Sunday, December 31, 2000

Wedding Journal: All the Details

Well, it's been quite a while since the last update, and we've done quite a bit of work in that time.

We sent out the invitations in early December. We bought the paper at the local Staples and Whozat designed them and printed them out. We got 75 invitations (sent about 50?) and extra envelopes (since they only came with one, and Whozat wanted to do inner envelopes, too) for about $50.

Shrike discovered that there are tons of wedding flowers listed on Ebay, most of which seemed to be from florists auctioning standard "packages." We found some that we liked, but of course, the package they were offering wasn't quite right for us, so we contacted the lady and asked what it would cost to get what we need.

She has been extremely helpful, even suggesting on some things, like altar arrangements, that it would be cheaper for us to just get them from Walmart, rather than ordering them through her or from a local florist.

While we are a little nervous about ordering them this way, we figure that anybody who suggests that you buy from someone else to save money must be "on the up-and-up."

We ended up getting our bouquets, tossing bouquets, corsages for our moms, our sisters, the minister and the readers, boutonnieres for our dads, Whozat's brother, Shrike's brother-in-law and Shrike's nephew, and a pin-on flower for the ring pillow (with a little looped stem to hold the fake rings) for $51, including shipping.

Since we'd decided that large potted plants, that we'll buy locally, would be best for the altar, she even throw in a couple of big bows for them! They are all silk roses; our bouquets and the boutonnieres are red, and the corsages are white, since we're asking the women to wear red. She has them all made and will be shipping them early next week.

We're having them sent to Whozat's parents, so they'll already be in Texas. When they arrive, Whozat's mom is going to "pass judgment" on them and make sure they look ok, and her dad is going to email us some digital photos of them.

We also talked to the minister a few weeks ago, and we really like her. She's sending us some suggestions for vows, and we need to get to work on that soon, so that we can get them to our friend that's doing the certificate.

The next order of business will be to get the cake and food arranged. Whozat's mom has all the information about the cake we want, and she is planning to find a bakery to do it as soon as the holidays are over. She will also do some checking on prices for the rest of the food. We'll feel a lot better when we know what all that is going to cost us!

We also need to start shopping for clothes for us to wear for the ceremony. We each have a pantsuit that we love, but they don't match at all, (Shrike's is gray, Whozat's is tan/gold) so they won't really work.

We'd like to both wear white, or off-white, pantsuits, similar to those, but we don't hold out a lot of hope of finding that. If one of us can find one that we like that matches the one the other already has, we may go that route. Wish us luck!

So, it seems to be coming together, we can't believe it's only 40 days away!

Before the Blog: Ringing Out the Old

Again, it's been forever since an update here, but we've been pretty busy lately, what with the holiday and wedding plans.

Shrike started a new job in November, doing the same thing at a different newspaper for lots more money. She works evenings, but Whozat's boss has let her adjust her schedule so she can afford to wait up for Shrike at night and we can at least have a little time together before going to bed. The hours are kind of a pain the ass, but we'll put up with it for the money!

Because the wedding is so close, we didn't go to Texas for Christmas, but we had a really good holiday here with Shrike's family. Her nephew is almost 3 1/2 and was really into Santa Claus this year, and her niece, who's now 6 months, enjoyed the wrapping paper!

We're having some friends over this evening to ring in the New Year, so Whozat will need to stop working on the website and start getting things ready pretty soon!

Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Wedding Journal: All Set!

As of last Thursday, it's official - we've scheduled the minister, reserved the church, booked the honeymoon and bought the plane tickets! The wedding will be on Saturday, February 10, 2001.

A couple of weeks ago, Whozat stumbled upon some half-priced flights from BigCityTwoHoursAway to New Orleans, let her imagination run wild, and the next thing we knew, we had a wedding planned!

The tickets are only good through February 15, so that made choosing the date easy. They had to be bought be last Friday, so that got us on the ball. We ran the date by our parents and got their okay, called the minister we'd been referred to and found out she was available, and decided to go for it. We didn't even get confirmation that the church was available till after we'd bought the tickets!

So, here's the plan:
On Thursday, February 8, we'll fly from BigCityTwoHoursAway (about 2 hours from us) to New Orleans (about 6 hours from Whozat's hometown, where the wedding will be.) We missed our chance to get a good flight, so we won't leave until late afternoon, and won't get into New Orleans until a little before six, so we'll be really late getting to Whozat's parents' house.

