Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm spoiled


Ok. So, I'm bad. I'm really bad. I can't help myself when spoilers are out on the internet, I have to look. It started when I was younger, and I unwrapped one Christmas present every year before Dec. 25. When I would read a book, and it was really good, I'd often flip to the back page and read the ending. And just a few days ago, I spoiled a bit of my engagement with such guilty behavior that I can't even mention it here.

So, there's no doubt when Dark UFO's Lost Blogspot revealed they had an entire script summary for the Lost finale two weeks ago, I had to take a peek. A few weeks earlier, on the Kate flash forward episode, the same website had a similar script summary which was nearly 100% accurate upon viewing the show. 

I wanted to peek, I wanted to stop before the last page, but I couldn't.

After reading the script summary, I was disappointed. Frozen wheel? Really, a frozen donkey wheel is the key to making the island go "Ploop!"I was hoping the spoilers weren't true, because the whole episode seemed so standard, so typical, so not-Lost.

Flash forward (ha!) to last night. And unfortunately I found that the episode summary was once again, nearly 100% accurate. The summary didn't include the reunion of Desmond and Penny, which while nice for an emotional storyline conclusion, seemed a bit too easy don't you think? Three years on an island (for Desmond), a constant fight for survival, a HELICOPTER crash, and then wow, there's Penny! After drifting in the ocean for like five minutes. But whatever, they see each other again, it's a wonderful reunion on a Russian ferry.

I was also a little disappointed with Michael's death, because it didn't really wrap up the storyline with Walt, starting center for the New York Knicks and bass in the Harlem Boys Choir. The actor who plays Michael, Harrold Perrineau, commented how it was a teensy bit racist that the black man and his black son don't get their cookie cutter reunion. I have to agree with him. I thought that was odd. The last interaction they showed between Walt and Michael through a window. That's just an unsettling ending. I hope that's not a sign on things to come.

The other thing I didn't like was the idea that they are bringing Locke back to the island. There's buzz that this might be some sort of 'resurrection' and while I'm not a Jesus-freak, I find that offensive. Sorry, I do. Especially with John Locke, of all people.

There were things I did like...
  • I thought the acting was great in this episode. Jack's "We have to lie" speech was great. Michael Emerson, the guy who plays Ben, was fantastic as usual (does this guy get enough credit for playing the most interesting and complex character on TV? His "So?" response to Locke was a perfect note.) 
  • I liked the idea of Sawyer being a hero there, jumping out of the helicopter. Plus, better than him dying in a fiery explosion. Note: I will be CRUSHED when they kill off Sawyer. CRUSHED. And I do believe they will do it, just wait until the last season.
  • The killing off (?) of Jin was heartbreaking, even though Sun seemed over it like 30 seconds later. (Do people ever really mourn on this show?) I don't think he's really dead and was one of the few cliffhangers.
  • Evangelline Lilly is gorgeous. Nuff said.

It's funny, because I'm always complaining "I want more!!!" when it comes to Lost -- in that there are too many cliffhangers, too many questions unanswered. But, everything seemed too nicely wrapped up last night. I mean, the questions are still there "Where did the island go?" "What happened after they left?" and the ever-popular "What the hell is this island/show about?" But I don't feel like there was a "Wow!" moment in the episode like there was last season (I don't include the reveal of Locke in the coffin, because, I knew that was coming.)

Maybe it's my fault for reading the spoilers. I just wish the producers had come through with a more thought-provoking finale. That being said, I still love the show and can't wait until next season. Finale Grade: B-

Thursday, May 29, 2008

From the outside looking in...

Oh, to be a man.

:::Pause for groans and alienation of 75% of my readership. No, Jeff, you can't leave:::

Even though I am a fairly sensible person, I did think that wedding planning would be a little easier than it has proven to be so far. After all, I did a lot of secret, and not so secret, pre-planning so as to put me in a better position when the time arrived. I looked at venues, photographers, caterers... even got some pricing.

But ever since my boss confirmed that a late August and on date would not be preferable considering it will be football season and thus very busy, I feel a lot of pressure to move NOW.

So the first step is picking a venue. I had a few narrowed down but I asked Jeff to do his own search, so if there was something I glazed by and he was interested, we could go look.

Five minutes pass... "I'm frustrated." "I don't know what I'm looking for." "I don't know what I'm looking at." "I don't know what's included." "Where are the pictures?" "What are the prices."

"Can't you just pick some places and I'll go look?"

