Monday, December 13, 2010

it's not her, it's us

One of the things people have been saying to me about this whole wedding-planning thing is, Only nine months to go? Girl, you'd better lock down a photographer before all the best ones are taken! We took this seriously, because if there's one thing that we're not skimping on, it's the photography.

Last year I went with my mom to her coworker's baby shower. It was at this very expansive, luxurious home in a swanky neighborhood. And it was lovely. During the party, a sweet-looking woman came in with a big gift bag and a camera, and suddenly she was in tears. As she dabbed at her eyes, she kept saying, "It's just so beautiful to have come full circle! I shot their wedding, and now here I am to see that they're having a baby!" It was so emotional. I couldn't help but think, Wow, this photographer is really invested.

So when we started looking for photographers, I immediately thought of that woman. I asked my mom to get her info, took one look at her stuff and really identified with her style and eye for composing shots. Jon looked at her Web site and completely agreed. It was awesome that we were both so definitively on board. She was not booked for our date, so we set up a meeting with her last Saturday, just as the snowstorm was starting to come down.

She invited us to her condo in the city (on a weird side note, it was the same building I had to gone to see with Ri when she was looking to buy). It was similar in size to our old place, and cozy too. She offered us some pastries from the Greek bakery I used to go to in the city all the time--and one of them was my favorite, apricot, which you don't see every day. I was noting these small *signs* as we talked.

We were there for a little more than two hours. She explained that it's not just us deciding on whether we want to book her, but she has turned clients down because she'll "spend a lot of time staring at our faces," so she has to get a good vibe from us, too. Later on, Jon and I admitted we spent most of the meeting wondering if she was going to want to work with us or not. She showed us how much attention to detail she gives and how she personally edits every single shot herself. Then she showed us the albums and we especially liked the way one of them was done. We were sold, but tried to play it cool.

For the question-and-answer portion of the evening, she explained that she does do a lot of Indian weddings, but for this past year there was a majority of destination weddings. Of course, Jon commented on her fancy computer and she said she gets the fastest there is out there because her time is money and why wait for all those high-res images to upload when you can upgrade? We agreed wholeheartedly.

I did attempt to pitch a barter-for-upgrade idea, but as soon as it came out of my mouth, I realized that this particular method only works when both parties are familiar with the quality of the other's work. She politely declined. And then we started talking about the money. Jon and I really wanted this woman to work with us. But we are on a budget. She mentioned that some couples just sign up for the lowest package to secure the date and upgrade later. YES. And upgrade I'm sure we would.

She hugged us both and said she'd love to work with us. We headed out into the storm with a box containing the rest of the apricot pastry and the security that we'd found the photographer we'd always wanted. On the first try! And trying to figure out how we could come up with more money to upgrade to a nicer package.

We discussed it and emailed her around 7 p.m. the next day. As soon as I hit "send," Jon and I actually high-fived. We got one of our big goals accomplished!

But when I opened my email this morning, I had a message from the photographer.

It was really great meeting you both.  I'm afraid I have some bad news.  I had a proposal that was sent over 3 weeks ago for another couple for your wedding date.  I didn't think they were going to book because I haven't heard from them.  Oh course since I haven't heard from them and since the proposal was never signed, I still continued to meet with you both.  Just this afternoon they signed their proposal.  If I can help you both with finding another photographer, please, let me know and I'll be more than happy to send a few your way.  It was really nice meeting you both and good luck with the rest of your wedding planning.  

At the end of the day--and it really doesn't matter why--we're not getting this photographer. Maybe she actually didn't want to look at our faces for weeks after the wedding but wanted to let us down easy. Maybe the other people signed up for the bigger package right off the bat and it simply came down to the guaranteed amount of money. I can't blame her for that. It's just business. But when business is about one of the most important days of your life, it's hard not to take personally.

Monday, December 06, 2010

and for that, you're getting a bestselling thriller in your stocking

"Did you know there's a new book out about the '85 Bears?"

"Hold up a second: Are you suggesting that I get you A BOOK for Christmas?!?*"

"No, I already bought it."

"Um, what kind of guy shops for himself right before the holidays?"

"This guy. If I want it, I buy it."

"You dork."

*As much as I don't like owning books, I love to give them. And my brother claims not to read, which is why it frustrates him when I keep giving him books. Yet somehow he's intimately familiar with the contents of certain sports books--many of which he has received as gifts. From me.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

he told me to meet him directly at the mall

Tomorrow my brother is flying in, and I actually have a day off! I'm really looking forward to it, because I haven't gotten to see him much the last couple times he was home. And I'm hoping he will help me with my holiday shopping.

I told him they're predicting 4-8" of snow, but I don't think he took that text very seriously. Watch him show up without any warm clothes.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tomorrow, it's december

I kid you not, people, I often stop myself in mid-date-writing to say HOLY CANNOLI, SELF, IT'S ALMOST [insert something that I thought was way off but is right upon us, such as DECEMBER]!!

So all day I was in a tizzy. Because I have to deal with a lot of dates in my job.

But this also means that we've completed yet another NaBloPoMo November! Hooray! Congratulations to Syar, Madelyn, Cofo and Jon, as well as the readers and commenters, without whom this kind of endeavor wouldn't be fun at all.

The thing is, this past month I didn't really *feel* like I was producing much in the way of quality. I know time is lacking, but I think I could get back to what I think were better posting if I keep at it. So I'm going to try not to slip into the abyss of non-posting that was consuming me before. Let's see how long that lasts.

Thank you all for reading and commenting! As any blogger will tell you, it's the attention that really keeps it going. MUAH!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

can't get you out of my head

I am persistently troubled with things being stuck in my head. But worst, by far, are the songs. In fact, at my first job, a coworker and I had a contest over which of us could get a song stuck in the other's head without actually singing it. And as much as I dominated that game, it got a little close at times.

I heard somewhere that if you have a song stuck in your head, doing a little quick mental math can boot it right out. And that probably works, but I have such little patience for arithmetic that I often give up on it before I get too far. So said annoying song remains intact.

But today I was listening to a radio interview with Amy Sedaris, who is famous for her books, her comedy, her sibling, David and her show with Stephen Colbert--Strangers With Candy. She said that Colbert once told her that the best way to get a song out of your head is to think of that old SpeedStick deodorant brand-recognition jingle-ender, "By Mennen!"

They had so many commercials back in the day:

For the ladies:

And even En Espanol:

It really works!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

two young kids in love

Last night, Jon and I shot the wedding of the daughter of one of my work friends. It was intimate and beautiful, and we were very happy to be there. Out of the 1500 we took, here is one of the shots I especially liked:

Heather and Glenn, November 27, 2010
Photo by Jonathan Muller

Saturday, November 27, 2010

tradition, modified

For years, my high school friends gathered at an all-night diner every Thanksgiving night after all the turkey was put away into Tupperware and all the parents had gone to bed. Around midnight. The last few turkey days, however, the tradition has fallen by the wayside due to excessive age + tryptophan. So around 9 p.m. the text messages would start with apologies about it being late and various members of the group being tired.

This year was much the same, so we decided to cancel. I set up in the middle of the floor with this bridesmaid dress I was taking up for a friend, sort of freaking out because when I was pinning it on the person I was unaware there was a slight train on the back. Then my phone buzzed.

