Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hump Day

An eventful Wednesday, I must say. I'm officially a week and a half at my new job and I really, really like it. I feel comfortable there and am learning a lot. Starting a new job in the field I'm in has confirmed that I want to do this for the rest of my career life.

I got home and Chris and I enjoyed a dinner at Ali Baba's, the Kebab place downtown. It's very good food for very cheap. I enjoy the lamb sandwich because it is the closest thing to the Kebap we had in Germany that we've found in the States, so far.

After dinner, I decided to text my friend Mo, who bought a Go Phone to use because his iPhone broke. He hadn't saved his contacts to the SIM card, so when I text messaged him, he thought I was a mutual friend of ours. I just went with it. I recorded the thread and put it on facebook where it will live forever in its epicness. I finally told him hours later who I really was and we got a big kick out of it. Good times with good friends and the reminder that technology can always be used for great things.

Chris remembered that we had some more still pictures that weren't taken off the camcorder yet. They will be available in his photos and probably some in DeviantArt soon. He's been editing some of the ones from the Cannon, including a really cool one from the Eiffel Tower that he edited to make look like a miniature town. Check his gallery out here.

Wedding planning is coming along. I've started two online registries. I'm gathering addresses for the save-the-dates and, later, the invitations. I'm struggling with the budget. It just seems to keep going up as I research more. At this point, if my dress isn't free and I don't bake my own cake, we're going to be a bit in debt come next July. C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas? I waited years to hear him pop the question; be careful what you wish for!

Saturday we are looking at a venue in the foothills. I'm gathering as much info and ideas as possible. I've called Safeway for info about a cake. I've researched food. I've pretty much finalized my guest list (I'm sure I'll remember some more later, though). I spent an hour on the phone with my big sister this evening, which is always a good time. All in all, a pretty good day, I think. Time to get to bed so I'll be ready for work tomorrow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Night Ride

If there's nothing to do in Davis, one can always ride bikes. The trails and bike lanes are laid out all over town. If I were to guess, I'd bet there were as many bike shops as churches. There are overpasses and tunnels built specifically for bikes. If you're ever at the Co-op and you look at the bike rack in front, there is a sticker stuck to it that says, "My other bike is a bike." Living here means owning a bike. I'm pretty sure that's a rule.

Chris and I often ride to the University and ride around because there are almost no cars on the roads that allow and there are plenty of side streets that are bike-and-pedestrian-only. While we were riding tonight, Chris described his first experience with ScanTron. As a T.A., he is responsible to feed the undergrad tests into the machine and make sure everything goes right. I swelled with pride.

Riding through the streets of Davis and chatting always reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin would tell Hobbes his own take on the ills of the world or some problem that was bothering him while they dragged a sled up a snowy hill and road down it. They would even talk while airborne. I imagine Chris and I are like Calvin and Hobbes. While going through the roundabouts and up and down the hills, I always get the mental image of those two comic strip characters pondering the philosophical implications of elementary school.  Chris and I discuss everything from Socialism to ScanTrons while we ride around, the world whizzing past us. The only thing I haven't decided yet is whether I am his Calvin or I am his Hobbes.

Spaghetti Squash!

I've made spaghetti squash plenty of times in ovens that looked much smaller than the one in the new apartment. Looks, however, can be deceiving. I can't fit my 17x11 baking pan in this oven. It looks like it's big enough lengthwise, but the back of the rack curves up about three inches from the wall, making the handle of the baking pan prevent the door from closing.

Putting it in the other way seemed almost impossible, but after some shimmying, I got in it. The handles are resting against the side walls of the oven and it's not actually touching the rack. I put a picture of it on facebook for fun. (Ever notice how when you move somewhere and you do something for the first time in that place, you want to put it on facebook as if someone is going to care? I digress...)

Despite little setbacks such as my inability to cook squash, I am very happy here. Some couples move in together and it's a culture shock. They realize they just can't live together. I don't really have that with Chris. I can't speak for him, of course, but if he's really bothered he hasn't said anything. Dating for four years before making the plunge was a good idea, as much as I wanted it to happen sooner. Last night we watched four episodes of "Flight of the Conchords," just for fun! Who else would have done that with me? I have some super awesome friends, believe me, but I don't know if any of them have the level of geek in them that Chris and I have to match. Spaghetti squash or not, I think him and I have done the right think. That's what it's all about.

Oh, and by the way, if you're wondering how to make spaghetti squash, I cut in in half lengthwise, take out the seeds and gunk, lightly season, and then bake it at 375f for 45 minutes with the rind facing up. Add spaghetti sauce when finished or just butter and garlic salt.

Renting a Hall

I've nailed the wedding date and the ceremony venue (Chris's parent's house), and am now in the process of renting a hall for the reception. I began by emailing the address on the website and I wish I would have just called her in the first place. She now wants me to rent the hall for twenty-four hours instead of the four I requested, which will be another $125 rent. Alcohol at the reception would be an addition $225 to the $200 deposit. I emailed her back to let her know that I didn't want the hall for the whole day but haven't heard back yet.

Also in the email was fax number where I could send proof of insurance. I've never been married before and have never rented a hall so my first reaction was "WTF?" Turns out I have to have a general liability insurance policy of no less than a million dollars to rent this place for more than fifty people. My car is insured up to ten grand, I think and it costs me over $100 per month. I'm a little worried what one MILLION dollars is going to cost me, even if it's for a day. General consensus online is about $200. So my low estimate here is $600 for a hall.

I hope I hear back from her soon, because while I plan on having more than 50 guests, I don't plan on having alcohol, which I hope will keep the deposit and insurance low. We'll see. Worst case scenario, I'm paying a thousand dollars for a community hall, in which case I'll just pay the same price and go find one of the local vineyards and have the ceremony and reception outside in the same place.

Getting married sucks, by the way. I have wanted Chris to pop the question for four years and now I'm thinking that it better be the best freakin' party I've ever  had or I'm going to be one upset little bride.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Battle of the Antenna

The Niners were playing the Panthers today, but here in the People's Republic of Davis the antenna signal isn't all that great, so our access to the game was limited. We got about halfway through the second half with the reception going in and out before Chris, my fiancé, got tired of it and ran to Target to get a new antenna. The results were disappointing.

We are able to get channel 31, but the game wasn't on channel 31, it was on 40, which is impossible to pick up no matter how new the antenna. We are now the proud owners of two antennas and have been using our laptops to catch updates on our twitters and They lost.

On the upside, The Wrath of Khan is on, so we're enjoying our lunch and watching William Shatner at the height of his career. So much for gameday, but we're having fun discussing the strategical disadvantages of the Enterprise.