C'est un blague.

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  • Monday, December 31, 2007

    Monday morning haiku

    It was a fantastic year
    that flew by so fast.

    Indeed, where did the year go? I do have much to show for it, true. It's also really true that the older one gets, the faster the time goes. Whoosh. 2007 is gone.

    Can you believe that we're almost to 2010? It wasn't so long ago that we were all discussing the impending computer meltdowns and ensuing chaos as 1999 turned the dial to 2000.

    But then again, that was a pre-9/11 world -- and that does seem like another life. Heck, it was another life.

    Yeah, I must be getting old.

    (Apologies for forgetting last week because I was in transit from NH to DC...)


    Sunday, December 30, 2007

    "Everybody's working for the weekend..."

    Hey, isn't that song supposed to mean that everyone is working hard during the week to enjoy the weekend, not that everyone is working over the weekend, like I am?

    Crap. Eight hour day in the office today. Looks like Tuesday will be more of the same.


    But, at least I'm building up comp time again to supplement my meager annual leave.

    Nevertheless, crap.


    Saturday, December 29, 2007

    SM is one happy man

    Probably not as happy as Belichick, Brady, Moss or, well, the entire Patriots organization, but he's a close second.

    Yay Pats!


    Friday, December 28, 2007


    This photo was taken on the stump at a local diner in Iowa and used in a campaign mailer. These women are SM's aunt, grandmother and great-aunt (who actually got this piece in the mail). SM's grandfather was cropped out of the photo (as was, apparently, Hillary's wattle). Probably just as well, he's a big Repub.

    Guess where the other side of SM's family lives?

    You got it: New Hampshire.

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    Thursday, December 27, 2007


    from Loaded Dice.

    take the test and go to mewing.net because law school made laura do this.

    Too fun to resist. (You know you wanna...!)

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    Which do you like better?

    This one?

    Or this one?

    They are, of course, wedding invitations.

    I like the simplicity and elegance of the top one, but the color options (for printing and the envelope insert) are limited. I'm also worried that it's too simple.

    The color choices for the second one are much wider -- and the layout is cool -- but I'm worried that it's too much. Too fussy and swirly. And when I look at both of them side-by-side, the second one definitely looks too ornate. What do you think?

    SM, if he had his way, would buy packets of pre-printed invitations from the card store (you know, the kind you use for kids' birthday parties and baby showers and the like) and write in the info. Um, no. I do want to save money, but I'm not willing to go that route.

    Fortunately with the internet, there are many much less expensive options for printing invitations these days. These are fairly affordable without being too tacky or ugly... right?

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    Wednesday, December 26, 2007

    Short, sweet and effective

    CNN reports:
    "The U.S. Senate was called to order for 11 seconds on Wednesday...

    ...Democrats are keeping the Senate in session to block President Bush from making any recess appointments -- a constitutional mechanism that allows the president, during congressional recesses, to fill top government posts for up to one year without Senate confirmation...."
    Heh. Finally, the Dems are taking a page out of the Repub "let's work the system to our advantage" playbook.



    Tuesday, December 25, 2007

    The Pudge Report


    Don't know how this happened, but I'm down another 1.5 lbs. this week for a total weight-loss of 25.5 pounds. Must have been some kind of Christmas present from my scale to me.

    I'm baffled. I'm also just plain proud of myself for having the courage to even get on the scale this morning. Yay me for that alone! After today's gluttony, however, the scale may not be so pleased with me next week!

    I mean, isn't Christmas morning all about cookies for breakfast (and lunch and an afternoon snack)? I thought so!



    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Back from the great white north

    Just got back from New Hampshire where the visit with SM's family went fine. His stepmother was a little... um, I don't know how to describe it... She kinda left me to help myself. Now, I didn't expect to be waited on hand and foot, but when we got there, we hadn't had dinner yet. She didn't offer us anything to eat, so SM had to speak up and say that we hadn't had dinner. She basically nodded towards the fridge and said that we were welcome to help ourselves.

    Now, there's nothing wrong with the "help yourself" attitude. It gets around formality really quickly and indicates that someone is not so much a guest but a part of the family. But we had just gotten off of a plane and were hungry and had to make our own food. Felt kinda... a cool greeting? I dunno. Just not what I (nor anyone in my family) would have done, so it was weird -- and I didn't know how to interpret the behavior.

