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!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

sometimes you just gotta ask

"You do know i'm talking to you from a brand-new iPhone, right? That I got fixed FOR FREE."

"You ARE?!?"

"Well I was WAITING for you to ask, and you weren't DOING IT!"

"Well, I was WAITING for you to tell me why you weren't available for several HOURS and YOU weren't doing IT!"



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

one of the best things about falling in love with another blogger is the joy of watching the rest of them figure it out

One thing I'll never say about people who read this blog is that they don't pay attention.

On February 14, 2006 I was on vacation in Simi Valley, CA, visiting H for the second time and celebrating Valentine's Day with the grand sum of my days off for the entire year: 4.

It was exciting, having this cross-country love affair with another blogger while trying to pretend in our posts that we were just friends who had never met. And it would have made for a truly awesome reveal. If I hadn't slipped up.

Apparently over in New York, Omar was having some sort of tooth problem. And being on vacation wasn't going to stop me from commenting about it. So I hopped onto H's computer, clicked on Omar and left what was probably a ridiculous and certainly an all-in-lowercase comment that made use of the word "toof." I didn't think twice and hit Post.

It wasn't until I got an email from Omar with the subject "CSI:Los Angeles" that I realized what went wrong. Because it was H's computer, all of HIS name/address information was saved on frequent sites. So I had made that very-Cadiz comment signed in as "Onj."

Here's what it said:
Let me preface this by saying that I don't mean to seem stalker-ish or nosey.

I check StatCounter roughly 150 times per day. I noticed a handful of hits from the host. I assumed they were from Jon, as I think that's his service provider.

Then I checked my email, and saw your comments... from the same host... in California?

THEN I double checked the last comment from Onj, on Feb 11th, about wanting to hear about the proposal... It seemed odd that Jon wanted to hear about the proposal. And using the word "toof"? AND the comment was all in lower case letters?

AND you haven't been posting/commenting much recently?

My CSI training tells me that either you're a hacker and you're spoofing Jon's IP address OR you're at Jon's computer.

This is totally none of my business. Please forgive my nosey-ness.
and then a follow up:
Or that Jon stole your identity. I left out that possibility.
my reply:
i know you're not stalker-ish. or nosey. and you're my boy. so of course i knew you'd figure it out. especially because i know you're addicted to your statcounter.

he TOTALLY stole my identity!


nah, i'm here. at my boyfriend's computer. and i forgot to check the identity with which i was posting before i hit the button. oops. i knew that toof thing was going to be obvious, but i didn't realize people picked up that i never capitalize anything. omg, you think anyone else noticed?
You absolutely could have continued with that "he stole my identity" story, and I would have believed it :)

Well that's fantastic news! I've never even MET another blogger, and you guys are dating?!? From halfway across the country?! I won't get all girly and ask details. Just know that I'm thrilled for both of you.

We've since met Omar (along with his gorgeous family) in person, and I can attest that they are every bit as cool as I had suspected all these years. Several other readers happened to piece together that H=Jon, including Becky, who I believe figured it out while lying awake at night trying to figure out how it all fit together.

btw, PLEASE VOTE FOR US! couples closest to the top 50 are making a serious push to get in and we STILL HAVE A SHOT! Here are some tips:

1) You can vote from more than one email address. BE SURE TO HIT the "logout" button in the top left corner. It's tiny.

2) You can post to your twitter, facebook and myspace from the actual page, right underneath our photo.

3) You can email every single person you know with the link...?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

milestone: year 5

Holy cow, it's been FIVE YEARS since I started this blog in an effort not to go insane by myself in the middle of the night. WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED ALL THAT WOULD HAPPEN?!?

First off, the folks I've met (both in-person and not) because of this thing are some of the kindest, most entertaining people on the planet. How unfathomable would it have been to hear that I'd be marrying one of them! Especially because not a lot of people knew what a blog was in 2005--it took a great deal of lengthy explaining to get my parents to understand that we met by BUMPING INTO EACH OTHER at Jazz in Strange Places, not by going out and looking (of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that). Trust me, if I were making requests I would have listed "Illinois resident" as a criterion. And then I would have completely missed out on H.

Second, in 2005 I was working at the dungeon, then the Canadian company, then the startup, then freelancing. And now I'm back to the employer whose summer checks kept me in Pokey Sticks, textbooks, cover fees and the occasional cup of coffee throughout college. As much as I mourn the fact that I don't get to use the skills I honed for a decade every single minute of the day anymore, it sure feels good to have benefits.

Third, relatively recently I loosened my grip on secrecy and put my photo up on the blog as well as sharing the address with, well, PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE I KNOW. That's progress, y'all. Especially for a control freak like myself.

But it just wouldn't be a blog anniversary without a recap. So indulge me. Here's what you missed:

Ten years can change a lot of the details, but the sentiment is the same. There's no such thing as a vacation from your life--and perhaps the best way to figure out where you're going is to take a good look at where you have been.