MFM was sitting at the diner wondering where everybody was. She had originally said she couldn't make it, but then decided to sneak out and hang with us. So I changed out of my pajamas and headed out there.

It was a much-needed break. I had been agonizing over whether to cut the dress or somehow pleat the hem on the underside. I couldn't bring myself to snip it. But MFM tiptoed into the house with me and gave me the encouragement to make the cut. And everything was great. The dress looked awesome when we shot the wedding today, and my friend was happy.

Of course, Highcon is only in town for the weekend, so a few of us got together at a bar after the wedding. It's not the same as Thanksgiving, but it's always great to see them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

That's what lack of sleep'll do to ya

So last night I got two hours of sleep. And not because I was up trying to get any nonsensical Black Friday Deals, either. Remember that time my brother and I camped outside of Best Buy all night in the freezing weather for a tv my dad made us return? Yeah, we're not doing that again.

Last night I was furiously trying to alter a bridesmaid dress a coworker has to wear for her daughter's wedding tomorrow (she's both Mother Of The Bride as well as Matron Of Honor). Only after I had it all pinned equidistant from the floor did I realize there was a small train on the dress, which is why it wasn't even no matter how many times I'd repin it. I took a break to meet MFM at an all-night diner at midnight and resumed when I got back. I abut to go to bed at 8:30 am when my coworker called to see if I could come in early. Yeah, that wasn't happening.

I guess the dress came out well bc the coworker tried it on with the shoes and it looked amazing on her. Phew!!! All that paranoia was draining.

But now I'm so tired I can barely think. I almost got rejected for a Best Buy card tonight because I confused some numbers between my telephone number and my social security number.

I just don't have it in me for these almost-all-nighters anymore.

-- Posted From My iPhone--everybody needs an editor.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the laundry room is empty!

I'm so thankful that I have the whole day to spend with Jon, doing laundry and basting a turkey before the folks come over. And it's not even the weekend!

I am also thankful for you, and you, and you, and you, and YOU.

Be safe, and tell the people you love how you feel about them.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

rockstar--rocking that Prius

So I went to a newer branch of my bank the other day, and to my surprise, next to the spaces allotted for the disabled, there were a few other very close specifically designated spots:

 See? We're talking about right up next to the door.

It says, "Reserved for Low Emitting/Fuel Efficient Vehicles."

Am I the only one who hasn't seen this before? 

P.S. If you're traveling for the holiday, please be careful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

cruisin' down the street in my six fo'

"Isn't it weird that some 80% of songs are about love?"

"Not really; everybody wants it."

"Yeah I guess you're right."

"That's why they're always writing songs about b*tches and hoes."

"Um, what?"

" 'Cuz they're in love. Sigh."

-- Posted From My iPhone--everybody needs an editor.

Monday, November 22, 2010

move over, martha stewart

Jon's sister, M (not to be confused with Madelyn--he has three sisters), sent us a package filled with beautiful handcrafted items as an inspiration for the wedding. She makes all sorts of awesome stuff all the time, and we are so glad she's going to be helping us. Aren't these cute?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

and don't text and drive. think about the people who love you.

Today I went to pp's house to relive the glory days of college when we'd totally miss the sun during the winter b/c we'd be up all night and sleep all day. And when we were up, we'd lounge on the couch watching movies. She made a delicious breakfast, and we settled in to watch Remember the Titans. I can't believe I hadn't seen it before!

pp lives in the citay, so I tore myself off her comfy couch and headed home. I had tried a new route on the way in and it got me there on time, so I thought I'd try another new route on the way home. BIG MISTAKE. Turns out 94W goes pretty much north for a good bit and then I was on it for awhile and started secondguessing myself. So I turned around and started driving again. And then I secondguessed THAT and got totally confused somewhere around Skokie, IL. And then there was traffic. Where the heck is everyone going at 4pm on a Sunday?!?

I finally got myself home around two hours after I'd left. I know pp would just be shaking her head reading this, so let me just say I'm shaking my head in disgust myself. And guess what? It was dark. But I found my way. At least I further developed my Lata Mangeshkar/Kishore Kumar station on Pandora and sang my heart out during the times when I thought I knew where I was going. I haven't been able to car-sing in a long time since my commute is like ten minutes.

And while I was trying to get the map on my phone to actually point me in the right direction, I realized that it wasn't really safe to do that unless I was pulled over or at least at a light. Which brings me to today's point: November 21 is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (via Guyana Gyal).

It would have been nice to save five minutes by not exiting to figure out where the HECK I was going, but not nearly as nice as it will be to walk down the aisle, have a family and see my momma smile. There are enough idiots out there on the road that if we let our guards down for a second, it could prove very costly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

compost: 1 year later

Remember when I was trying to make compost? It was around this time of year in 2009 and I raked all the leaves in my parents' back yard together. Then I put them in a big barrel and crushed them up with a weed whacker.

Yeah, so not all of them got pulverized, but enough did to do the job.

Then I made some catchalls for the leaves and layered the leaves with some dried grass clippings.

They look a little sloppy, but I was recycling that chicken wire and it wasn't that malleable. 

There were four of them in all.

It doesn't look like a lot, but that's about eight to ten big brown lawn refuse bags worth of leaves. They take up way less space when shredded.

So after all that work, I sort of forgot about it. Every once in awhile, we'd put in some kitchen scraps, but once it snowed, going all the way back into the corner of the back yard seemed like a lot of work. Come springtime, the compost had reduced down by about 75%, but I still didn't see any "black gold" that was supposed to have happened. It might have if I had turned over the compost as I intended. 

But this year, as we were raking the leaves (the weed whacker wasn't working so I didn't try to compost them, which is too bad because there was a pile about the size of my small sedan), I went back to check on the compost. 

The contents of my chickenwire bins had reduced to a small mound on the ground. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but IT WAS REAL COMPOST! IT WAS GREAT! All soft and coal black and full of nutrients! Just like the book had said! I was so excited! So we cleared out the dead stuff from the garden and spread it all over. I'm not sure if that was the best thing to do, but I didn't want to forget about it again. 
 If it doesn't snow this week, I'll go out and add a picture.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's because everyone else is out partying

I'm not sure you've heard, but the apartment (built in the '70s) is not quite as nice as the condo (built in the '00s). Cereal boxes are too big to fit in the cabinets, the kitchen drawers don't really work (in fact, jon built us a separate IKEA standalone cabinet w an awesome chopping block-ish top) and we can't put anything too far back in the fridge or it'll freeze solid.

And the parking. Some of you are aware of my longstanding love affair with parking. The spaces are not Hummer-friendly to say the least, and I think we'd have all benefitted greatly if they were diagonal instead of perpendicular. Many of the cars have scrapes on them from bad parkers and one nicer ride's front end got smashed by an overzealous resident who may never confess. It's just too tight up in there. So every night when i come home, most of the close spots near the doors are taken. I vacillate between parking far away from the crammy area but having to walk in the cold, or jamming my vehicle into a too-small spot where it might get nicked just to save myself a long walk to the entrance.

The only exception? Friday nights. When I get home at 9pm on Fridays, most every great spot is open. Often I can pull right in without a bunch of adjusting, and I'm right by the door. It's awesome. T hat, on top of the affordability, makes this place totally worth it.

