Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No News is Good News


Merry Christmas! I hope every one had as great a holiday yesterday as I did. Christmas day started out with some morning nookie (a perfect way to wake up, if you ask me). Shortly after that, Bear and I raced each other down stairs to give each other our presents. I got some fabulous stuff, including a new Brian Froud book and a Wheel of Fortune electronic game (ironic, you see, as I was on Wheel of Fortune in 2004). When our own presents were opened and we had put all of the candy on a shelf too high for the dog to reach, we made the two hour drive to my parents' house for their Christmas. This year the Golden Child and his wife were there, so I didn't have to suffer through a single "when-are-you-going-to-give-us-a-grandchild" inquisition. I got the black socks I needed so desperately and the wedding autograph mat that I asked for, too. All the rest was just extra.


Wedding things are going well. Daddy, Bear and I measured the spot for the tents, and I think we are going to have a 40x20 and a 20x20 tent up for guests. Daddy is going to have a company come in and put down gravel to level the ground and pack it down. I reminded him to leave a spot for the pota-potties, too. He is actually doing quite a bit to his property for the wedding. I'm trying not to feel bad for putting him out like this. I keep reminding myself that he WANTS to do this.


My goal is to have a rental vendor booked by the 14th of January. Any later than that and all the good rental places will be taken. I have to look at the brochures again and make some more calls. The Golden Child's wife also suggested that I actually visit the vendor to physically look at the tents, to make sure that I know what I'm paying for. Good advice! Daddy made the suggestion that this spring I get the photographer out to the house to make suggestions on prime photograph spots - I have worked with her before and trust her implicitly, so I think that I will do pretty much whatever she says. I LOVE her.


We have our toasting goblets (another Christmas gift); they are a plain silver goblet. I like them, but I think I am going to have them engraved with our names and wedding date just to add to them a bit. So toasting goblets, autograph frame, wedding bands, and location are all a go. Finally, I feel like something is being accomplished!


Amidst all this good news, however, there has been some bad. Some really bad news. actually. A few weeks ago, I blogged about having to take my cat Inigo to the vets because he had swallowed some string. I thought after he passed a big chunk that he was fine, but apparently there was a foot of string left in his stomach. Over the last few weeks, the string choked off a piece of bowel and turned spetic, and it died. In turn, that caused a buildup of bacteria and food in his intestine, which ruptured Thursday night. Inigo was fine all day until about four o'clock, when he crashed fast. Bear and I rushed him to the emergency vet, but he didn't make it. Inigo Montoya, aged one year and four months, passed away Thursday, December 21, at 11:21 pm. I am, of course, heartbroken over this loss. I feel that in some ways it is my fault, that he died because I wasn't careful enough, didn't do enough to save him. Bear tells me that I did everything I could, that I loved him and cared for him and that is all Inigo could have asked for. Some days, that makes me feel better.

Most days, I just want my kitten back.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Blog Visitors

I have a sitemeter on my blog, which keeps track of all the visitors I get every day. I look at it once a week at least, seeing who has been to my page and how many pages they look at. When I checked it this morning, I had 666 page views! There is a place to see where readers are reading from (it even tells me who their ISP is and what browser they used to look at my page! I think it is kind of creepy, actually!). Below is a list of places my readers come from:

