Friday, August 26, 2011

Seven Quick wedding planning updates: Three months to go edition

1. So, yeah. 3 months. 92 days. A whole lotta hours. (What? Just because I have a calculator on my computer doesn't mean I have to do the math for you.) Fortunately, I seem to have gotten out of the "abject panic" part of the planning, such that I feel like I can totally do this in three months and whatever I don't get done doesn't matter. Unfortunately, that also means Scott and I have basically spent the last week asking each other "Are we there yet?"

(Scott once coded me a page that prints that over and over until you hit a button saying "We're there!" It makes me laugh.)

2. No, I haven't got invitations anywhere near done. What was that? Those are important? Oh. Okay, then.

I did try to start printing them yesterday and got this (the RSVP card is the only part I won't have to censor for identifying information....):

It's a little crooked. What, you can't tell? You fail at OCD. (Hey, sometimes the stereotypes are true. I'm not a neat freak, though; just ask my mother.)

So we adjusted the adjustable thingies (to use the technical term) on the front of the printer and got this:

If you can't tell that that one is crooked, you fail the eye exam. Meanwhile, Mom wanted her computer back, so I stomped off to my room.

Mom suggested that I can wait until Labor Day weekend and have Dad (i.e. The Only Person More Neurotic Than I) feed them meticulously into the printer. Because if they don't come out straight nobody gets to come to my wedding. *sulk*

I'm really not a Bridezilla, promise. I just really really don't like crooked stuff.

3. While I'm posting pictures, meet The Shooz:

They're just $11 "ballet flats" from Wal-Mart (with quotation marks because they have hard soles; I'm not sure that's very ballety). I like them a lot, though.

4. I'm still working on getting the bridesmaid dresses all ordered. That is a long and convoluted story that I will tell you some other time.

5. Relatedly, a rant: Two different conversations have occurred recently (one I was a part of myself; one was between my mother and one of her friends and got related to me because my mother loves to talk) in which the non-me/related to me member of the conversation has learned that one of my bridesmaids is 12 and immediately started referring to her as a "junior bridesmaid." Did I miss some law of the universe that says girls under the age of, say, 16, HAVE to be junior bridesmaids? I always figured it was between me and her, and I decided that I didn't feel like singling her out just because she's a decade younger than everybody else. I call her a bridesmaid without any qualifying adjectives (except maybe "my") and I expect you to do the same, not assume you are so smart and trendy and know better than me what she should be called.

6. Mom and I met with Cake Lady (mentioned in my last update post) yesterday. I wasn't super impressed by her "shoebox of photos on the dining room table" setup*, but she delivers and it's impossible to mess up cake and Mom basically declared that we're using her. The end.

*My photographers work out of their living room. I don't have a problem with working from home. I just like people who work from home to be professional about it.

I did enjoy the meeting, though, because it got me thinking, "How hard is it to learn to decorate cakes?" You know, just in case I need a little at-home business to tide us over until I become a millionaire novelist. I don't really enjoy sewing (and I'm slower than molasses in January at it), so I couldn't do that, but cake is awesome. Cake is my favorite. (There is a possible snag in my plan...making cakes without eating them. Or letting my hypothetical children eat them.)

Log this away so in a little while you can ask me, "What ever happened to that harebrained scheme?" and I can say, "I got bored and dropped it."

7. This has absolutely nothing to do with my wedding but I'm tired and I need a seventh take: I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone this afternoon. The fact that I read it cover-to-cover in less than 5 hours says something about what I thought of it.

I do understand why my 10- or 11-year-old self saw the Harry Potter books in the library and put them down unread. The premise still doesn't really grab me. Rowling's world just doesn't really grab me (I'm much more a medieval fantasy or sci-fi girl. Middle Earth, love. Malacandra, love. Hogwart's, meh.)

The characters, though. They grab me. One page of Mrs. Weasley and I wanted her to adopt me and take me home to live with her redheaded children. (If you assume the first book is set in the year it was published, 1997, I'm probably about as old as Ginny. We could be friends.)

The plot is awesome too. Rowling doesn't waste a scene. I was worried during the bit with the dragon but I carried on and sure enough, BAM. Major, crucial tie-in to main plot. Win for Rowling.

Okay, that was random. I'm done now. Visit Jen for more Quick Takes.