Then he let out a loud grunt and went back to watching the Celtics game. My mom blamed the game, and chided me for trying to talk to him about something important while it was on.

Well, f-ck that. I am not going to be one of "those" kind of wives, who's submissive during sporting events, because you know what? I LIKE SPORTING EVENTS TOO! Christ, I've dedicated the past 5+ years of my professional life to watching, reporting, and editing sports. So, no, that's not gonna work for me.

So I moved him onto photographers, figuring there wasn't as much "thinking" involved.


"You want me to look at galleries?" "Here's one of a lady's butt." "Is this the wedding party? The females?"

He's expressed interest in dealing with the DJ, but I wonder if he realizes he can't actually BE the DJ at our wedding. And he's also expressed interest in planning the honeymoon -- but I hope he knows I don't want to go to Cooperstown, Canton or Springfield. 

He's lucky I love him so much.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best reactions

Obviously, one of the most exciting parts of getting engaged was telling the people I love the news. Like I said below, I shared the story immediately with my mother, and four friends. Serendipitously, my entire father's side of the family was getting together for a bar-b-que on Memorial Day (AKA the next day), so I was able to show/tell them all the good news. Typically, my interactions with them went something like this.

Me: Hi! 
Them: Hi!
(Long pause to make sure I had their attention) 
::Stick the ring out::

I find that's really the best way to convey the point "I just got engaged." My 80-year old grandma didn't hear anything anyone said all day, but she knew what the ring meant immediately. 

I was most excited, obviously, to tell my father and brother. My brother got there first, and probably had the best reaction, as I knew he would. Very excited, very hearty laugh (he's a big guy). He has, and always will be, very supporting of me. Jeff asked him to be a groomsman and I know he was truly honored :)

My dad on the other hand.... I showed him the ring, he admired it for .2 seconds, before engaging (ha) Jeff in a completely off-topic conversation about the Yankees, talked through my entire story about NYC, and then asked me to tell him the whole thing again 2 hours later. Sigh. 

Then I headed off to go see my best buds Justin, and Andrew. I've made the joke over and over, that if life were a Patrick Dempsey movie, and I wasn't a bit more of a traditionalist, these two would be my "Men of Honor." There aren't two guys in this world, other than Jeff, that mean as much to me. People talk about their friends as family, well that is true, and more, in this case. I will be scouring my brain to come up with an appropriate place for them at the wedding where  they can feel as special as I think they are.

Of course, it wasn't all sappy moments and teary eyes.

My guys are excited!
Some people might say it's weird or strange to get congrats from people who haven't talked to in years, but it's been undoubtedly my favorite part so far. On facebook and myspace, messages and comments have been pouring in from people I haven't spoken to in YEARS. In a way, I appreciate those comments the most. It's almost like saying although I haven't talked to these people in a while, I made a good enough lasting impression for them to feel happy for me. 

Poor Jeff. He's been noting that even our mutual friends seem to be congratulating me, not him. He put in all the work, bought the ring, planned the weekend, etc. All I had to do was say yes. 

Why is it that most people only congratulate the bride to be?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm engaged!