  • United Kingdom - Letchworth, Norfolk (I have no idea where this is in the UK)
  • United States - Palo Alto, California (This is a regular visitor who doesn't comment. Not sure who she is, but I'm glad she's a reader!)
  • Czech Republic - Praha, Hlavni Mesto Praha (This was probably an accidental hit, but I think it's cool)
  • United States - Red Wing, Minnesota (This is my blogger friend Sue who authors Brite Hope)
  • Germany - Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Do you think they smell nice here?)
  • United Kingdom - Southend-on-Sea (Of all of my visitors, this one has the prettiest sounding location)
  • Morocco - Casablanca (Of all of the blogs in all of the world, you had to click on mine. :) )
  • New Zealand - Hamilton (I think the New Zealand visitors are thanks to the Word Imp at Word Imperfect)
  • Singapore - Singapore, Dakar (Another accidental mouse-click, I think)
  • Egypt - Al Manyal, Al Jiza (Ditto)
  • United States - Clovis, New Mexico (Clovis reminds me of clover for some reason)
  • United States - Deerfield, Illinois (deer eat clover, don't they?)
  • Canada - Hamilton, Ontario (I have had several one-time hits from Canada, but no repeaters. Apparently, I'm not very popular there)
  • United States - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (This makes me think my blog is smart; I Pennsylvania, I'm convinced, is filled with politically minded smart people with lots of class. I don't know why I think this way)
  • United States - Scarborough, Maine (This is my ex-best friend who checks my blog from time to time)
  • New Zealand - Mokai (another Word Imp hit)
  • United States - Petaluma, California (Never heard of it, but it sounds pretty. I wonder if it is in Northern or Southern California?)
  • United States - Wilmington, Massachusetts (I wonder how many Wilmingtons there are in the US?)
And those visitors are just this month! I love this Blogger thing, even though I worry that I have nothing earth-shattering (or even interesting) to say. Do that many people really want to read about me? If so, terrific. Beyond terrific, really. I do with that more people would leave comments, though. I would like to know what people are thinking as they read me. Well, except maybe the foreign language people... I'm not up on my Czech (is that even what they speak there?)

~Amalia~

Taking the Good with the Bad

Christmas is my all-time favorite time of year. The months-long buildup to Christmas gets my nerve endings tingling. I've been known to have a "twitch," an involuntary shudder that is my excitement literally bursting out of my body. I have been twitching at least once a day for weeks. It's like I'm leaking excitement like a fire hydrant leaks water. Just last night I had one while watching the live-action version of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." It wasn't as good as the animated version, but it still made me laugh. Bear thinks I'm ridiculous, but he can't really talk. He is as big into Christmas as I am this year. I was supposed to make my father trigger finger mittens as one of his presents, but the pattern is terrible and the thing looks more like a dysfunctional oven mitt than a mitten, so I gave up. I told Bear this while we were upstairs, in bed, getting ready to take a nap. His mind started working on what to get him instead and within a few minutes he was urging me to get up so we could drive to Bangor (a fifty mile drive) to get him something. The cost of that something? Eighty-eight dollars and change. Bear, it turns out, is a compulsive giver. If one gift is good, than more gifts are better. We are poor as church mice right now, but there is a stack of presents under the tree that threatens to overrun the livingroom! Is it any wonder I love him so much?

I have one minor wedding update - we got our wedding bands! Saturday we looked at a few jewelry stores, trying to find a band Bear would like. I picked out the diamond, so I told him he could pick out the band. I care less that the band matches my diamond than I care that my band and his match. The first store we looked at was Day's Jewelers. They had a titanium band that Bear liked, but the sales associate was kind of pushy and told us that titanium and tungsten bands CAN still be cut off if they need to be. That was contrary to the information I had. We opted to wait and come back if we still liked that band the best. Next we went to G.M Pollack and Sons jewelers, where there were several beautiful bands that were all out of our price range. We were really hoping to spend less money on the bands than we had on my #3,300 engagement ring. The third place we stopped was Kay Jewelers, which is the store we got my diamond from. The lady that helped us was the same one that we got the first ring from. This was good, because we like her. Kay had something the other stores didn't - stainless steel. They had titanium and tungsten (she told us that the tungsten has to be SMASHED off a finger! We took that metal off of the list of potential rings), but knowing Bear as I do, I thought he might like the look and weight of the steel. I was right! The right he liked fit him right from the case and was only $79.99! We ordered a matching ring in a size 7 for me. You can see the ring here What do you think?


I know the subject title says the good with the bad, and all I have mentioned so far is the good. Well, here it comes: the Bad News.