-- Posted From My iPhone--everybody needs an editor.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

love a gadget-lover and the gadgets'll grow on you

Tonight after I left work, I stopped at my parents' house for a little couch time with my mom, some aloo bhaaji and chapati and an episode of Sasural Genda Phool from like two weeks ago (yeah, I'm behind). And I left my phone there.

I cannot describe to you how immensely odd that is. Tomorrow I will be sans alarm clock (the one we have is really complicated and can do dual times, but I don't get it), as well as communication with anyone via text or telephone. Worst of all, I can't watch an episode of Leverage or listen to a This American Life podcast or play Angry Birds on it tonight while I'm trying to fall asleep. Sad, I know.

The funny thing is, originally I was the last person in my group of friends to get a cellphone.* I was resistant to having a "homing device" after a bad experience with being forced to carry around a neon pink pager and then interrogated as to why I did not respond within the "acceptable 20-minute window" by a crazy ex. Yeah, that pager is now an algae anchor at the bottom of a lake in my parents' neighborhood.

When I finally caved and got a cell, it was never the latest model. I always went for a very small, functional piece that didn't necessarily have fancy ringtones, a color screen or do pictures. Even though I'd been dating my gadget-phile Jonathan for several years I had a pretty old-school functional phone. But then he got an iPhone. He started showing me new and exciting ways it could change my life. And dag-gummit, it sure did.

So here I am at the computer, reading and commenting into the wee hours of the night because I'm not completely sure how I can get myself to fall asleep without that dang phone.

*Technically I was the first one to have a cellphone: A Zach-Morris model for use only during emergencies driving to and from Champaign, so I never really used it, thank God.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

my chompers were JUST FINE before this guy got to work

More than three weeks ago, I went to the dentist. Because of the insurance situation (when I was freelancing, I had none), and because I am a little insane, I hadn't gone since December 2008. So of course the dentist managed to dig up a few cavities.

This was disappointing to me because a) I am a very religious brusher (and as of late, regular flosser) and b) Up until now I'd only had one cavity, which I got when I was 26. I figured that was because I inherited my father's family's awesome, awesome (both in size and pearliness) teeth, but my mother recently informed me that she'd always had our teeth capped to protect them from all that dang sweet-eating (another trait I inherited from my pops).

So I was bummed about the cavities. DDS Novocained me up and fired up the drill. And I could tell he was being thorough. I didn't think much about it--mostly because I was really numbed up and kept slapping myself in the jaw to check if I was still numb. Later on that day, it felt kind of weird. So I went back on my lunch hour to get my fillings taken down a little to even out my bite. Unfortunately, in the following two weeks I had a serious and near-constant toothache. I was popping Advil like Pez.

I went back to DDS and he said "90% of pain after fillings is due to them being too high." So he whittled them down a little more. My bite felt much better. I mentioned that I grind my teeth at night, and he said that may be aggravating the situation, so he told me to get some Sensodyne toothpaste and a night guard. On my way out, he casually mentioned something about root canals. I would say what, but I have blocked that sentence right out of my memory.

So here we are, 22 days after these fillings and I've swapped toothpaste and added this ridiculous night guard to my daily toothcare regimen. At first, my jaw was sore from the weirdness of this foreign thing in my mouth, but I was told that is normal. Then it was fine. But THEN this morning I had some cold yogurt and the toothache is back!!!

Is this the usual case with fillings? I don't recall that last one being like this. Am I just paranoid? Please, Good People Of The Internet tell me this is going to go away. Because, now that I think of it, an unrelenting ache coming from deep within her jaw can really make a girl CRANKY.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

older, not necessarily wiser

In 2005, I posted 183 times. So far this year, I have come up with  42 things to post about.

Back when I started this thing, ideas were certainly not easy to come by, but dude, it wasn't anything like this. The concept of blogging was hitting the mainstream, encased in shrinkwrap with that new-car smell. Now it's a household word--and has all sorts of connotations. People are "over" it. Today's general concept of blogging* is something of a "Snuggie" while 2005's blogging was the  "Slanket:" the high-quality original pushed out of view by incessant late-night commercials hawking the cheaply made knockoff. I've never been swayed by trends. In fact, people who pick up on a fad and drop it for the next one even before understanding the first are irritating. I'm in this for the long haul.

But all of a sudden I'm sad about it. I still love this thing. I mean, without it, I never would have met my future husband. We always thought of our story as unique and interesting, but it's probably happening all over the world now. Which is awesome; The One doesn't always live around the corner from you. I guess I'm just melancholy. The weather is changing. And while we had a gorgeous autumn, now it's dark a lot of the time I'm awake. I don't get to spend much time with my family or my fiance. And there's so very much to do and less and less time to do it. I can't even point to where the time goes.

It's a lot like how things were in the dungeon. But wobblier. And with a touch of arthritis.

*This in no way reflects upon all of you wonderful bloggers out there; you guys are still awesome

Monday, November 15, 2010

I haven't read a book since May

And I'm certainly not proud of that. I blame it on the inordinate amount of time I spend on television consumption.

J took a nap when he got home at 3 and woke himself up at 10 to hang out with me when I got home.

Guess what we're doing? Watching 30 Rock.

-- Posted From My iPhone--everybody needs an editor.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

they won't know you're the bride unless you pile on the bling

We went to an Indian Wedding Expo today, and there was a fashion show. A pretty well-known Bollywood playback singer was singing during the catwalk.

This dude was, from what we could guess, a late addition. I think he was a bouncer. And he was pretty proud of being the biggest guy there. 

 This woman was Queen of Something. We weren't sure what.

The singer was pretty talented. And a good multitasker. Unfortunately, he didn't think anyone would see him checking his phone DURING his performance because he was kind of behind the curtain.

For the last song, he picked out some Caucasian people in the audience. "What's your name? Sandra? And you? Esperanza, that's nice. Amy? Well this song is for you three. And all the rest of my American friends." Then he busted out a very commendable version of Bryan Adams's Everything I do, I do it for you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

once you have the guy, the rest is just gravy, right?

Dude, there are SO MANY WEDDING SHOWS on television. It may just be because I'm thinking about it more as we dip our toes into planning this thing, but everywhere you turn, there is someone talking about getting some nuptials together. Tonight we happened to catch this VH1 show called My Big Friggin' Wedding. It's, well, very Jersey Shore-ish. And a little scary.

I've been spending a lot of time just looking around. I realize that while I never fantasized about the details of my wedding, I knew I wanted to be doing Indian Stuff and having it outside. I guess that's a start, but it also leaves a lot up to the imagination. And there is SO much to look at on the World Wide Web; it is as Jon says, a great yet very terrible thing. What's worst, those of you who have spent more than 15 minutes with me know that I am what they call The Opposite of The Decider.

The saving grace is that there are some very smart, talented and capable people around who are willing to help. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

spent the whole week looking forward to all i'd accomplish today

Today was my day off.  I woke up at 7a. I didn't actually eat, but snacked. I did all the laundry. I took a bunch of CDs my mom gave me so I could import their contents onto her iPod and realized that she already had 80% of them. I mended a couple pieces of clothing that I'm not ready to part with yet. Then a contractor came to see about a leaky pipe. We went and painted some pottery, then watched Dexter over pizza.

