for putting my foot in my mouth in these sorts of situations). Each one flopped, although one I don't think is my fault. I really only remember two, but I vaguely remember saying something nice to my brother-in-law that everyone liked. For one of my bridesmaids, I said, "This is for K, who actually met M before I did, but luckily, he still picked me." I meant that in a nice way, not sarcastically, but present company (my family) decided that I must have meant to roast poor K. K understood that I was trying to compliment her, but maybe that's just because we lived together for 6 years.

The other slip-up was completely my fault. One of our readers is one of my good friends (who is actually also moving to NYC) who is in a relationship with one of my husband's best friends. When it came time to say a little about her, instead of saying, "J, who happens to be R's girlfriend," I said, "J, who happens to live with R." Whoops. I think I should have been cut off sooner. Or maybe just have known to prepare something! Thank goodness J had a good sense of humor about things, and it was only the 30 people at the rehearsal dinner and not at the wedding reception or anything.

Bottom line: Don't assume that you and your husband(to-be) are planning the same sort of gift presentation (because honestly, you wouldn't want him stuck not knowing that he should say something).

**his parents gave us a DVD copy of his speech, so I do have proof

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Have Car Butt

I am tired of driving (or at least being in the car). We left at 5:30 Sunday morning - good old hurricane Gustav decided to throw a wrench in our plans. Our original plan was to leave Tuesday morning, until Gustav came along. The weather people were not sure where Gustav was headed, but we knew we didn't want to try and leave in the middle of an evacuation or when it was pouring down rain, since the trip would take almost double the time (at least from Houston to Dallas), so two days early, we packed up and left.

We drove for 14 hours on Sunday to arrive in St. Louis at 7:30 that night. While I did my share of driving, my husband drove for at least 60% - 70% of the time. Our poor dog was so depressed - the longest ride she had done was 6 hours, so this was near torture for her. Luckily our hotel in STL was dog-friendly and we found out that our dog was hotel-friendly.

Monday morning we met up with my grandparents at the house of one of my aunts (none of them had been able to come down for the wedding). They had never met my husband, but everyone seemed to get along well and by lunchtime, we were on the road again. Seven hours later, we arrived at another aunt and uncle's house, who had offered us a place to stay.

We woke up this morning and finished off the rest of the drive to my husband's parents' house, which meant a 4-hour drive. We pulled in before lunchtime, and I have been vegging out all afternoon, trying to get back to reality. I am not looking forward to Sunday, when we make another 6-7 hour drive to get to Manhattan - when we will have a home - I am tired of being homeless!!!