1. Minnie, our twelve-year-old beagle, has ruined two Christmas presents so far. The first was a box of Lindt truffles meant for my stocking, the second a box of Rese's Peanut Butter Cups for Bear's stocking.

2. As angry as we are that a dog ate the chocolate intended for us, we are also concerned for her health. Usually she manages to eat chocolate no problem, but for two days her heart has been pounding and she has been breathing really heavily. It may be because of the chocolate, but it may also be a worsening of her heart murmur (she has had this for quite some time). We are watching her carefully, but if she doesn't get better, she must go to the vets. I don't think they will be able to do much to help her if it is her heart.
And right before Christmas, too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another Wedding Update

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the wedding venue might be changing. Bear and I both have concerns about the presence of Lyme-infected ticks, as he was bitten with one this fall and got the disease. After much discussion (too much discussion, it turns out - I got so sick of talking about it that I actually considered just living in sin forever), we arrived at a decision.

We are going to get married at my parents' house as originally planned. I am going to go down to my parents' the week before the wedding and cut brush, mow lawns, weed whack and otherwise clear out as much verdant growth as I can, in hopes of discouraging the wee beasties from hanging around. I also think I am going to have bug spray at all the tables so parents and children can have an extra layer of protection. What else can I do? There is NO WHERE else to get married and have a reception that won't cost a ton of money, not to mention it is getting late in the planning process, so all the prime locations are already taken.

We did get one other piece of wedding news. Bear's sister and her husband are giving us $1,000 for the wedding, and they are going to give it to us early to help pay for the wedding. It was an unexpected and fabulously generous gift. Both Bear and I feel much better about paying for the wedding with that money to help out. It is at least a third of our budget, and is probably closer to half.

The wedding is in 199 days - I now have 199 days to lose 20 pounds. That averages easily into a pound every ten days. Eek! I need to get going! Any advice?

~Amalia~

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bored... See what I Found?


You are The High Priestess


Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.


The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.




Maybe it is all just fluff, but it was flattering fluff!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Snow


As I write this, it is snowing outside. It has snowed twice this week, and while there hasn't been much accumulation, it is definitely getting me into the holiday season. There is just something so Christmassy about snow. I wonder sometimes if Christmas would be as important a holiday to me if I moved to the southern U.S., where there is no snow and not really any cold weather. It was 10 degrees when I got into my car this morning. Christmas is supposed to be a cold, snowy time. Snow is magical - it covers everything, making the world clean and new again. To me, snow is a lot like a temporary tatoo - you can put it everywhere, and after a while it fades. Don't like the snow man you made? Wait long enough, and the snow man will magicaly disappear. Poorly made snow angel? A good strong wind will drift snow over it, leaving a blank canvas again. What's not to love about snow?

One of my favorite snow activities is to clean off my windshield or other smooth surface and look at the individual snowflakes as they fall. The really are gorgeous - even the asymmetrical gimps. How often in life can you say that?

~Amalia~

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wonderous Strange

My students are practicing scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream right now. They will be performing it in class on Thursday. It's FANTASTIC! They are so into what they are doing there are no discipline problems or slacking at all. It is really making my day. I will take lots of pictures and hopefully video tape to share what I see with my students. Later this year we will be doing drama as a huge unit, so I am planning to have lots more acting. I had no idea this would be as successful as it is. Yeay me!

Inigo and Bear are both feeling much better (yeay!). We have not made up our minds about the wedding location, and I think we are going to hold off making a decision until after Christmas. That's cutting it close for rental vendors, but I don't see that there is much of a choice, really. A simple solution is not presenting itself.

Christmas shopping is done for everyone but Bear. I know what I'm getting him, I just have to do it. Half of our Christmas cards are written, too and are awaiting addresses and stamps for mailing. I have never been ready so early in a season before. I can't believe it! Where are you in your holiday preparedness?