I have no idea where the time goes. Am I just underestimating how long it takes me to do stuff? Because this lack of checklist checking off is really getting me down.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"till i was told it was built in 1992"

Conan O'Brien has an awesome American Express Commercial, shot apparently in Jaipur. Here's the "making of" video:

Here's the extended cut:

Conan could stand to work on his Hindi, but he's probably a little busy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

St. Martin's Summer

The last two days have been GORGEOUS in this part of Illinois. Sixty-eight degrees, y'all! WAHOOO!
Of course, I haven't really been able to take advantage of it because of all the working and side projects, etc, but I sure have appreciated the heck out of it through the office, house and car windows. Jon took the opportunity to take an oil bath under my car, which would have been a lot more miserable if it were 22 degrees like most years, so that was nice, too.

The last time I remember such a spectacular Indian Summer St. Martin's Summer was in 2005. Right around the 3rd. Longtime readers may know that on that particular night, I went to Midway Airport at 1:10 a.m. (after my shift) to pick H (Jon) up from the airport and meet him in person for the first time. The funny thing is, I didn't know where this little meeting was going to lead, so I breezed over the experience in my subsequent post--the only reference to Jon was, "My company that night showed tremendous patience and sportsmanship, despite all the tailgating, screaming at traffic, time requesting, running, hostess pleading and inhaling of food that my tardiness demanded. The only comment was, 'you know, Cadiz, you definitely get an A+ for planning. It's just the execution that needs a little work.' "

What I didn't mention was that it was 60-some degrees and we were running around Navy Pier, Millennium Park and all over the suburban Chicago area in November without coats as if it were springtime. It was such a great weekend. For so many reasons, but the weather certainly helped.

Two years later I described that first visit again. For the record, Jon is a pro at revolving doors now. In fact, for a long time, the running line was that whenever Jon came to town, he'd bring the gorgeous So-Cal weather with him. Even in January, when we had to ice skate in a big puddle.

Sadly, when Jon moved to Chicago it seemed the streak was broken. It's been HELLA cold the last two winters. Sometimes when it's brutal, he likes to tell me the temperature in his hometown. And while I go to great lengths justifying this Midwest weather, I enjoy these heat-wave bursts more than anyone. The good news? It looks like I might have an ally on his side of the family!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

nearly rotten

So today I walk into my office and my mom has left me some orange juice and a bagel, prepared just the way I like it, on my desk. She knew I had to get up at the crack of dawn to do a side job for several hours before my shift started, all the while fasting for 12 hours because in between I had a blood test (to get 20$ off my health insurance every month). That woman is so good to me.

Later, she stopped by to say hello and I asked if she could pick something up for me because my work hours wouldn't allow me to make it. My coworker began lecturing my mother about "cutting the umbilical." I didn't appreciate this. Because--while I AM very blessed--I do my best to try and reciprocate, a lot of which that coworker does not see. But it really got me thinking about how I am kind of spoiled.

To make matters worse/even better, today was a gorgeous 68-degree F day here in Illinois. For mid-November, that's remarkable to say the least. After working ten hours on his feet since the crack of dawn, my fiance swung by my workplace to grab my car, change the oil (and we're not talking about just taking it to JiffyLube, either), bring the car back, and put it in a kickass parking spot so I didn't have to walk near the forest at the end of the night. He's had a headache for three days that won't go away and I know he didn't have the best day at work, but he made time to come by, even though I was busy and couldn't come out with the key for nearly 20 minutes. Jon is THE best.

Yes, I realize how lucky I am. And I thank the heavens for how good I've got it every single day.

Monday, November 08, 2010

and there's nothing you can do about it

Last Friday, my coworker was driving along with her two kids in the car, minding her own business. She was crossing the intersection on a green light as one is supposed to do, when a vehicle to her right decided to just jump on into the intersection. Apparently that driver didn't happen to see the HUGE WHITE TRUCK my friend was driving and slammed into the passenger side, where her son was sitting. Everyone was fine, save for the possible broken ankle of the son and the seatbelt marks on everyone, but the huge white truck was completely totaled.

That same day, another coworker of ours was in a five-car pileup. Hers was the first car stopped at a light. The fifth car was driven by an elderly man, who plowed into the fourth car hard enough to cause a chain reaction all the way to the front.

Both of these coworkers were obeying the laws, keeping within their limits and these boneheads just hauled off and caused terrible accidents. You can be the most perfect driver on the road, and if you happen to cross paths with some idiot, you could be seriously injured. The reminders that these things are possible at any time with no warning makes my brain hurt.

I know, cocooning yourself in the safety of your home is no way to live. But it's easy to forget that the world is a dangerous place.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

this coming from the boy who changes clothes like three times a day

"There's a store in L.A. that sells almost all the Jordans. Even the really old ones."

"Are you serious? Why out there? Why not in Chicago?"

"I guess it's more of an L.A. kind of thing, I don't know. They have other shoes, too."

"You had so many of those ridiculous shoes when you were a kid."

"Yeah, I had the [insert unsure rumination about which Air Jordan models he may have had over the years]. This place has the MJ 3s, but not in my size."

"Wait, didn't those come out in the early nineties?!"

"Uh huh. Some of the ones they have listed have notes like 'the plastic has yellowed.' "

"Wait, so YOU would be willing to wear USED GYM SHOES?!?"

"Cadiz, we're talking about MICHAEL JORDANS. Of course."

"I'm not going to even ask what they cost."

Saturday, November 06, 2010

move over snuggie?

Apparently this Norwegian onepiece sweatsuit is all the rage. I rather enjoyed the "extreme sleepover" promo photos at (Via I would totally show you some of the pics, but I can't' figure out how.

In other news, we downloaded the Netflix Streaming to the actual Wii so now I won't have any way of knowing when that someone has been playing Guitar Hero instead of going to sleep early anymore because I'll never have to change the disc.

My apologies for this lackluster post. But it'll seem better if you check out those ridiculous photos on

Friday, November 05, 2010

take a little time today to make a turkey out of your handprint

On the way home from work, NPR had some Canadian radio program on* with Lynda Barry who has written a book about drawing, and how everyone does/can do it but somewhere around age nine people become aware that others can judge them on it and that's when they start nonsense like "I can't draw." She described putting pen to paper or other actions you can do (I'd like to consider knitting or even dancing work the same way) give you a little boost that few other things do. Examples: doodling during a boring meeting makes it go just a teensy bit faster, and smiling after creating a turkey out of the outline of your hand works at any age. It was pretty interesting.

It got me thinking about this past weekend, when my mom and I volunteered at a fun fair of sorts for breast cancer patients/survivors. My mom has been working at this event for years, long before it pertained to her personally, but it was my first time being there. They had booths of all kinds and massages and paraffin hand wax treatments. Mom signed me up to help at the Henna/Mehndi table, and a beautician and I gave the attendees temporary henna tattoos. We worked nonstop from 9a to 3p! It was a big hit, and I think it brought a smile to a lot of people there. They so totally deserve to be pampered. Which made it totally worth the effort.