Meanwhile, Shrike's family will probably fly down that day, into Houston (about 2 hours from Whozat's hometown) and will probably actually get into town before us.

Friday will probably be spent running around and getting things ready, and we'll probably do the whole rehearsal/dinner thing that evening.

The wedding will be Saturday evening, and we'll probably go out dancing at the local gay bar after the reception, with anyone from the wedding who'd like to join us.

Sunday, we'll probably do brunch with our families or something, and Shrike's family will head back to Houston to fly home. We'll drive back to New Orleans and spend two nights there, at this great little bed and breakfast that we've stayed at before. On Tuesday, we'll fly back to BigCityTwoHoursAway, drive home from there and try to be ready to go to work the next morning!

We've also lined up a friend of Whozat's to take the pictures, and another friend, who does beautiful calligraphy, to make our Certificate of Commitment. Now, if we can just find someone who wants to do the flowers...

Friday, September 29, 2000

Wedding Journal: We're Back On

Yes, it's been over a year since the wedding update. In July we decided to reset the wedding date to February 12, 2001, but that was while Whozat's computer was down, so we couldn't do an update.

It's probably just as well, though, as a few weeks after that we realized that, that being a Monday, there would be a lot of people who wouldn't be able to come.

We then changed the date to January 1, 2001 - also a Monday, but most people would be off work for the holiday, and we could combine it with our trip to Texas for Christmas, and not have to pay for an extra set of plane tickets, etc.

However, we've recently talked with some of Shrike's family and realized that we're not the only ones for whom buying plane tickets at Christmas time would be a problem, so we're looking at moving it - again.

We're beginning to feel like the "little dykes who cried wolf!"

We still can't afford to add another trip to the schedule (money-wise or vacation-day wise) so we're thinking maybe sometime in the summer, when we'd be going to visit anyway - possibly Memorial Day weekend, so we'll have an extra day to work with.

We're supposed to get together with Shrike's mom and sister sometime next week and figure out a date. We'll let you know what we decide.

In the meantime, though, we have been doing a good bit of planning. We were hoping that Whozat could work out a deal with a chapel for free rental in exchange for web design, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen, so now we're working on getting in touch with the Unitarian Universalist Church down there. We've been in contact with, what we can figure out, is a gay "church" that meets in the UU building - they have a lesbian pastor, and we really like the sound of that.

A couple of weeks ago, when we thought the wedding was 3 1/2 months away, we went over to Target and registered for gifts - that was fun! We don't need much in the way of "housewares" so we picked out fun stuff. We've thought of some other things we need since then, too, so we'll probably go back and add to our list - a few times!

We've done some scouting for things like bubbles, invitation paper, cake toppers, etc., and found some pretty good prices. We think we've decided to blow off the idea of the two little plastic brides on the cake, and go with a small framed photo of the two of us. We saw one that would be perfect - it's heart-shaped and has a rose running along one side. It should match the "theme" perfectly.

We have decided, by the way, that we're still going with the whole red-hearts thing, no matter what time of year it ends up being. If nothing else, we can claim it's in honor of our having first met (real time) at Valentine's Day.

Guess that about sums up what's been going on lately, watch this space for the latest updates of the ever-changing wedding date!

Before the Blog: New Wedding Date?

Well, Whozat's been busy catching up with things on the website, adding various resources we've discovered in the last few months, fixing some typos, etc. Looks like the wedding date will be changing - again - we'll post an update when we have it figured out.

Monday, September 25, 2000

Before the Blog: We're Aunts Again!

Finally! Whozat's computer crashed on June 25, and, as of today, it's finally fully functional!

So, on with the long-overdue update....

Picking up where we left off - on June 12, Shrike's sister gave birth to a baby girl - she's 3 1/2 months old now, and she's smiling and laughing, and doing all those other wonderful baby things.

As mentioned elsewhere, our wedding plans are back on track, more or less. We're hoping for January 1, 2001, but a lot of the plans have been on hold while the computer was down, since Whozat's hoping to work a deal with the woman who runs the chapel where we'd like to have the ceremony, for free rental in exchange for redesigning their website.

The computer was mostly functional as of Saturday, and she's already posted a sample design for approval - she'll be giving them a call later this week, to see if this will work out - keep your fingers crossed for us!

Other than that, we've been staying pretty busy, with one thing and another. It's pretty late right now, and about bedtime, but watch this space for plenty more updates in the next week or so.