~Amalia~

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Wedding Crisis

This past week, Bear was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, which he contracted from a tick bite. Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics, and cuases little damage if caught and treated early. Failure to seek treatment can cause sleeping problems, heart damage, neurological problems, and in some extreme cases, Lyme Disease can kill you (such occurences are extremely rare). The tick that bit him was tiny, so tiny we didn't see it was on him until the next day. The tick came from my parents' property.

The same property I'm supposed to be married on in less than seven months' time.

Bear and I have talked about this, and although we haven't come to any decision, we both know that we would feel terrible if one or more of our guests got Lyme Disease while at our wedding. The ticks are everywhere so there's no real way to avoid being bitten. Not all of the ticks carry the disease (only two types of ticks are known carriers, and of the dozen or so we found on us this past year, only one of them was the correct type of tick), but are we willing to take that chance? What about all of the children that will be there? Who knows when you'd notice a tick on a child's body? It takes less than 24 hours for a tick to pass on the bacteria.

Bear and I are sick about this. I want to get married at my parents' house for so many reasons, but I just don't know if those reasons are enough to risk the health of my family and friends. I don't have a lot of time to figure this out, either. Either we need to find a new place or we need to suck it up and use the place we'd already chosen. The thing is, if we don't get married at my parents', we have NO IDEA where to get married instead.

Any ideas? Help!

~Amalia~

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hey! It's Okay...

Have you ever read Glamour magazine? In each issue there's a page titled, "Hey! it's okay..." that lists several things you shouldn't feel guilty about. I think it's a fabulous idea, so I created my own list. See what you think:

Hey! It's Okay...
  • If you prefer his five dollar pillow to your designer one.
  • To spend more on Christmas gifts for your pets than your parents.
  • To go to a party just for the food.
  • To be a singing sensation - alone in your car.
  • If your favorite section of the newspaper is still the comics.
  • If the word "kumquat" still makes you giggle.
  • If you still listen for hoofbeats on your roof... just in case.
  • To eat just the really buttery pieces of popcorn, and toss the rest.
  • To wonder if you can still be sexy in bed... with your socks on.
  • To think of your birthday as a holiday. and take the day off work.
What would you add to the list? Let me know!

~Amalia~

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Would You Like Lyme With That?

About three weeks ago, Bear went hunting with my dad while I went to a craft fair with my mother. That was on a Saturday. The next morning I noticed something on his arm. "Ugh, is that a tick?" I asked. We have both gotten ticks on us before from my parents' house.
"Yeah, it is," he replied. "Get the tweezers and get it out."
I got my tweezers (my good ones, too, because I couldn't find the old crappy ones) and pulled. It took several tries to get the little bastard out, but I did it! I washed my tweezers off in the TOILET and flushed the bugger down. Bear's arm was a little red, but that was to be expected since I really had to yank the tick off. We were concerned at first that we didn't get the whole thing out, but after careful probing with a needle, we decided we had.
Everything was fine and dandy until early this week, when the tick bite got more red and puffy. We decided to keep an eye on things, but didn't want to panic just yet. There was a chance that it was infected with just regular germs, not to mention the irritation his sweatshirt may have caused. Yesterday Bear called me at school and said, "I'm out of work, they gave me the rest of the day off, I'm going to the doctor's." Bear hasn't been to the doctor in FOUR YEARS. Things were getting serious. He ended up having to go to the hospital because his doctor couldn't see him. They haven't called him yet with the results of the bloodwork, but Bear is on antibiotics for the next three weeks (!) and has to watch to see if the redness gets any worse. A week ago the red spot was about the size of a quarter. Now it is about the size of a halved grapefruit. He has been very sleepy (one of the symptoms) but hasn't had too many aches and pains (another of the symptoms). We are fervently hoping that we have caught it before the effects are serious - Lyme Disease can cause neurological problems, sleep disorders, even damage your heart! Poor Bear...
Meanwhile, I have Inigo back from the vets... he still hasn't pooped, but should by Friday morning. If he hasn't, I have to take him back to the vets and drop him off. He has a bladder infection and possibly a partial small bowel obstruction. He feels better than he did, but he is a long way from healed. I feel so helpless... I can't make either of them feel better. I feel fine, but at this point I even feel guilty about that. I'm hoping that the power of positive thinking will work, and I can WISH them back into better health. If you'd like to give either Bear or Inigo your get well soon wishes, I'd be happy to pass them on. Thanks!