And on top of it, there was the personal joy I got from doodling. What Barry was saying on the radio really rings true for me. Drawing and painting introduced me to the wild concept of staying up all night. I couldn't get enough, and had an art class nearly every semester in high school. I was almost talked into going to The Art Institute in Chicago instead of University before my parents flipped out over the possibility of my being a "starving artist." I tried to get into classes in college, but if you weren't a declared Fine Art Major, you basically had to fight to the death for a spot/be randomly selected and that only worked once. Of course, just as I was about to graduate college, my mom was like "You know what you should do? Graphic Design! That's not starving artist, that uses COMPUTERS!"

ANYway, there is so little room in my life for that kind stuff anymore. And I miss it more than I realized. We were so busy, I hardly took any pictures of the mehndi event, but here is a rudimentary version of one of my most popular designs that day (I was just starting to get a feel for the cone at this point, which is why it looks so globby).

Trust me, these were better as the day progressed. THERE! I just reacted to the thing Lynda Barry was saying, by worrying you guys would be all judgy judgerson about the quality of my Mehndi work! She's really onto something there.

*The program is called Q and here is a link to the November 4 podcast. Lynda's segment starts at Minute 32, right after the interview with Bryan Adams, and it is about 20 minutes long. The part at the end about the amputee's phantom limb was REALLY interesting.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

nightmare: the only guaranteed way to get me out of bed in the morning

I had a horrible nightmare this morning. I spent 20 minutes here describing it in detail, but I've deleted that to spare you further opportunity to think I'm a freak. So I'll gloss over the gory parts and say I dreamed about two unknown people coming into my place of business for a shooting spree, cornering me and threatening to shoot in several places (including under my chin) and then being distracted by a very unfortunate nurse. She was eventually dispatched, and what woke me up was seeing/feeling her demise.

Very upsetting, I know. And of course I couldn't go back to sleep, so I hopped on the computer to figure out what it means. Here is what had to say:

Killing: To dream of being a witness to a killing portends a change that will not be entirely to your liking. 
Guns: Whether you saw it, heard it or used it, any type of gun featured in your dream forecasts an injustice, either to you or to someone in your close circle, that you will have to fight hard to overcome.
Blood: Be prepared for a period of hard work against hostile forces if you saw blood in your dream.
Death: To dream of a death often signifies news of a birth.
Fear: As a general guide: If you conquered the cause of your dreamed fear and/or the sensation disappeared during the dream, the forecast is that you will overcome your difficulties; however, if the feeling persisted and/or the cause was indefinable, you should expect to have to cope with problems arising from the deceit or dishonesty of someone you trusted.
Threat: You are being strongly warned against gambling or speculation if your dream featured any form of threat or threatening atmosphere.

I haven't had one of these types of scary dreams in a long time. I think I'm good for a long while.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

hey, at least i've saved on sick days

Have you noticed that if you get the flu shot, instead of dripping and coughing and puking and feeling like utter garbage for three days but getting over it, you've got prolonged sniffling, clearing of throat and acheyness that drags out over weeks and weeks? As more people get the flu shot every year, I wonder if we'll have hordes of functioning-but-irritated people instead of a good smattering of really sick people who stay home a few days. I'm not sure which is better.

Take me, for instance. I work in a hospital and while I'm not actually administering direct patient care (unless you consider the healing powers of a cheerful smile in the face of serious grumpiness), there are a lot of germs floating around the halls. So I find the flu shot necessary. But I've been feeling generally blah for a few weeks: sniffly, sore-throaty and really really tired. So I take an allergy-fighting med so I can work undisturbed all day, then basically collapse at the end of the night. This is really wreaking havoc on my extra-curricular time. You know, the hours I need to catch up on Spanish/Hindi soap operas and make baby booties.

I guess this is just a rite of passage of winter. But I'm so ready for it to be over. And I could really do without the bloody nose first thing in the morning.

Monday, November 01, 2010

it's the time of the season

I'm coming out of hibernation for NaBloPoMo again, folks. I wish I had great excuses for why I don't post more often, but my free time happens to occur in the morning, which is when I do my very best sleeping. It is what it is.

Anyway, I'm not one to break a 5-year streak, so there will be something up here every day. Here's a little recap of what's been going on the last few months, for those of you playing along at home:

  • In June the condo was [insert angels singing here] sold, after 2 years and four months on the market. I don't know how she did it, but even though it almost fell through a couple of times (apparently the renter/owner ratio was hovering at dangerous levels--something the association has now decided to deal with by trying to get people to vote on not allowing anyone else to rent out their units) my realtor made it happen. 
  • J got a new job out in suburbia. I work evenings, he works mornings, and though we see each other once a week, at least we're not separated by 30 miles anymore!
  • We flew out to Cali and drove his car back (I can sort of drive manual transmission now).
  • We're saving for a wedding that may happen sometime in 2011.
And that's about it. A lot of people I know just had/will be having babies, so I've been busy making stuff. I love babies!

Let the monthlong posting begin!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

I am here with you, because I've been there

Last week, one of my cousins overseas had a baby. Apparently he was admitted into the ICU shortly after being born and we weren't getting any details. I cannot explain to you the terror my parents and I experienced those few days until we found out it was just an infection and that everything would be fine. The parents and the grandparents of this baby now have a minuscule glimpse at what that terror is. As much as they love us, that part of the family has never really been involved, so they have no idea what my parents went through all these years with literally no family around.

I pray they never have to find out.


This week, I had an 11-year-old patient whose paperwork said "status-post Fontan surgery." And suddenly the words became blurry. Fontan is not a word I see every day, and it took me by surprise, right back to those days of not knowing what was happening or what would happen, or if I'd ever get to see my brother again. I can't help but cry.

I don't have any idea how she found out, but my mom got wind of this patient and happened to bump into the kid's mother in the hall. Seventeen years ago, our family was in a similar situation. The other mother's first question? "Please tell me your son is 40!" After scolding the woman for thinking she was old enough to have a forty-year-old son, my mom told her all about my gem of a brother. Soon, they were both crying together. 


Yesterday, a friend from high school emailed me about a 19-month-old she knows who has been battling a heart condition since before even coming out into the world. And they have another (healthy) baby on the way. I am definitely sending love to her family, because I know it's not going to be easy, even though I really really hope that it will.


Basically, my heart breaks every time I think about how much my brother has suffered. And while it's such a miracle that he's 28, a college graduate who went away to school, has a real job that takes him all over the country and handles his business every single day--never once using his situation to make excuses, he will never be free from the medicine and the checkups and the memories. It's almost too much for me to even think about, let alone imagine. And I will never be free from my own set of memories. It kills me that there are other kids and other families out there that have to go through it too. All I can do is pray for them and hope that they will surround their kids with as much love as we have been lucky to have.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

28 years, six days

My brother and I are opposites in pretty much every way. I tend to walk into a room of people I like with an exclamation announcing my arrival. When I get excited, I speak faster and louder. And I remember my mother telling me when I was a kid that "there's no need to show EVERY SINGLE ONE of your teeth when you smile." But I can't help it.

The kid, however, is slow to smile--he's got this thing my dad does where they aren't smiling but you know they really are because the dimple on the side of their chins turns into a wink (it's also the tipoff when my brother's lying). He enters a room quietly, observing what's going on. And usually everyone else in the room exclaims when they see it's him.