Wednesday, June 7, 2000

Before the Blog: Home From Texas

We got back in town on Sunday from spending a week with Whozat's family in Texas. It was a great trip; we got to visit several friends and eat at all our favorite restaurants!

(Shrike will readily concede that the food in Texas is better than that in BlueState!)

We spent last weekend in Houston, particularly in Montrose (the gay area of town). We went out dancing Friday night and hit several bookstores Saturday afternoon, and of course, spent way too much money!

Shrike spend most of the week with a cold, and about the time we got back, Whozat came down with it, so that part wasn't too fun.

Monday night Whozat walked into a chair leg and was convinced that she'd broken a toe, until X-rays proved otherwise. So, she's spent the last couple of days being a big ol' whiner, and Shrike's spent them babying her!

Sunday, May 21, 2000

Before the Blog: Whew!

Our letter to the editor ran on May 9 and the feedback we've received couldn't be more positive.

Oh, of course, a couple of the "bad guys" have had letters in response printed, but that was to be expected.

Our biggest concern was that the letter would, obviously, out Shrike at work, but she's gotten nothing but support from her coworkers.

Saturday, May 6, 2000

Before the Blog: Letter to the Editor

Our local newspaper recently printed a letter to the editor, in which the writer quoted from the Bible, to try to show why same-sex marriage should not be legalized. The following is the letter we wrote in response:

As a lesbian couple, we were deeply troubled by a letter printed recently, against the legalization of same-sex marriages.

We find it ironic that anti-gay Christians are so intent on upholding "God's laws" of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, yet few seem to heed those proscribed in the surrounding chapters. Leviticus 17 sets forth guidelines for animal sacrifices to God, while chapter 19 prohibits, among other things, fully harvesting ones crops, interbreeding cattle, planting fields with more than one kind of seed, wearing clothing of mixed fibers and eating fruit from a tree that is less than four years old. Furthermore, when Jesus himself was asked, in Matthew 22: 36-39, which was the greatest of all God's commandments, he said that there are only two commandments - to love God and to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

The more important issue here, however, is that the question of what the Bible may or may not say about homosexuality is moot. The fact is, the Bible and the laws of the United States are two separate entities. The founders of our nation granted us not only freedom of religion, but also freedom from religion. The same amendment that gives the writer the right to practice her faith according to her beliefs prohibits the government from imposing those beliefs on us.

There are many "sins" named in the Bible which are not reflected in the laws of the United States. In fact, of the sins prohibited by the Ten Commandments themselves, only murder, theft and lying - if under oath - are illegal. The Bible says that pride is a sin; we shudder to think how many prisons we would need if that were declared illegal. If one chooses to make the Bible the authority that guides his or her life, that is fine, but one cannot expect the government to force the rest of the nation to do the same.

The freedom to marry is not a religious issue, it is a legal one. There are already many churches that perform same-sex unions, and those that do not want to could still refuse, just as they can refuse to marry any couple who does not meet their requirements. We are not asking anything of churches; we are asking that the government grant us the same rights and responsibilities afforded to opposite-sex couples who wish to marry.

Gay and lesbian couples face a number of obstacles based on the fact that we cannot legally marry. If one of us becomes ill, the other can be denied the right to visit her in the hospital, or to take time off work to care for her. If one of us dies, the other may have no legal claim to the property that we have obtained together, has no voice in decisions regarding funeral arrangements, and may not even be granted bereavement leave by her employer. No matter how long we have been together, the survivor cannot receive the social security or pension benefits that an opposite-sex spouse is entitled to from the moment the couple says, "I do." In addition, it is legal to fire us from our jobs, or to evict us from our homes, based on our sexual orientation. We must conceal one of the most important aspects of our lives or risk harassment, discrimination, or even bodily injury. However, unless we speak up and demand equality, we have no chance of getting it.

Before the Blog: Millennium March

Since the last update, Shrike turned 31, so a belated "Happy Birthday" is in order. We are now the same age - for another 5 days!

We spent last weekend at the Millennium March on Washington, and it was absolutely incredible. We went to the Equality Rocks concert on Saturday evening, and marched on Sunday. We even saw Margarethe Cammermeyer - she came up from the Metro (subway) station while we were waiting to meet our friends. Later we were able to take some pictures of her, and our friend shook her hand and gave her partner a hug.