~Amalia~

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wedding Update - 215 dtg!

I have wedding news!

  • I have been calling different vendors local to my parents' area, trying to get price lists and estimates for the rental equipment we need for the wedding. To date I have gotten several responses, and am within a week or two of putting down a deposit. I'm trying to find a place that will rent me everything I need (canopies, tables, chairs, and porta-potties), although I'm finding that it may be more difficult to do that than originally planned. The only place I know for sure does that is in my current neck of the woods, and it costs more to have the equipment hauled the 100 miles to my parents' house.
  • The table centerpieces are picked out - I'm on the look out for red and blue vases. The flowers are going to be white hydrangeas (they grow in several places all over our property).
  • My father is building the dance floor (cheaper than renting one).
  • We think we have a person to marry us (my cousin Lori).
  • The engagement photo will be taken before Christmas to hit newspapers by January.
  • Bear and I are currently working on picking the perfect wedding vows.
  • I have hired a woman to make our cake and the cupcakes for the reception.
  • I will have fresh flowers on top of my cake instead of a traditional topper.
  • My brother Mark will be the M.C., and my brother John is the Man-of-Honor.

My mom and Bear have been awesome about the planning process, being as involved as any bride could ask for. It was my mom who found the lady to make the cake, and Bear has been comparing rental vendors with a sharp eye. The guest list is coming along splendidly. I removed a bunch of people that I am no longer friends with or that I didn't think needed to be there, and that freed up some space for a couple of people I'd forgotten. I'm inviting about 110 people, and I think 100 will show up. That number includes children.

Christmas is only 28 days away, and I can't wait. Most of the shopping is done (minus some things that must be purchased online), and Saturday night Bear and I wrapped almost everything we have bought so far. The tree is up and decorated (a fake one for this year, with the promise of a real one next year), the stockings are hung, and the Dr. Demento Christmas Album is in full effect each afternoon. I am so on top of Christmas this year it's sick. I love it!

The only fly in my ointment right now is that my cat, Inigo, is not feeling well. I don't know if it is the de-wormer I gave him Friday or if he got into something he shouldn't have, but he has been listless and lethargic for a couple of days now. He isn't sneezing and doesn't have any discharge from eyes or nose, so I don't think he's sick. If he ate or drank something he shouldn't have, all I can do is wait for it to pass. If he isn't better by Wednesday, I will have to call the vet. Poor little guy. Wish him well!

~Amalia~

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bad Girl!

I have been a bad girl recently. I have not been blogging! I don't have any excuse, either. Well, my life is boring and I've been busy, but I don't think those qualify as excuses. As I write this I am in my classroom, waiting for parents to arrive for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Ugh. I hate talking to parents about their children. For one, I feel as though I'm betraying my students' trust by talking about them. I feel that by high school, you're entitled to a little bit of freedom away from your parents. I also hate conferences because I get the feeling that parents are testing me. Does she know what she's talking about (how would they know), why did you give my kid a bad grade (I don't give grades, they earn them), and how come you didn't tell me about the missing work before now (if I had to call each parent whenever there was an assignment not completed, I'd spend hours on the phone each evening). I guess I still feel that my age (25) is a bit of a liability. Parents see me as too young to know what I'm doing. Not true, of course, but they don't see me every day like their kids do.
Enough of school. Vacation starts officially at 10:30 today, and I won't have to go back until Monday. Hooray!
If you noticed the title to my last blog, you know that my anniversary was Friday. I know, I know, I'm not married yet, but it is the anniversary of our first date so it counts, damnit! Bear and I went to Bangor for a nice dinner out. It's a sign of how destitute we are that the most expensive thing we could do was eat dinner at Olive Garden, and even then I had to use my credit card. It was fabulous, don't get me wrong, but I think it was more because of the company than the atmosphere. One thing I did learn: Don't eat the after-dinner mints and then take a last sip of your berry sangria - it makes your mouth taste like Robitussun.
I've been hooked on a book this last week, too. It's called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (look inside the book here). The first hundred pages or so was kind of dull, but after that it picked right up. I'm almost done and can't wait to start the next one!