So even though I knew he was probably coming, it was still a nice surprise when he stopped by my office yesterday to say hello. Sadly, he's downtown this weekend and booked up nearly every second, so those few minutes are pretty much all I'll get to see him until he comes to town again. I didn't really even get to wish him a happy birthday.

I love you, bro. Don't make me have to get pregnant to get you to move home.

Friday, September 03, 2010

why I should write more stuff down

"So did we discuss everything that we were supposed to as we made this long drive and actually had time together?"

"I don't know, had you made a list?"

"In my mind. But as you know, that's sort of unreliable."

"I have always found your mind to be completely illegible. I've never been able to read it."

-- Posted From My iPhone--everybody needs an editor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

road trip!

Very shortly, Jon and I will be driving his little red car from my future in-laws' house in California to Illinois. By the end of the trip, I hope to be confident driving a manual transmission vehicle outside of a high school parking lot. And have a lot of random postcards.

Any suggestions on places to stop?

-- Posted From My iPhone--everybody needs an editor.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

in the future i'll rephrase when asking for "a little bite" of his lunch

"Ugh. I don't know in what universe I thought I could have completed this thing by today. I've been working on this for two hours now and only finished like five inches."

"Sadly, this is a common problem. You always seem to bite off more than you can chew with these types of projects."

"C'mon, you know me. I bite off more than I can chew with EVERYTHING I do. But then I somehow manage to chew it all."

"I know. I've seen you eat sandwiches."

Saturday, August 14, 2010


After that last post, particularly the "this is a Cadiz post, of course" bit, I decided to take the advice of some of you to revamp my attitude.  Some of you remember the failed "no complaining" experiment of 2006. But today is a day of birth and rebirth, so we're going to give it a go. This year will (hopefully) be about focusing on the positive.

I am so thankful for all the love and support in my life. And, as always, it's always the little things that say the most.Yesterday our volunteer, Susan, brought homemade red velvet cupcakes into the office before I clocked in. They nearly disappeared almost as soon as she set them down, so not one but three different people grabbed one and set it aside so I'd be sure to get one when I got there. And that doesn't include the one my mom had.

When people can keep a red velvet cupcake on their desk and refrain from eating it, just for you? Damn, that's love. And don't get me started on my family and friends. You guys are all the best.

Friday, August 06, 2010

the closer we get, the farther apart we are

So Jon and I finally attained our goal of being in the same zip code for what we hope to be a long long long long time. We've been here for almost three months.


I continue to work evenings--generally 11:30a-8:30p. This will probably go on into the unforeseeable future as my shift is the least desirable/hardest to cover and my counterparts aren't going to be retiring anytime in the next two decades.

Jon got a new job.


It's no longer in the city (no more getting up at the bootycrack of dawn to get him to the train). It's a not-temp position for a bit more money. He will be out of the house for about the same amount of time but be paid for more of those hours than before! And there's benefits!


But this is a Cadiz post, so of course there's a downside, right? He starts at 4a, gets home at 2:30p and will be sleeping by the time I get home. I am sleeping when he has to get up. At least when we were in our various forms of longdistance we could talk to each other in real time.

wah, waaaaaaaaaaah.

I know, I know, this is an awesome development. It really is. Did you check out the font sizes on those HOORAYs? There are people with even crazier schedules than ours, some of whom have kids. I'm certain we can make this work, even if it means one or both of us has to take two naps instead of a full night's sleep. And there are always Sunday mornings, which have generally been pretty great.

But I can't help but feel like we're stuck in a Paula Abdul video.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Way back in 2005, I professed on a list of hundred things about myself that I have always wanted to drive a race car at regulation speed. Jon must have been paying attention, because for this past Valentine's Day, I got a certificate to Chicago Indoor Racing, good for lessons and two spins around the track. We redeemed them this weekend with a work friend of mine who purchased the same gift for her fiance's birthday.

Technically, they're very fancy go-karts, but they're low to the ground and go up to 30 mph so it was still totally awesome. Plus it felt much more official wearing jumpsuits and helmets.

This is the starting line. The action shots I got just showed blurs.

I didn't finish nearly as well as I felt I had--something like 9th in the first race on Track 1 and 7th in the second on Track 2 (Jon placed 6th and 4th). Not to make excuses, but general consensus was that the rule-flouting people in our race who had no problem cutting us off and actually hitting people have probably done this before.

I feel like I look like a groupie in this picture. That was not my intention. Maybe next time J will be MY groupie.

Next time we take a spin, I'd like to be in a bigger group of people that we all know. Do I smell bachelor/bachelorette party?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

apparently one CAN live without television...sort of

As you've seen before, we've decided to downgrade our television-viewing opportunities (no cable/dish). The only channel we get clearly without acrobatics is Fox. And we always happen to turn it on during shows I don't particularly care for, such as the Family Guy spinoff about Cleveland.

But with my long-held devotion to Netflix and a not-dialup Internet connection--on top of the fact that we're both working so much that we barely have time to sit down on the couch--I don't even miss it.

Isn't that shocking? ME, not miss tv?!? I know.

So I've taken to getting the bulk of my daily television allowance by walking through patient waiting areas (I could dedicate a whole other post to how all the tvs in the various departments tend to be tuned to the same things at the same times: Access Hollywood, Ellen, Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser and local news). And I also watch in the department breakroom.

The tv in the breakroom is hooked into the hospital-wide system, which has sort of an On Demandlike option for movies. So over the last few months I've seen 30-minute snippets of dozens of films that I will inevitably add to my Netflix queue just to see the endings. This is awesome because a) the queue is getting robust again, and b) I can sort of pre-screen the films.

The downside?

The On Demandlike program is completely controlled by the patients. As you can see, if some guy in the room that supplies our tv feed decides he needs to pee during The Blind Side, he can pause it. And I eat my dal and rice, patiently hoping he comes back. The worst is watching them decide. I see them flipping back and forth and back and forth andbackandforthandbackandforth. I usually eat at 4:30, often by myself, and wonder if people can hear me screaming at the television for that patient to just choose "Up" already because time is ticking on my lunch hour.

Why don't I just give up and watch regular tv, with cable? Because even watching some patient play solitaire is more appealing to me than having to sit through commercials.

Monday, July 12, 2010

human conductor

Things are getting somewhat settled--albeit VERY SLOWLY--in the new apartment, but one thing that's hard to get used to is that the only channel we can get in here without some serious acrobatics is Fox* (which wouldn't be so bad if my work schedule didn't overlap with So You Think You Can Dance. Don't tell me what's happening; I'm hoping to catch a marathon of the current season soon).

But the World Cup is An Event, so we pulled out the big guns. Jon had made this very fancy antenna when we were in the condo, and as you can see we are able to get ABC. But only if we hold it juuust so.

Excuse the hair. I didn't want to miss anything by trying to fix it after I jumped out of the shower.

I had to hold the antenna at a different place than Jon did (of course we took turns); who knows what conducting a signal with your torso for a few hours does to your body.

What I lacked in jumping up and down, I made up for in yelling. My dad would have been proud, if he weren't busy jumping up and down and yelling in his own living room.**

The neck pain was totally worth seeing Espana win it all. Sorry, Ale, your guys played a hell of a tournament, but after the U.S. and India, I always root for Spain.