    That was essentially my first impression.

    Looking back, I think SM's stepmother was over-exhausted from the holidays and family stuff, but it took me the whole visit to suss her out. I wouldn't say she ever warmed up, per se, but I never felt not welcome. And everyone else was very excited that I came up, which was very nice. It was also fun to see SM's father and brother -- I learned that some of SM's behavior is very common among his male relatives. So I guess I have to be more forgiving of some of his foibles (he's not that bad... well, not usually anyway).

    And, needless to say, we ate waaaay too much -- and nothing whatsoever healthy. We visited various family members and met an aunt, cousins, grandfather, siblings, etc. I also got to see where SM grew up. It was fun to learn more about him.

    Another fun part of being in NH? Seeing all of the political signage everywhere. Believe it or not, Ron Paul may have been the best represented. Either him or Mitt. We saw several Obama signs. A few Edwards signs. Hillary was certainly present, as was Rudy. Not a single McCain sign to be seen. Nor any Biden or Dodd or Richardson. Which is sad because we even saw a Gravel placard (although nothing for Kucinich).

    Anyway, I'm back and tired. Gotta get some presents wrapped before dinner with my mom and brothers tonight.

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

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    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    This and that...

    We dropped off Gidget at my dad's house so my sister could dog-sit. She just got a puppy of her own. A miniature pinscher. Now, I know those are small dogs (because another sister has one), but I was not prepared for the teeny tiny-ness of it. Gidget, who isn't exactly ginormous herself, could have eaten that dog for lunch. The new pup's name? Cinnamon. To go with the sister dog, Nutmeg. I just call them the spice girls. Cinnamon is, of course, baby spice.

    I also asked my sister to be my maid of honor. Now, we didn't and still don't plan on any kind of ceremony at the wedding. Originally, the idea was for SM and I to stand up, say what we needed to say and then have dinner. But I kinda like acknowledging my sister (she's my half-sister and 16 years younger than I am; I grew up with brothers only). So I asked her. I also told her that I didn't think it would involve any responsibilities or duties, that it was mainly an honorary title. I like the idea of having her as my maid of honor, regardless of what that does or does not entail. I want to honor my sister, as doofy as that sounds. Heck, it's an excuse for her to get a new dress, at the very least.

    The house feels bizarrely still without the Gidge around. We already miss her. But that also allows us to accomplish stuff in peace, without her clamoring for attention or climbing on our laps. That's a nice stillness.

    We leave for the airport in a few hours to fly to NH. I'm starting to look forward to it. I'm not sure why. One thing we're going to do is drive through SM's old neighborhood, so I can learn more about where he grew up. I am a bit excited to learn more about his world. It should be fun. If it doesn't snow. SM's dad said there's so much snow on the ground that if it snows any more, they "won't have any place to put it."

    SM and I also exchanged presents this morning because we won't be together on Christmas -- and because I didn't want to wait until he got back and we had a leisurely morning to do it (i.e., next weekend). He got me four fantastic presents -- all of which I wanted very much and was very excited about. I got him a bunch of "stuff", most of which revolved around the Red Sox winning the World Series this year. And some clothes. He seemed to like them. Truth is, he got several of his Christmas presents months ago. I mean, I couldn't NOT give him the Red Sox tie when they won the division and then the World Series, right? He NEEDED that to wear to work. So he got it, back in October. As well as a fleece-lined denim jacket (that would be too light to wear in the winter but he could use in the fall). And another jacket. I just can't seem to wait. Ooops. So, we had a nice little pre-Christmas.

    A few more little chores and final check-off on the packing to make sure we collected all of the presents for SM's family -- and then we're off. I'll probably be back on the blog on Christmas, if I have anything to write. SM won't be back yet, so I will have some down-time with Gidget.

    Meanwhile... Happy Holiday Season, everyone!!!

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    #1 search hitting my blog

    People looking for the recipe for Rachel Ray's fudge (go here for the recipe). I guess it's that time of year.

    I've been getting so many hits for her recipe that I decided that I should make it again for gifts this year.

    And it's just as easy as I remembered and claimed it to be in my original post. I made three batches and managed not to eat too much of the chocolate myself (some, of course, but I wasn't too, too bad).

    Let the eating begin!

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    Friday, December 21, 2007

    Weenie Royale

    No, not some of the folks who work in my office -- and no, not my brother either. Not this time, at least. This time, this reference is to food during the internment. It's a story about adaptation.