When I ripped open the wrapping paper that morning, I noticed that Brigitta Sylvia looked slightly different than the *real* Cabbage Patch Kids my friends had. But my mom--clever as always--put on the spin: My doll was WAY cooler than everyone else's because she came all the way from GERMANY, just for me.

5. If you want to be sure I will get absolutely nothing accomplished, leave me home alone where there are one or more of the following: a television, a couch, a bed and/or the Internet.

The light display was very cool. And seven years ago--when I could dance all night in four-inch heels and run around without a coat when it was below freezing--it would have been pretty freaking awesome.

But is it all for nothing? Am I going to be the annoying person whose children roll their eyes whenever she tries to get them interested in some music or a movie? Does it make a difference that I can cook all this stuff if nobody wants to eat it?

Unemployment means I can come home, drive her to appointments, pick up medicines--and most importantly--smack her around.

But I needed that venting--nothing gets you primed for productivity like the sleeve-rolling-up exercise of describing how much the impending job makes you want to throw yourself off a balcony. And apparently people enjoyed reading them. When I graduated, several people told me how much they'd miss the frenetic warnings against waiting until the night before the exam to start the assigned readings or stories of how a computer-lab stranger can really do you a solid by banging on the table when he noticed you drooling on your psychology book.

I have been logging in some serious hours in front of the television--escaping into the drama of fictional people really takes the edge off of my real-life issues.

Suddenly some Indian-sounding lady (I normally wouldn't categorize, but I happen to be intimately familiar with how they sound and have recently been talking with dozens of call-center people) gets on the line, says "You're welcome" as if she were in the middle of talking to someone else, and HANGS UP ON ME.

I got my brother on the phone to give her a good scolding and she sat back down. Then I went to finish chopping the spinach and hadn't been in the kitchen two minutes before she was out in the driveway dragging in the empty garbage cans from the curb.

For me, the best way to hone a skill is by playing for keeps. And this project slowed me down and steadied my hand.

Apparently the legacy of the "professional" wrestling my brother used to watch--Jake "the snake" Roberts, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan and Ted "the million-dollar man" DiBiasi--continues through their children.

When I asked the Wonder Twin who completed that last challenge, I realized I never had a chance; she had been playing some sort of Facebook flag application game and locked it down in a matter of seconds. Who says Facebook is just a time waster?

h) So many people are hassling us to get married, even though we barely have enough cash to purchase the Betty Crocker for a cupcake tower.

And for an extra-curricular activity to my full-time job of being on hold with them, I'm gathering a posse to kick Citibank's collective ass.

But H's youth spent building bike-riding dirt ramps came in mighty handy. Our method was to fill the wheelbarrow, push it into the center of the yard, take a running start up a ramp in the dirt and dump it without getting flipped over or dragged down.

And there was even a 12 Angry Men moment during which I convinced half the table that a particular idea would be a flop because it had even less sincerity than Rock of Love.

A long time ago I had visited the dungeon's illustrious tower on a school field trip and turned to a friend and said, "I'm going to work here someday." And I did. Sure, I sort of referred to it as a torture chamber (out of love, of course), however it really was quite an experience and I learned so much. So I'll have no regrets.

3) I stopped counting the number of pairs of surgical gloves (for my own protection whenever I dealt with a patient) I put on and took off today somewhere around 38. That was before lunch.

The person um-hmmmed. I started to elaborate, but she cut me off with a comment about Heidi Pratt's boob job.

I can't imagine you training anyone on anything other than obscure football regulations and video-game cheats (Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, A, B, Select, Start).

"Bloodwork does not lie. Unless someone stuck an IV full of sugar into your arm while you were sleeping..."

I must admit, we haven't yet run out of things to say. And I hope we never do, because today he asked me to spend the rest of my life talking to him, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

My brother is having panic attacks. For his entire life he has always been the one in jeopardy, the one people toss and turn worrying about. He has absolutely no coping skills to deal with feeling so powerless, terrified and being too far away for a hug. All I can offer him in the way of comfort is a welcome sign to our side of the fence.

He didn't, in fact, have any cameras on me (which is a shame, because I sort of hammed it up for an audience of nobody).

This futility-of-love-against-life-threatening-illness seems to be a running theme in my life.

7) Hospital employees GET THE FLU, TOO. And double the patients with half the staff makes for a little longer wait. Bring a crossword puzzle and be a little considerate.

"Cadiz, when you become a parent, you'll be ecstatic if your kid will flush the toilet."

I think it's going pretty well so far. Except for that one patient whose husband was, um, difficult, and tried to chase me back into my office, rip out all my hair and feed it to me.

"When they ask you about a date, just tell them we've narrowed it down to one of 12 months."

I know I shouldn't be bitching. Two months ago, I didn't have steady work or health benefits. I just need a hot bath and a nap.