*No cable or dish--we're trying to save for a wedding.
**We were worried about missing something if we drove over to my parents' house to see the extra time.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

After 765* days on the market, the condo is sold.

A lot has happened since that post about the fortune cookies. If you don't want to read it all, I will not be offended. Bolded parts will give you the gist.

  • We switched realtors. Our old realtor was fancy, but I think too concerned with the million-dollar properties he was dealing with. Our new realtor is my friend from high school named Mala Gandhi with Coldwell Banker who is PHENOMENAL (she deserves her own post). I am kicking myself for not asking her at the outset due to a misconception that she only worked in the suburbia. Seriously, email me if you're selling/buying anywhere in suburbs/Chicago; I will hook you up.
  • We got an offer on our first showing with Mala. Unfortunately, the buyer wouldn't budge on his offer and decided to go with one of the 18 foreclosures in the building. :(
  • We got an offer on our third showing with Mala. This one really seemed promising. We bargained and came to an agreement. After two years this was actually going to happen! We were excited.
  • I visited CC in San Diego. We did so much awesome stuff, including hanging out in Coronado at the hotel where Some Like It Hot was shot, as well as fancy high tea.
  • We were supposed to close at this point on the condo. But because regulations have gotten so tight on lenders, they perform checks at the beginning of the process as well as at the end. This buyer is very solid; there was no problem with him. However he wants it as an investment to rent out, and for that Fannie Mae requires the building to be at least 51% owner-occupied. At the start of the deal 246 units in our building were owner-occupied. The day before close? 251. And that was enough to derail our sale. I was DEPRESSED, because all around us, units were dropping prices like insects smacked dead against a wall. If this deal didn't happen, we wouldn't be able to compete with those foreclosures and thus would continue giving all our money to the mortgage and not be able to move on with life until this economy turns around. You know, when we're 87.
  • One of my BFFs Highcon is a superduper rockstar at his job. In appreciation, his company awarded him an all-expenses paid, four-day trip to The Bahamas. For two. He asked me to come "because I've had a rough couple of years." So--with Jon's blessing--I went. It was awesome; especially swimming with dolphins. Thank heaven for BFFs.
  • Basically in the time it took for me to fly home from Nassau, the deal with the same buyer somehow was back on track with a new lender. Closing was set for June 4.
  • We lost the money I had hastily put down on an apartment near the train station (so Jon could get to work) before the first closing. But I didn't feel so terrible when he spotted two little squirrel faces poking out of a hole in the roof above our potential unit.
  • Mala found us another apartment for a good price. We signed the lease and cleaned the heck out of it. It's not nearly as nice as the condo I was selling, but really, what is?
  • Closing was set for 9 a.m. Jon and I stayed up late packing, so when my parents showed up at 5:30 (there has been a LOT of construction and they didn't want to be late) we tried to get them to go out for breakfast so we could sleep a little more. But we were awake already, so we just got going. Over the next 60 hours, we got a total of 6.5 hours' sleep.
  • There were several other snags during closing that I don't have the energy to explain, but let's just say we got to know our buyer pretty well as we sat there for four and a half hours before the deal was done. It didn't feel real until I handed him the keys. Nice guy. I hope the renters he gets don't completely destroy the upgrades (esp the beautiful but soft bamboo floor) we worked so hard to make.
  • Moving was a NIGHTMARE. Between the lack of sleep and the lack of food (I had an egg sandwich and OJ and Jon had a Jamba Juice, that is all) and the stress of trying to get out of there by the end of the night, it was not our best day, with our next worst day nowhere near close behind. If I had to deal with us that day, we would have been smacked. My brother happened to be in town and saved our butts on more than one occasion.
  • Our good friends MFM and A got a babysitter so they could help us move. We thought we'd be in suburbia with a truck full of stuff by 5. They were going to help us try and squeeze the couch and other big furniture into the 1960s elevator. Sadly, at 5 p.m., not even half of our stuff was into the truck back in the city. I called them at about 7 to let them know to eat because we weren't going to make it to the apartment at a decent hour, but forgot to add that they should probably go home. They waited around for us at the mall until 9:45. And that day was their 5th wedding anniversary. We feel terrible about ruining it.
  • As the sun came up through the floor-to-ceiling windows we got the last of our stuff out of the condo. It was sad. That place was the last remainder of my old professional life, ten years of slogging crap hours for little pay doing what I enjoyed and hoping it would eventually pay off. All those weekends not going out with my friends, of living with my parents so I could save to buy a place of my own. And it's all vapor, now. I won't even go into the heartbreaking amount of money I lost beyond the fact that it sold for way less than what I paid five years ago, not to mention all the upgrades and the fat chunk of change I had originally saved to put down. Funny, when people in the building asked us why we were moving, somehow "we just can't afford it anymore" didn't seem to be an acceptable answer.
  • Moving into the new place was challenging, what with the rain, the faulty security door key (other residents kept kicking out the rock we'd put in the door, which I actually think is a good thing), and the fact that it was Jon and I by ourselves. But it went surprisingly well.

We are so very thankful to my parents, my brother (who spent a good chunk of his visit helping load/unload stuff) and MFM and A. Without them, we would likely STILL be dragging ourselves and our things up and down elevators. And that's only a slight exaggeration.

Everything is still in boxes. I can't keep my autopilot from turning into my parents' driveway. It'll be difficult to go downtown and remember that we no longer live there. This is going to be a big adjustment. But we're looking forward to the future. And we're ready for what comes next.

*Mala was our realtor for only 90 of those 765 days.

Monday, June 07, 2010

the results are in










No, unfortunately we did not win.


We placed 70th* out of NINE THOUSAND!!!!

That's in the 99th percentile, people.

The president would so totally have given us an award if how much people loved us counted for fitness.

Thank you all again very much for voting for us. We love you.

*We had to have placed 50th or better to have been considered.

Monday, April 19, 2010

check back on July 12

Last Sunday, Jon and I went out to eat with cc at Royal Thai, where she and I especially enjoy the sticky rice with mango. After a great meal (Hooray, Jon has decided to un-blacklist this cuisine), the server brought some fortune cookies back with our check.

In this photo, you'll find the fortune I received (bottom) and his (top). I believe cc got something standard like "You are a beautiful person" or whatnot.

I know these are mass-produced, but for some reason the fact that they're not exactly the same makes it seem more spooky. I try not to be as superstitious as my peeps from the Motherland, but I can't help but wonder what we have in store for us on July 12.

I hope it's REALLY GOOD.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

jon and cadiz in the department store

"Hey Mr. 20/20, tell me what that sign says way down there. Dresses have got to be around here somewhere."

"Men, Boys, Girls, Home, Women's Sizes."

"Women's sizes? What the heck does that mean?"

"You know, Women's Sizes. That's where all the men go to buy their women. They have them in all sizes."

"Is that right? So where did you get your woman then?"


"Oh yeah?"

"Definitely. Everyone knows all the best deals are online."