    It can be found online here. In addition to reading the text and viewing the pictures, you can also listen to the actual NPR story, which is about 7 minutes long and seems slightly different than the text posted.

    I found this piece particularly interesting because I wrote my undergrad thesis on how the internment impacted the family structure. One way that internment undermined traditional Japanese (or Japanese American) culture was by making meals communal, not-family focused. Kids ate often with their friends in the messhall rather than their parents. Mothers and grandmothers no longer prepared traditional foods... Fathers often weren't even present. These changes had huge impact on how the younger generation was raised and perceived themselves.

    But, I digress. That was part of my thesis. This story is more about the food.

    An interesting historical glimpse.

    With recipes (which will most likely appeal to those under ten or in college).

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    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    The problem with theory v. practice

    I just had my performance review with my boss. I was rated excellent and outstanding across the board. My boss put in the paperwork for me to get promoted.

    In theory, I should get promoted next pay period.

    In practice, all promotions are being held until the budgetary issues are resolved (continuing resolutions, omnibus spending bill, threatened presidential vetoes, etc.). So I may not get my promotion for another month or more.

    How much does that suck?

    I gotta tell you -- it sucks tremendously.

    Fingers crossed that it happens sooner rather than later. Because I really do deserve it.

    And I need am depending on getting the money.


    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    One year!

    One year ago today, I started my federal job. With the year comes a whole bunch more rights (the usual statutory probationary period is a year).

    Yay, a year! Now I just need to talk to my boss and get my performance review so I can get my raise.


    The Pudge Report


    I was quite anxious about this morning's weigh-in. I was off the program from Friday through yesterday and basically made a huge hog out of myself -- holiday parties, guests over, snacking on sweets, etc. I didn't want to see the repercussions of my oinkishness. I wanted to go back to my favorite place -- denial.

    But no. That's not what this little journey is about. Even if I am going to deviate from the program, I need to maintain accountability.

    So on the scale I went. Kinda squinting my eyes to avoid the glare of reality and my actions.

    But ya' know what? I'm down another 1.5 pounds this week, for a total of -24 lbs.

    I'm completely baffled as to how that happened. I have no idea how that 1.5 pounds came off.

    Completely bizarre. Happy but bizarre, which helps keep the motivation level up.

    Now for breakfast. Yes, on the program. I have an August date with a skinnier me to make!


    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Monday morning haiku

    Winter holidays
    mean I eat way too much food.
    My stomach objects.

    And this weekend -- ooof! -- I overdid it. I overdid it Friday. I overdid it Saturday. And yes, I overdid it Sunday. Such that I wasn't even hungry this morning.

    We'll find out the damage tomorrow morning with the pudge report.



    Saturday, December 15, 2007

    And so it begins...

    In just a little while, we're going to visit our first venue for a possible reception in August. We have another one set up for tomorrow.

    I wonder if any of these folks have a sushi chef on staff?

    Yeah, didn't think so, so one of our questions is going to be if we can use outside caterers or bring in outside food. I've decided I want one of the eating options to be sushi. Nothing too fancy. Even so...

    (that noise you just heard was our budget being pummeled by that plan... oh well.)


    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    Bored at the office?

    Wanna kill a few minutes? Check this out.

    Interesting stuff.


    Are you ready for the white?

    Or just the wet?

    Looks like a storm is a brewin' and coming this way. However, it also looks like Washington will be getting the most loathed of all weather: cold, cold rain.

    Yuck. I guess I'll just plan on being miserable for my evening commute home. And because this is just our luck, we'll probably have a number of packages delivered today, left waiting outside on our doorstep and exposed to all of the elements.

    Oh goodie.

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    I feel nekid.

    And sad.

    For the first time since I got the rock, I forgot to put it on this morning. It's absence is palpable. In the early days of the engagement, the ring felt odd on my finger -- heavy and almost demanding attention.

    Now, without it, my ring finger on my left hand is almost itchy and uncomfortably light. Just like when you lose a tooth and you can't help but continutally run over the gap with your tongue... my left hand feels needy and wanting. And nekid.

    It's very strange.

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    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Saleisha seriously?

    As America's Next Top Model? Wrong, wrong, wrong. I just don't see it. I think they've made another bad choice. I didn't think Jaslene was anything special and neither is Saleisha. It should have been Jenah or Lisa. They have interesting looks; Saleisha is so ordinary-looking.