It started with a ring of sorts. An everything bagel. The way to my heart. Jeff had gone out to get me breakfast while I showered on the morning of the big secret trip. The trip I pretended to know nothing about. The trip I PRETENDED to ignore the likelihood of my engagement. 
Jeff had been joking all week that we were just going to Wendy's and that I shouldn't be that excited. What he didn't know is that I half hoped he was serious, as I've been on a diet for a month and would die for a burger. After we got in the car, Jeff continued to joke. "We're not stopping at THIS Burger King for a cheesy bacon whopper, but I can't say for sure about the next one."
He was just delaying the inevitable. I knew we were going to NYC. His sway away from I-84 at the end of the exit didn't fool me at all.
We were in the city in record time, and up to the hotel 'The Belevedere' hoping for an early check-in. No luck. But they did offer to store our luggage for us (a duffel bag for me, an over the shoulder bag for Jeff.) Not keeping up my 'pretending' angle for a moment, I said we only had one bag to check, before Jeff swung over his bag. In my mind I screamed, "JEFF! Do not just LEAVE my ring here with these people!" He didn't seem concerned.
Perhaps I should digress for a moment for people who don't know Jeff and I and think it's a bit suspicious I knew so much. We've been dating for almost five years. As much as he's a romantic, and as much as I know he'd love to, he hasn't really ever planned a vacation for us that didn't include a sporting hall of fame. So, I HAD to know THIS was it.
After checking in our bags, we decided to walk up to Times Square, which was just two blocks from the hotel. We decided to go to the ESPN Zone for lunch (employee discount anyone?) and games. On the subsequent walk around Time Square, I saw he was protecting his left side with his hand in his pocket. Finally, I realized what he was doing -- trying to stop me from seeing the ring box in his pants. I breathed a sigh of relief.
We got up into the hotel room, which by the way was GORGEOUS, and changed into our dinner clothes. Now I was s--ting bricks. I was 99% sure it would happen at dinner. Jeff had changed into a shirt and tie, and then put a jacket on. I was confused and told him he didn't need a jacket it was so nice out. He shooed me away to get the elevator. When he came out of the room, the jacket was balled up. Now I was really confused. "Go back and put that jacket in the hotel room if you're not going to wear it." Again, he shooed me away, pulling his arms back in defense of his balled jacket -- which then rattled. I shut my mouth.
We got to the restaurant and I was pleased, but not surprised to see, that it was Gordon Ramsay's restaurant, The Maze. We LOVE Gordon Ramsay (Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares). We walked up to reception where the hostess gave me a coy smile when we told her our name. I looked down, and Jeff's name seemed bigger than the others, with a post-it note next to it. The hostess spoke, rehearsed, "Do you need to go to coat check?" Jeff responded, rehearsed as well, "Yes. I. Do."
Dinner was great. Frogs legs, fois gras, it was a culinary discovery for my picky boyfriend.
It was almost dessert, when I thought 'it' was coming. Around the corner came the waiter with a big silver tray. As he set it down in front of me, an Australian man sitting next to me said 'Ooo, what have you got there?' to which his wife quickly responded, 'Shhh. Don't ruin their moment.' 
Congrats from the restaurant
I opened the tray top and there was a Tiffany box. Immediately, I started to tear up. All the anxiety of the day had gotten to me. Inside the box was another box, and inside, there was a charm ... not a ring. Momentarily, I was confused, before I looked at the charm closer. It said "Marry Me." I looked up and Jeff was down on his knee. "I love you," he said. "And there's no one I'd rather spend all my time with. Will you be my wife."
.... At least, that's what he told me he said. I temporarily blacked out, recovering only to thrust out my hand for the ring. 
The whole thing was fantastic and expertly planned. Jeff's parents had called ahead for champagne to be delivered. The restaurant had a platter delivered with Congratulations written on it. People clapped. The Australian couple cried (we would find out later, they were also in the wedding invitation business). 

Right after the proposal, excuse my teary eyes!

We finished our champagne, and I went home to call all the important people: My mom, Justin (it was his birthday!), Andrew, Katie and Meg. (I was saving to call my dad and brother when I would see them the next day. 
Then Jeff and I headed off to a jazz club and danced. It was perfect. 
Since I knew the engagement was coming all week, I was so nervous -- especially the night before we left. I sat in bed, too excited to sleep. I turned over and stared at Jeff, who was fast asleep. I couldn't believe it -- how could he be so calm?

After he asked me to marry him, he confessed, "I was never nervous."


Mission Statement

So I'm starting this blog in an effort to remember as many details as I can about what is no doubt, the most exciting period of my life. That excitement doesn't just include my wedding, but my new JOB and a general feeling of contentment and accomplishment that's been lacking for a while. And, you know, if I started this blog a few months ago and kept it every day would have read something like this: "Got up. Saw it was before 10:30. Went back to bed. Got up. And by up, I mean awake, not actually vertical. Turned on the TV. Watched 'Whose Wedding is It Anyway' followed by 'Maury'. Lunch. Back to TV. Cursed the 1 p.m. hour as nothing is ever on. Two o'clock: 'Law and Order'. Blinding headache begins. Trip to Dunkin Donuts for Toasted Almond Ice, Cream only. Blinding headache subsides. TV order resumes: Scrubs, King of Queens, Seinfeld. Jeff returns home. I change out of pajamas into workout clothes. Workout. Home, dinner, back in pajamas. Celtics, Red Sox. Sleep."

Wash and repeat for almost six months. 

But not anymore! Now I realize that most of my friends are men, and that a blog about wedding planning hurts their head like mine does without coffee, but they'll have to bear with me. A lot of stuff is happening now. Picking a date, a reception and ceremony venue, and some other major vendors should have happened a few months ago (Thanks Jeff!), and I want to remember the whole process here. But I am a sports writer/reporter/editor (not necessarily in that order) and a TV Junkie, so there will be a post here and there for you. 

Please stay and read. Add another friend's blog to your roll call.