Since we got home, we've been really anxious to "do something," to not just have enjoyed the party, but forgotten to take the message home, like so many of the speakers warned us about. We've come up with a couple of ideas, but then another one presented itself to us.

Last week, the newspaper that Shrike works for ran a letter to the editor, that was written in response to Deb Price's column on same-sex marriage that they had printed a few days before. The letter was spouting quotes from the Bible and going on about the road to ruination that America was going to be on if we went against "God's laws" and legalized same-sex marriage.

We were furious. You can see the letter we've written in response [in the next post]. We're hoping it will run next week. We're a little nervous about it, because we will be outing ourselves to the entire community, but we're also fairly sure that we're ready to handle any possible fallout.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 15, 2000

Before the Blog: Happy Easter

Whozat's learned even more about web design in the past few months on the job, and has decided that her plans for the new version of this website sucked, so she started over. This time she's doing a total redesign of the appearance and the content.

Of course, this update is only being "posted" on the new site that's still "in production," so there's no telling when anyone will actually get to see it!

Speaking of Whozat's job, it's going well and she's really enjoying it - something she's not used to.

We dyed Easter eggs with Shrike's family this evening, and we'll be hunting them tomorrow. Whozat hears that there will be prizes and chocolate involved, so she's looking forward to that.

We're going to The Millennium March on Washington, including the Equality Rocks concert in a couple of weeks, and we can't wait!

We're going to spend the week of Memorial Day in Texas, visiting Whozat's family and friends. We had hoped to go in mid-May for Whozat's birthday, but Shrike couldn't get off work that week. This works out better, anyway, though, since the holiday means we can take a whole week off work and get another weekend for the trip. Whozat's looking forward to that; she hasn't been home since Christmas.

There's probably a lot more to tell, but it's about 2 am, and Whozat isn't very coherent, sorry!

Monday, February 21, 2000

Before the Blog: Happy Anniversary

Not much new happening since the last update - Whozat's been too busy with work and with redesigning some websites for her dad to do much on this one, for those of you seeing this on the "old" (current) site. She's working on a redesign, but it may be a while before it sees the light of cyber-day.

In other news, last weekend (Feb 12, to be exact) was Shrike and Whozat's 2nd anniversary. We got all dressed up and went out to a hoity-toity restaurant for dinner. We were planning to go out dancing after, but ended up blowing that off and just coming home. That was more fun that stupid old dancing, anyway! ;-)

Friday, January 28, 2000

Before the Blog: New Year, New Car, New Job!

Oh my, I can't believe it's been over three months since I've updated the web site! So sorry! But, we've been busy, busy, busy.

So, going back to the beginning...

Whozat had a great visit to Texas back in October and got to visit all the friends - and restaurants - that were on her to-do list. When she got home, she continued with the long-term substitute teaching job she had started before the trip. That was, uh, interesting. If nothing else, it confirmed for her, without a doubt, that she is ready leave the teaching field.

Of course the holidays came and went; we stayed very busy before with shopping and decorating, and very busy during, doing the family thing. We even manage, in the middle of all the rush, to buy a car for Whozat.

We spent Thanksgiving with Shrike's family, and then managed to spend Christmas with everybody. We did "Christmas Eve" with Shrike's family on the 23rd, because of various people's work schedules, then Shrike worked the evening of the 24th, so we had our own Christmas at home when she got in around midnight and spent Christmas Day with her family.

Then, on the 26th, way too early in the morning, we flew to Texas, and spent a few days with Whozat's family. Down there we had "Christmas Eve" on the 26th and "Christmas Day" on the 27th. We flew back home on the 30th (before planes started falling out of the sky - oh, wait, that didn't happen, did it?)

New Year's Eve wasn't too exciting, since Shrike had to work, so that if the world had ended, everyone could have read about it in the local paper. But Whozat drove over around midnight, and Shrike came out to the car, so we could at least be together and have a New Year's kiss.

Meanwhile, Whozat was sending out resumes again, hoping to find a web design position, for when the teaching gig ended. And, guess what? She did! She started this Monday, and is starting to feel a little more acclimated and a little less useless, and has actually done some real work the last couple of days.

Other than Whozat's new job, the excitement of this week was the big snow storm we had on Tuesday. Whozat was quite impressed!

As you can tell, Whozat is trying to practice what she's learning on her new job and do a major redesign of the web site. Don't know how long it will take, so this update may be out of date before anyone sees it! I'll try to be better about updating in the future.