    There ya' have it. She says has spoken.

    As usual, however, my opinion is only worth hot air.


    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    The Pudge Report


    I'm -1.5 #s this week, which is a total of -22.5 lbs. or halfway to my total goal! (...assuming that I stick to my original goal, which, let's face it, I probably won't...)

    SM met his goal some time ago and is in the maintenance phase, which means he sometimes eats on the diet and sometimes not. But, given the convenience of the dinners (1 min., 30 secs. in the nukeanator machine), it's really easy to stay with the program. It won't be the food itself but the price of it which will eventually drive us away.

    Mom also joined the program last week because she saw how easily I lost the weight -- and because she, too, had hit her peak weight ever and was disgusted with herself. Her first week out, she lost 6 lbs., which is more than I ever lost in a single week. She feels great about it -- and that's why this program is fairly easy to maintain: the immediate results and the decent meal options.

    (I sound like a commercial for this diet, don't I?)

    After several months of dieting without exercise (bad!!!), my weight-loss has certainly slowed, but it hasn't halted. Which means that I remain motivated. I recognize that I do need to step up and out and exercise to maintain my shrinkage. But all things considered, I'm pretty happy about how it's going, and all is well here.


    Monday, December 10, 2007

    It's a date!!!

    SM and I have chosen our wedding date: August 8, 2008. Yes, 08/08/08. A lucky date.

    We're going to have a small civil ceremony with just immediate family that Friday afternoon with a big ol' bash for all of our friends to follow, either on Saturday or (most likely) Sunday.

    Wow, this is gonna actually happen. Oh my.


    Monday morning haiku

    Saturday mayhem:
    scrub, clean, dust, vacuum the house.
    How long will it last?

    Yes, my friend arrived safely and soundly on Saturday evening. Our house was mostly prepared; fortunately, they were too tired -- and too happy to see us -- to notice. Hopefully, the house won't immediately disintegrate to chaos and disorder. If it does, I'm to blame.

    We had a crammed weekend. Cleaning Friday and Saturday. We took some time out in the middle of the day to drive around the beltway into Virginia to a mochitsuki... well, it's not a party, perhaps an event? We ate well and then drove back home to clean some more.

    We then drive around the beltway again to pick up A and her boyfriend, K, at Dulles airport. We brought them back, chatted for a few hours and then hit the sack, only to wake up early on Sunday to take them back to catch their flight to Ethiopia via Rome.

    After dropping them off, we came home and showered and relaxed. Then we once again drove around the beltway to Virginia for a latka pancake brunch with SM's former roomate and his wife. I ate too much heavy food. I didn't eat a lot of food, but what I ate was sooooooooo rich that my stomach almost immediately rebelled. I hadn't had a piece of candy in... I don't know how long, and the one I had, I enjoyed it. For about thirty seconds as I ate it. But almost as soon as it hit my stomach, I was in for a world of hurt.

    I guess my gut has adjusted to this diet, and rich foods just don't agree with me anymore. That's good... and bad, but mostly good.

    After that, we went to visit my grandmother, who is in a rehab center. Over Thanksgiving, she fell and broke a few ribs and her shoulder. She's almost 93, so we were glad it wasn't a mortal injury. She really could have hurt herself much worse. So we brought her some traditional Japanese food from the mochitsuki and chatted a while. Then we drove to my dad's place to drop off the car (we had borrowed one of his to pick up my friend from the airport since mine seats about 2-1/2 people and no luggage). Then we went home and vegged.

    It was a long-ass weekend. I was pooped. We drove around the beltway to various places in Virginia 4 times for about 300 miles in 24 hours. Bleh. Thankfully, we never encountered traffic, but still, bleh.

    But, at least the Patriots won handily despite predictions to the contrary. So, all is well in the SS/SM/Gidget household.

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    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Didn't make my goal

    I had a short-term goal of reaching -25 by today. I have a great friend visiting from out of town, and I had set the day of her visit as a first mini-goal. -25 lbs.

    Well, I didn't make it. However, given the three dinners this week (holiday parties, book club) where I ate everything I wanted, including dessert, triple cream brie (ohhh, yum!) and all sorts of wonderful things with cream sauces, well, I'm thrilled that I actually lost half a pound.