The Not Boyfriend Anymore said...

I thought that ballet shoes had to have hard soles so there's less variability in your squish to throw off your precision.

Also, there was a time when age 12 was looking for a future husband, not junior bridesmaid.

Random: You are not amused by parallels between wizarding world and so-called "real" world?

Less random: I had a friend tell me once that one of the main things that makes HP lighter fare as opposed to serious literature or something was that everything has to be tied into the plot in HP, which apparently isn't Chestertonlike or something -- don't ask me, I think Chesterton would've scoffed at the idea of fretting one way or the other either about whether the plot's so driven or about the distinction between high art and plain old fun stuff... I mean, I think Chesterton would've said that we overlook something higher than ordinary height about the fun little things, and other authors who care too much would've said there is an art to crucially tying things mentioned in passing now into the plot several books later. Then again, maybe I misunderstood this friend's point back when.

The Not-Boyfriend-Anymore said...

Also, the bit with the dragon is funny long before it becomes a plot point. Hagrid is always funny, and the same goes for anything having to do with him.

I shall now compare hyphenated and unhyphenated names.

Bia said...

You just can't have crooked invitations ... just can't:)

(I totally understand)

Melanie B said...

Adore the shoes! So cute! Oh it is so fun to look over your shoulder as all the pieces fall together. I'm having such wedding nostalgia.

Agree about the crooked invitations. A pox on the printer!

I love the insight into Harry Potter. I agree. Love the characters. The world annoys me though. Rowling's skill is definitely not in world building. And I get very, very annoyed at her inconsistencies. The rules seem to change depending on the demands of the plot. I like a world that is carefully planned and mapped with firm rules long before any characters stroll onto the stage. I feel like Rowling's world is a stage set that is torn down and rebuilt for every scene and the crew never quite remembers how it was put together last time.

Oh and I do love Mrs. Weasley.

Emily G. said...

The Shooz are cute. I wanted something like that for my wedding, but I couldn't find ones that fit right and the price was right. Boo. I have fancy half-sandal half pump wedges instead. They hurt like the dickens and I'm just beginning to like wearing them this summer.

I could see the top card was crookedy. I don't do crookedy either. We had our invites done-there is a really cheap place near us-and it was still a huge debacle. We printed them with the time as noon, but then Anthony changed his mind and said it had to be 3 so that folks coming from the Windy City could make it that morning if they chose. As it stood, we spent another $45 having the invites redone and no Chicagoans drove down the morning of so it was a waste after all. I did like the wording on the second ones better though. It was better thought out and sounded more Catholic. We also did a fun thing where we put a blank space so we could request the honour of each person's presence by name on the invite. I filled the names in by hand. We did print inside the cards ourselves, modesty requests (his side of the family has some problems), and we spent an afternoon yelling and cursing at the printer over that.

Fun times, all these wedding updates. Makes me feel like it wasn't four years ago that I was in the midst of all the chaos myself.

The Sojourner said...

Dear Not Boyfriend:

So far, no, the parallels haven't been particularly amusing. I will try to be amused in the next book.

I definitely wouldn't say that being plot-driven makes it less serious literature. I think that distinction has a lot more to do with content/theme than with writing style. Also, perhaps I should not have said that Rowling doesn't "waste" a scene. There are plenty of much more slowly-paced novels in which the authors do not waste scenes, they simply use scenes for things like world-building or character development without also using them for the setup/payoff cycle. I was looking for that cycle particularly in Rowling because I once read praise of her (from a publisher I might query someday, actually) in which her strong point was supposed to be how she never writes a scene that isn't either setting up for another scene, paying off the set up in a previous scene, or both. You could also say that's a weakness, though. You could say Rowling sacrifices worldbuilding to plot (as Melanie does in her comment). I don't think that style is necessarily something every writer should aspire to (and I don't think the publisher was trying to say that you had to be like Rowling, more that she's a very good example of setup/payoff because you can take a page or two out of her books and find several examples of each).

Also, Hagrid is awesome.

The Sojourner said...

Bia: Hello. :)

The Sojourner said...


Thanks. :) I'm glad to provide an opportunity for nostalgia.