I guess that's all from my end of the universe. I probably won't post on Thanksgiving, but I will try to post at least twice more this week. Happy Thanksgiving every one!

~Amalia~

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Anniversary Bear




Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess named Amalia. She was a modern princess; she rented her own castle, did all the chores her maidservants should have done, and even had a regular job to better understand what it was like to be one of her subjects. To many, it seemed that the princess had all anyone could wish for.
Amalia didn't always agree with them. Sure, she had a terrific life, but she was missing a prince to share it with. At 24, Amalia was begining to think that Prince Charming was a myth and she was going to have to settle for a Prince-Somestimes-Leaves-The-Toilet-Seat-Up. She had tried to find Charming, she really had, but the last relationship she had was with a prince that refused to work for a living as she did and treated her more as a maidservant than the rockin' princess she knew she was. She moved out of his castle, taking only the couch, her personal belongings and her royal cat. She was discouraged, but refused to give up.
At her new castle, Amalia lived just as she wanted. Chrismas lights were strung up year round and Zedd (the royal cat) had his own bed. Her office looked out on the courtyard and she had the comfiest reading chair nextled into a corner of her bedroom. Amalia came home from work most nights and cooked Zedd's and her dinner and then they watched a movie before bed.
After about a month of this life, Amalia realized that Prince Charming wasn't going to just appear. Although she wasn't ready for another castle move just yet, she'd like to have some princely company once in a while. Her new rented castle was kind of isolated.
With this in mind, Amalia created a profile on royalspace.com, a place where other lords and ladies could find company of all sorts - jesters, companions, even new loves. There were many men claiming to be Charmings, but Amalia knew better than that. She decided to look for some new friends first, and hopefully a prince would come along soon after that. To her surprise, she got several new messages a day. Most were not people she'd want to hang out with, but one message caught her attention. It said,
"Hi, my name's PC. I was looking at your profile and it seems like we have some things in common. If you'd like to chat sometime, message me and we'll talk."
The photo attached to the message was of a man with a terrific smile, a goatee and a twinkle in his eyes that hinted he could be trouble, in a good way. Amalia sat back in her chair, thinking. Her first instinct was to write back immediately, but she held off. After all, her taste in princes hadn't gotten her very far before, and so she didn't trust herself. She logged off that night without replying, determined to think about it logically before replying (if she did at all).
The next day at work, Amalia's mind kept wandering back to the mysterious PC. Who was he? Where was his castle? What did he do for fun? Did he like cats? The last was very important to Amalia, Zedd being the world's best royal cat. She thought and thought and thought, finally deciding to let Zedd decide. He hadn't liked the last prince Amalia had been involved in (which should have been a red flag), so maybe he was a better jodge of character than she was.
After work, Zedd rested comfortably in Amalia's lap as she logged back on to royalspace.com. The message was still there, PC's smile still in place. She read the message and PC's profile aloud to Zedd, who listened intently, a soft purr rolling through his chest. As she finished, she looked in Zedd's eyes and said, "What do you think? Should I message him or not?" Zedd looked back at the screen, stood with both paws on the keyboard and mewed plaintively once, his eyes level with the man in the picture. Then he rubbed both cheeks on the computer monitor and hopped down. He wandered off to his bed where he curled up and promptly fell asleep.
Amalia thought some more. What did Zedd mean? If she had to guess, she'd say that he liked this PC. But was she just interpreting Zedd's response the way she wanted?
"Mrrow!" From behind her, Zedd gave his most imperial meow, as if to say just do it already!
"Okay, I'll message him," she said, clicking the blue 'reply' button at the bottom of the message. Please let this be the right choice she thought to herself as she composed her reply.
"Dear PC, it was nice hearing from you. I'd love to chat sometime. Perhaps we could chat on RIM (Royal Instant Messenger service is so much faster than couriers!)? My screen name is PrincessAmalia. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Amalia