    No, I have no idea how that happened. I'm guessing that my metabolism is working faster than it used to.

    Anyway, it's all good.

    And my friend is coming tonight, so our household is a whirling dervish to clean for her (she's a neat freak, so I don't want to completely gross her out!). I know she won't care what the place looks like; she'll only want to see me. But I care. Maybe not as much as others might, but I have some small sense of house pride.

    The other "big" news is that last night, SM and I decided that I should go home with him for a few days over Christmas.

    Oh yea, it's the "finacee" visit.

    Oh my.

    Georgie gave us the 24th off (if his evangelicalism translates to an extra day off before Christmas, I'm all for it -- just so long as it's not in lieu of a pay raise!), so I'm now flying up to New Hampshire with SM on Saturday night and coming back on Monday morning.

    I have to admit that I'm a little anxious about the visit. I don't like being the center of a fuss. And I will be. We're going to have have to "make the rounds". Grandparents, aunts, etc. I'm sure it will all be very nice and happy, but I can't help but dread it just a bit -- not because of how I expect his family to be (I've already met many of them) but because I just don't want all of the fuss. Does that make sense?

    Anyway, I've got to get back to my chores...

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    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Ice in DC.

    An engagement photo of sorts... Here's the picture I'm sending my out-of-town friends.

    Da bling!


    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    Wedding planning

    We haven't started that. It hasn't even been two weeks of official "engagement" yet. Heck, we haven't even picked a year.

    We've tried to manage expectations, but that hasn't kept people from making suggestions already -- everything from how to where to when to who to invite...

    And then there was this. (link provided until I can figure out how to upload the daggone thing)

    UPDATE (12/6/07): I guess this clip is making the rounds via email 'cuz I just saw it on the Today Show too.

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    Monday, December 03, 2007

    The Pudge Report


    The holiday party season kicks off this week for me with our first fete tonight. And then another with SM's office -- where I make my first official appearance (as opposed to all of the unofficial ones) as "fiancee"! -- tomorrow night. It's dinner at the Congressman's house with the family, office staff, etc. -- where I will have to behave myself, show off the ring and play the part of a proper "fiancee". Crap, I'll probably even have to shave my legs and wear make-up. Sheesh. I'm not much for that kind of thing, so I'll let you know how it goes. And then my work party is next Friday, where SM has to play the fiance, and so on and so on... not to mention the proposed congratulatory dinners as our recent proposal! It's all good, but my challenge is not to be bad and overeat.

    With all of the impending ingesting, I decided to weigh-in a day early today. I wanted to know how far I have progressed before I suffer the calories of the season.

    Low and behold -- but mostly low -- I'm down 21 pounds! Yay! I get to pick another "reward" for the next ten #s down. I haven't figured out what that will be yet, but it's a great conundrum to face.

    The next hurdle is the half-way mark. I don't know how realistic it was for me to pick 45 pounds total weight loss as my goal, but be that as it may, that makes 22.5 lbs. the half-way mark. No telling when I'll get there given this week's expected eating. It may be this week; it may be next month!

    Either way, I'll let you know...

    I haven't been this excited about 21 since I turned it.




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    Monday morning haiku

    A blustery day!
    My hair swirled and flailed and flew...
    like Sister Bertrille.


    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    1 in only 3.3 billion

    Me, that is.

    Until about five minutes ago, I thought I was unique. Well, my name anyway. I just googled myself and found the friendster profile of a girl in Manila with my name, spelled the same way I do. (I say that because my first name has many spellings, and mine is the less common of the common spellings. My last name is ethnic, and not so common in English-speaking countries so mine is a rare combo.)

    Oh well. No longer unique in name. But I was for 22 years (that other one is 17, according to her profile). I guess I can hope that her first name is an "adopted" name -- meaning, she chose to use it rather than her given name -- because I liked being able to claim that I was the only one in the world. I can't help but be a little bummed.

    Oh well.

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    Avenue Q

    If you have the opportunity, go see it! It's touring nationally right now, and SM and I saw it on Thursday night here in DC. What a scream. But not for the faint of heart or the tender-eared. It has lots of explicit language, sexual references and adult themes... as performed by puppets, so you know it has to be fun.

    So much fun! Especially if you grew up watching Sesame Street (so you'll get the referential humor).