I think the lack of worldbuilding is cushioned for me by the fact that I'm jumping on a pop culture phenomenon 14 years after the fact. I already had a basic idea of how the Potterverse worked before I started reading. Only after pondering your comment did I realize I actually know almost nothing about the wizard world based on what I read in the Sorcerer's Stone. I have the vague idea that their money is different and they don't understand certain Muggle things (like parking meters and soccer--that was disconcerting, by the way, to have football changed to soccer in the American edition. I already autocorrect for British people who say football, thankyouverymuch), but they obviously aren't medieval because they have their own train. And apparently indoor plumbing.

One thing I'm curious about (I won't say it's an inconsistency yet) is the way the Muggle and the wizard worlds are interconnected. Hogwarts seems very much like Narnia in that you walk into a seemingly solid thing (a wall, the back of a wardrobe) and get into a completely separate little world. (It's obvious to me that platform 9 3/4 isn't just in between 9 and 10, it is a whole separate thing joined by a sort of portal.) Whereas when Harry and Hagrid were shopping, the shops were apparently physically there between the other shops, but Muggles just couldn't see/didn't notice them. And then the bank seems like a different thing entirely--maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like a Muggle could, if he knew how, tap the bricks in the right way and get inside.

Those could all be explained in a consistent way if you wanted to, but they're not, not in the first book, anyway.

The Sojourner said...

Emily G:

I wear a 10 wide, so finding shoes that are cute and fit and aren't horribly expensive is always interesting. I usually sacrifice the cute to the other two considerations.

I think I'm immune to "Let's change the time!" requests by now. We've already had lots of people tell us that the date is inconvenient (other people, fortunately, have said they'd be delighted to come), somebody else can do that date but would prefer that the wedding was earlier in the day. It's frustrating even though I know, first, that we picked that date and time for a reason, and second that somebody will point out the inconvenience of any date/time we choose.

I'm more worried about the reception cards. I don't want a gap between my ceremony and my reception, but we can't afford catered appetizers before the big meal and it'd be nearly impossible to have somebody put out light refreshments the day of for people to munch while they wait for the real food. So I have to figure out how to say "You can go over there as soon as Mass is over and there should be soft drinks and water but there will be no food or anything exciting until an hour later, though you will notice the catering people setting up shortly after you get there. No, you may not eat the cupcakes that are being brought over half an hour later; those are for after the real food."

Now I should get off my computer and go get some stuff done.

The Not-Boyfriend-Anymore said...

The farther in you get, the more things are explained... but it's in passing, secondary to whatever is happening or under discussion at the moment. I also believe I've mentioned (and I know this is the third time I've said this) that the first book is remarkably simple compared to the rest of the series.

Don't get me wrong, I like worlds that are all of their own, delicately thought out, etc... I just think that Rowling should get some credit also for building her world into our world cleverly, if not necessarily fully consistently (honestly, it gets complicated enough that it's hard for me to tell). It's plausible not in the sense that it was all clearly figured out and clearly presented, but rather in the same way Dilbert is plausible, things being absurd but absurd the way the "real world" is absurd itself. I think that, above all, is what I enjoyed about the series; you shouldn't read it like fantasy literature, in which it's small shrimp, you should read it as a fantasy adventure grafted onto a satirical world, complete with fruity oaty bars. But that does get easier as the series goes on, for many reasons.

Also, a lot of things look more plotholey than they are because the whole setup of most of the books is to watch Harry and friends run around figuring out about everything about half right only to discover later that there were indeed holes in their guesswork. Seen in that light, it becomes apparent eventually that some oversights are intentional, features rather than bugs if you will.

Do agree about the characters though. You won't meet Loony for a few more books... same as the Nancy Pelosi clone...

The Not-Boyfriend-Anymore said...

The Shooz are cute, if I haven't mentioned that before. We'll get the food figured out; I'd still like sparkling cider, but we'll see what's doable. Remember, I'm good with adjustable plans.

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Theocentrica said...

You don't have to put "ballet flats" in quotation marks... if they were actually for dancing, the sole would be entirely soft, and they would be called slippers. If they were ballet shoes, everything but the sides would be hard and the toe would be squared off. So ballet flats is what these are called.

Also, crooked invitations must be burned.

The Sojourner said...

Thanks for the info.

And thanks a lot. *g* We'll have a bonfire when you arrive, okay?