She sent the message before she could second guess herself again. She heard a conspiculously loud purring from behind her, but she ignored it. She loaded her RIM program and went to make dinner. A part of her wanted to wait and see if she'd get a message, but the rest of her knew that she was no longer the kind of princess that waited around for a man. She was the kind of princess that went and made dinner as though she wasn't waiting for a message at all.
All through dinner Amalia didn't wait for a message. She didn't wait for it through the movie, either. Still, as soon as the chime sounded that she had a message, she jumped up from the couch and ran to the computer to see who was talking to her. It was PC! Not even bothering to pause the rest of the movie, she sat down at her computer to talk to this man whose smile she couldn't stop thinking about.

After a long evening of chatting (she stayed up a full two hours past her bedtime!), Amalia signed off and went to bed. She and PC had had a terrific conversation ranging from topics like literature (his favorite author was Poe) to the costs and benefits of renting vs. owning a cstle ( he owned his, but hated the taxes, she rented hers, but hated the neighbors). Everything he said made him appear even better in her eyes. He was articulate, kind, had a great sense of humor and most important - he loved cats (he didn't have any, but was suitably impressed with Zedd's magnificence)! Amalia was cautiously optomistic that here she had found a prince who would be someone worth spending time with. They had arranged to meet in town in a couple of weeks to further their acquaintance. As Amalia tugged the blankets up to her chin that night she sighed deeply, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. Maybe, she thought, there is a Prince Charming for me after all.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday Blah

It is drizzling here today. Again. In fact, over the last three weeks, we have had only two sunny days. I'm not exaggerating - the weather here is miserable. It is so difficult to get up in the morning when it is still dark out due to cloud cover. It is even more difficult to listen to our apologetic weather man pronounce another day of clouds, drizzle and fog. The grass in Maine is still green. I'm 25, and I've never seen that happen. Usually by mid-September it is burnt to an orange crisp that doesn't recover until May. The seagulls marching back and forth searching for lunch outside my window are wearing gum rubbers and little yellow rain caps. They are tired of their diet of watered-down worms.

I think I may have found someone to marry Bear and I (finally). It was the one detail I was starting to get nervous about. I'm going to officially ask her in a bit, but she seemed amenable to the idea and is someone who will be at the wedding anyway. I'm cautiously optomistic.

There isn't much else to report today... my students are reading a Shakespearian play this week. Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it.

~Amalia~

Thursday, November 09, 2006

TGIF - a day early

I don't have to work tomorrow because it is Veteran's Day (observed). Hooray! I couldn't be more excited to have a short workweek. School has been crazy lately as I'm proctoring a computerized test that all English students must take. Scheduling is a nightmare, plus I must factor in absent students, times for students who don't finish to finish, all on top of teaching four classes. My stress level has been very high this week.

On a positive note, my mother, aunt and I are going to the annual Livermore Craft Fair. It is a huge event comprising crafts in not one but THREE separate buildings. My mother is a die-hard shopper, so much of the day is spent trying to keep up with her. The rest of the time I spend trying to find her after she's scampered off somewhere. She is only 5'0", so I lose her behind tall shelves all the time. The craft fair is really quite lovely, though, with handmade windchimes, knitted and crocheted goods, quilts, and best of all - FOOD! Jellys, fudge, cakes, cookies, you name it, they've got it. I think that's why I'm such a fan of the fair. The only down side to the craft fair is how crowded it gets about mid-morning. It is so packed in some of the buildings you can't get from one side of the path to the other. If you want to see a booth on the other side, you have to go all the way to the end of the room and then switch directions. Old ladies get really pissed if you try to pull a U-turn in the middle of the aisle.