    Favorite pieces included "The internet is for p0rn" and "We're all a little bit racist". (You can find bootleg videos of many of these pieces uploaded on youtube, but I'm not going to link to anything because they are clearly illegal recordings made from the audience in the theater.)

    I guess that tells you something about my sense of humor.

    Avenue Q -- go see it if you have the chance (and you think you'd enjoy a song and dance number about the internet being for p0rn, as performed by puppets).

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    Thanks, everyone

    for all of the congratulations and lovely comments. I'm still getting used to the "being engaged" thing. Nothing has shifted in our relationship, but I know that others (read: family members) imbue the decision to make it legal with their own meaning.

    Which is fine. I'm okay with others interpreting our decision to mean whatever they think "marriage" means. I'm even okay with their calling it a "marriage". I just have HUGE-ANTIC, GINORMOUS problems with the word "marriage" because of how the religious right has politicized it and defined it and used it to exclude people in love. For that reason, I will not call the legal arrangement a "marriage".

    Oh, don't get me wrong, SM and I are committed to each other. We love each other. We already have a family and a house. Our finances and our lives are inextricably mixed. We rely on each other. We are partners. In fact, but for the legal benefits of this little ceremony, I would be totally, 1000% okay with not getting "married" (unionized!). I admit, however, I do want the legal benefits. The emotional and social benefits? I already have a relationship that is incredibly supportive and happy -- a piece of paper won't change that. The social benefits? I could give a shit.

    But I also recognize that it does mean something to SM for us to take this step. And if that would make him happier, I'm totally okay with that too. Now, I don't want this to sound like the decision to get hitched is purely a concession on my part to him. It's not. I do want to do it too, just not for the same exact reasons. Our legal union and the promises contained therein have more symbolic meaning to him, and that symbolism is more important to him than me. I have never been the type to dream about what my wedding would be or design my wedding gown or any of that stuff. It's just not me. Heck, the whole idea of a ceremony focused on me for such a very private sharing of emotions makes me a bit queasy. Forget the big, poofy gown and the walking down the aisle. I'd rather elope. For me, the whole legal thing is important for exactly that -- the legal aspects. I completely eschew, reject and will not tolerate any religious overtones to this union. Here again, let me be clear. For me, the point of making a relationship legal is the benefit of the legal protections. My relationship already has everything else I could hope for. I do not need or want religious sanction. I do, however, want legal sanction. Therefore, there will be no religion. We have love and commitment and fidelity on our own. We do not need the church to make those promises to each other; they are inherent in our relationship already... which goes back to my point that I'd be perfectly happy to keep things as they are, except I want the legal benefits.

    I know that sounds unromantic, but think of it this way: we do not need anyone's blessings or sanction. We have that on our own. In fact, we are so commited to each other that we want to ensure that should anything happen to one of us, that the other is taken care of. Isn't that the basis of a "marriage" anyway? Now, we could do that by all sorts of legal documents or we could get unionized. We're doing the latter. It's easier. And it has meaning -- for SM and our families.

    And, yeah, we'll have a big ol' party too. Small ceremony, just the basics. But a blowout bash to celebrate with everyone we care about. I can't not have some kind of ceremony. My mother would be devastated. I am her only daughter, and I know that my wedding, whatever form it may take, is something she has been looking forward to since I was born (probably anyway). In the past many years, she has learned that she needed to temper her expectations, but I have always known that my wedding was something she wanted to be a part of. And she's my mom. I'm happy to do that for her.

    So while SM and I are making it legal for our own reasons, we will have some kind of ceremony to include our families. We haven't worked out how to do the ceremony (small scale) and still do the party (large scale), but we may do something over a long weekend that involves a ceremony one day and a bash the next day.

    I dunno. Is it weird to have a wedding where the majority of the guests are invited not to the ceremony but to the reception? Would you travel out of town for a wedding that didn't include the actual wedding?

    But that's what we're thinking. No date yet. Not even a year. On the one hand, I'd like to get hitched now, but I recognize that we can't do that without including our parents. And we are no where near prepared to deal with those expectations and that level of planning and... ya' know.

    So, in the meantime, we're happily status quo. The ring hasn't changed how we view each other or our relationship... except that it may have impacted SM's finances just a bit. Others may look at us differently now that we have publicly stated our intentions (and some have even said as much -- and I don't know what exactly that means!), but nope. Just the same old us. With a rock on my left hand.

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