Saturday, April 03, 2010

we may not have money, but we are rich

When I was a kid, I took a field trip to a prestigious, gorgeous, foreboding building where really smart people did impressive stuff. I turned to a friend and said, "I'm going to work here someday." And I actually made that happen. At the end of my very last shift there, I emptied my drawer, packed up my nameplate, put on my pink coat and turned to leave the enormous open room in which everyone rolls up their sleeves and gets the job done every night. And these people I respect, a lot of whom I hadn't really had the chance to speak to, began to applaud. All the way until I made it out the door.

I can't express that feeling. I had seen them do that for people before, but only ones who I thought had been there for a long time. As a two-year contract person whose time was up, I never dreamed that I deserved such a send-off. It was an unexpected and touching moment that I will never forget.

Last week, nearly five years to the day Jon* and I found each other in the comments of Jazz's blog, I had another of those moments. After 31 straight days of being two impossibly pointy thorns in the side of everybody within reach/phone/Internet, begging for votes to help us into the top 50 in Crate&Barrel/Daily Candy's Ultimate Wedding Contest, we were humbled by the results.

Unfortunately, we didn't crack that dang Top 50. But I am not sad in the least. After the fraudulent votes (I guess we had three) were thrown out, we placed 70th with a total of 764 votes. AND THAT IS DAMN IMPRESSIVE, FOLKS, considering there were what I believe to be thousands of other entries to choose from. Scrolling through them all, I am so amazed at how far we got. Especially because we were up against competition with touching stories of cancer, service to city and country, sexual discrimination and paralysis. Sure, we have our share of troubles, but in the face of that stuff it's a wonder we had a chance at all. But we did have a chance! We even hovered between 60th and 70th place. And that is no small feat.

And we never could have done it without you.

So to every single one of you who:
a) took time out of your busy day to follow the links and vote for us
b) re-posted us on facebook or twitter or here or here or here or here or here or here**
c) put a note in your church bulletin
d) got us a shoutout on a sports radio talkshow in Mobile, AL (thanks, bro)
e) nagged your significant other/friends/parents/neighbors
f) tried to incentivize voting to your students/others under your command
g) received harassing faxes/phonecalls/letters/emails/lectures from my mother
h) voted from (cough)made(cough) more than one email address
i) translated our story into other languages for your family in other countries to vote
j) had all your coworkers vote even though they don't know us
k) badgered celebrities to try and sponsor us to win
l) did stuff to garner votes for us that we didn't even HEAR ABOUT
there are no words to adequately capture how much we appreciate your efforts. This was an unexpected and touching experience, and we will never forget it.

Jon and I are going back to the original 2013 wedding date, and hope to save enough to have a wedding worthy of how much love and support we have around us. But there are plenty of wedding contests still out there (are you reading this Good Morning America?).

Don't worry, we know we've already played our Vote For Us Card...for now.

We love each and every single one of you. Thank you so much again for showing us how loved we are.

*Yes, I'm retiring the "H" now that the cat's out of the bag and scratching up the furniture.
**We'd hate to have forgotten anyone. Please let us know if we did!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

T-minus 3 days, 11 hours

Now that H and I, as well as our close friends, family and colleagues have annoyed the everloving socks off of everyone within ten miles with our pleas for votes, we have moved on to ABJECT BEGGING.


Here are the very, very, very boiled-down facts:

H and I met in the comments of Strange Places, FIVE YEARS AGO. Before, as someone recently put it: "blogging became SO 2007."

None of us knew each other but after he and I got to doing so, we dated longdistance for 2.5 years. Then he moved to Chicago.

A whole lot of economy-related crap went down in terms of 4 layoffs in 5 years, underemployment and not being able to sell my house. H and I are thankful to have paychecks, but still working on getting healthcare for him. We realize we are not the only ones struggling with these problems.

We'd love to get married soon. But can't afford it until probably 2013.

So we entered this contest. We don't have to get the most votes, just the 50th-most votes.

And we actually have a shot! Last night we were closer than we've ever been, and don't need too many more to get in.

It's one vote per email address; you don't have to fill out any personal information beyond that.

No one has received spam.

Yes, we really did walk around downtown Chicago yesterday trying to get votes. (The idea of seeing someone throw your picture on the sidewalk is HUMBLING. I feel for those going-out-of-business-solicitors who get walked past every day).

If it's not obvious, we would be thrilled to make it into the top 50. In fact, I think it'd feel like victory, especially because the competition has become so fierce. AND WE LEGITIMATELY HAVE A CHANCE!

Contest ends Wednesday, March 31. Every single vote makes a difference (currently we're tied with another couple) and is GREATLY APPRECIATED!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

all we need now is a beret for H

Mythbusters: wedding contest edition

Let me tell you, folks, there are ALL KINDS of awesome experiments H and I conducted on video--a la Jamie and Adam from the hit television show--regarding fallacies about this wedding contest we've been crowing about for the entire month. Unfortunately, I am currently trapped in the land of dialup for employment reasons and unable to upload any, so you all will have to use your fine-tuned imaginations to picture them.

MYTH 1: You can only vote once. Busted.

I, myself, have four email addresses:
  • The original yahoo address from college through which I still get newsletters from professional organizations and school affiliations.
  • A gmail address I use for the bulk of messaging with people I know in real-life.
  • A gmail address associated with this blog: cadiztwelve[at]gmail[dot]com
  • Another yahoo devoted to sign-ups at stores and for sale emails, etc.
And as much as my coworkers swear I secretly voted for the couple who currently has the most votes because I was touched by their story (along with the rest of America), I voted for H with every single one. Seriously, even if you didn't want to vote for yourself, wouldn't you be compelled to vote for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?

MYTH 2: The current leaders have a gajillion votes! Karen and Jon will never win! Unconfirmed.

This contest is set up as more than just a popularity contest. Yes, there are people with gajillions of votes, but being #1 only secures a gift certificate to C&B. All Top-50 candidates will be considered for the big prize. So we just have to get in that top 50 and hope that the judges think our story and our personalities are worthy of winning.

MYTH 3: Only people in the United States can vote. Busted

My cousin in Australia was pretty much the first one to vote for us. (Thanks, D!) It's the World-Wide Web! Tell your family on other continents!

MYTH 4: Voting for us will lead to some sort of spam in your inbox. Busted.

Not one of the 570 (so far) voters has mentioned any extraneous spam in their inboxes as a result of going to the Web site and entering their email addresses. Crate & Barrel requires every couple to register for 50 line items (meaning a set of glasses counts as one)/$2,000 worth of stuff. If you take a minute to look at how many couples have entered, you know C&B is getting great business there. Plus, I'm pretty sure if you are on some kind of mailing list, companies are required to offer an "unsubscribe" link so you can put a stop to them immediately.

MYTH 5: They are using your votes as market research. Busted.

It became clear that even some people who were supporting us by telling others hadn't voted themselves because they were wary of becoming statistics. It's pretty hard to market-research people based solely on email address (You don't have to give ANY PERSONAL INFO besides email address).

MYTH 6: You have plenty of time to still vote. Busted.

What exactly does "plenty" mean, anyway? THERE IS ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT. We have narrowed the gap between us and the 50th-place couple more than we imagined and we really have a shot at this! But I'm sure everyone else is making last-minute pleas to people, too, so we have to come back with more votes. So if you haven't already, please vote from all your email addresses!

Every single vote is greatly appreciated! WE HAVE A GENUINE SHOT AT THIS!