If only I had gotten the "morning-person" gene (I'm the only one of us who has a problem waking up); getting this engine going in the a.m. wouldn't always be such a terrible experience.

b had gone in, become a "fan" of Jeff Hardy and written "I LOVE YOU JEFF HARDY!" on the wrestler's Facebook page. Except to Jeff Hardy and the rest of the Facebook community, it looks like that message was posted by a 30-something philosophy professor.

People who have to give up that much of their take-home pay to have a roof over their heads can't get a refinance, but if it only takes up 28% of your income, you can get a lower rate pretty easily. I mean, I get it, but I DON'T GET IT.

For goodness' sake, on phone directories where numbers are listed by department, instead of the name of her area it just says her name.

Cc and I were giddy from the fanciness (and champagne).

By the way, I don't feel like doing Thanksgiving this year; your brother isn't even coming home. So we're coming to the condo. Okay?

I stopped watching the show last season after the plotline became too ridiculous to bear, but a girl's got to put aside her principles when it comes to a nice-fitting pair of pants.

It must have been tricky to keep sight of something as silly as an extravagant birthday party for your six-year-old when your 2-year-old is getting ready to have open-heart surgery.

"Whoa, greedy, what if all you get for Christmas this year are hugs?"

With that, I snapped right back into consciousness. Not my mom! Please don't call my mom!

5) My new Realtor took a look at the activity in our building for the time my place was on the market and gently explained that it had been listed far too high for far too long and was actually being used as a bargaining point for other units to be sold at a better price.

We don't even know 5,000 people, so we're counting on your votes and we're hoping you'll ask other people to vote for us too.

Thanks for reading!

Also, PLEASE TAKE TWO MINUTES TO VOTE! We are just 258 votes out of the t0p 50 and cannot expect the competition to stop where they are. We can do this with YOUR help!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

do it for the penguins

Shortly after we got engaged--probably around the time we started telling anyone who asked that our wedding date was tentatively set for 2013--we got this in the mail with some lovely gifts from H's youngest sister. I have it hanging on the bulletin board above my desk and it garners a lot of compliments.

Apparently my side of the family isn't the only one with baby fever.

If you haven't already, please take 30 seconds to vote for us to win a wedding from Crate & Barrel/Daily Candy. Just enter your email address and any password (may I suggest "liverisforsuckas"), then when you get a confirmation in your inbox, click the link to verify.

While it'd be a dream to get as many as the current leaders, we're just looking to crack the top 50. Please tell your friends, family, facebook friends and Twitter followers!

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

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

and to think, we were only worrying about the ∞ symbol

H and I spent a long time deciding on how best to present our very unique love story in 100 words. Unfortunately, we had no idea how the form we submitted to was going to make it look. So here is what we INTENDED to post for a shot at an Ultimate Wedding. PLEASE VOTE FOR US, and tell your friends!

Our love story.

Random comments about Encyclopedia Brown vs. Nancy Drew that started it all: 2
Miles of separation in March 2005: 2039
Initial text messages—determining how all future children will be named: 6

Flights between LAX and MDW: 51
Average minutes on the phone per month: 5400
Cross-country moves: 1

Unexpected foods Jon has tried: 71
Professional athletes on Jon's favorite teams whom Karen can now name: 26
Pancakes consumed during the proposal: 11
Puzzles Karen solved to get her ring: 8

How long we’ll be together: ∞ (infinity)

Three important details about our Ultimate Wedding.

All our loved ones will be there to take part in our special blend of Indian (samosas and stealing shoes) and American (but not the Chicken Dance) traditions. A photojournalist will be on hand to capture awesome candid moments so we don’t have to take long breaks from the fun. On top of all that, we’ll set up a semi-elaborate series of puzzles that will not only entertain, but help our guests get to know each other better.

Our everyday dream day.

After six snoozes, we still manage to get up early enough to have an adventure--skydiving/go-kart racing/zip-lining, what have you. We come home to an amazing meal with a few close friends, squeeze in an hour of really great television and pass out on the couch. And nobody had to do the dishes!

Monday, March 01, 2010

tell your brother, your sister and your momma, too

Hey, remember when we asked you for advice when we were going to enter a wedding contest?

We signed up for Crate & Barrel's Ultimate Wedding Giveaway. The competition is FIERCE, y'all, with couples already logging in more than 5,000 votes a full four weeks before the end of the contest (ends March 31). The top 50 vote-getters will be in the running for a lot of cool prizes--the best being an entire wedding coordinated by a planner to the stars.

Our under-100-word description style was inspired by the lovely and talented Omar. Formatting didn't translate as intended (we couldn't edit) but we think the spirit of what we were trying to say comes across.

We don't even know 5,000 people, so we're counting on your votes and we're hoping you'll ask other people to vote for us too. All you have to do is find our entry, enter your email and any sort of password (suggestion: H&CadizFTW) and a confirmation will be sent to you. Then just click the link to verify and your vote will be counted!

The one thing I can guarantee is that you'll read all about the shenanigans involved when Cadiz and H try and plan a wedding--hopefully a lot sooner than 2013.