Bear and I are doing well (as always). While I'm at the craft fair, he will be out deer hunting with my father. It should be an interesting situation. Luckily my dad thinks Bear is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It must be a family thing, because I do, too. ;)

~Amalia~

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To Have Children, or Not to Have Children

I've been putting off this post because I want to be articulate, and for that to happen ideas need to percolate for days or even weeks. I first thought about blogging on this topic three weeks ago, so perhaps I'm finally ready.

My entire life I have known that I don't want children. It may seem illogical that a teacher has no desire for her own children, but it's true. I have had not one maternal feeling in my 25 (& a half) years. Do I enjoy children? Absolutely. My family produces some beautiful and brilliant chilren, all of whom are terrific. I wouldn't trade any of my cousins, nieces and nephews for any amount of money. That being said, I don't feel the need or urge to add to my family's already substantial numbers.

So if I like kids enough to work with them every day, why not want some of my own? Well, that's kind of hard to explain. If you know me at all, you know that I adore being the center of attention. I don't have stage fright, I have no problems speaking up, and I can't get enough of "all eyes on me." That is one of the reasons I'm a teacher. Having a child means one can't be selfish like that any more. Suddenly it's not all about you, and won't be ever again. That sucks. I believe that I would grow to resent the person responsible for shifting all of that attention away from me - my child. Eek! That wouldn't be pretty.

Further, I love my life just the way it is. Granted, I'm too busy (who isn't?), but I can travel when I want, stay out late if I'd like to, even drive a pickup truck or sports car if I want to. I can walk around my house in only my underwear, leave sharp knitting needles on the coffee table, even have cold pizza and Pepsi for breakfast. Is there anything else in life greater than that? Maybe, but I doubt it. The point is, I love the freedom I have. I grew up in a pretty strict household so it took me years to give myself permission to live my life the way I want to. A child would change all that.

Deciding not to have children is not a decision I make lightly. Both Bear and I are the last members of our family; our lines will die out with us. He and I have discussed my no-children policy. He says he is fine with it and I believe him, but I also know that problems may arise down the road. The urge to procreate is one of the oldest imperatives of human nature, after all. So what will we do then? I don't know to be honest, but I can tell you the answer isn't 'have children.'
What bugs me about my decision even more than potentially causing conflict in my relationship is that other people are SO convinced that things will change. I can't tell you the number of times I've told someone of my choice only to be told, "You wait. Once you're older and your clock starts ticking, you'll change your mind." ARGH! STOP PRETENDING YOU KNOW ME BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF!!! I realize I'm still young. I realize that I'm not married yet. I also realize that I am a confident, college educated woman who knows her mind and isn't at the mercy of some out-dated evolutionary impulse. Why won't people just accept my decision? My parents bug me every time I see them, "When are you going to give us some grandbabies?" "Pregnant yet?" "You know, if you hurry, you could have a baby before you're married and still get back into your dress!" "We are only asking for one. You have to give us one, then you can be done." SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! They mentioned me having babies in front of Bear the FIRST time I brought him home! Can you imagine how mortified I was?

I guess in the end, I'm asking for a little understanding. I'm not wrong, I'm not unAmerican or inHuman just because I don't want a baby. I'm just like everyone else. I don't question your desire to have children, so what gives you the right to question my desire not to?

~Amalia~

PS My students are working on a relationship unit, and when I mentioned to them that I didn't want kids, they all said it was "sad" and "weird." They actually pitied me because I choose to remain childless! WHY is this such a difficult concept for people to understand?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tying it Together

In my English class, my students are starting a new unit. I use it to expose students to various nonfiction texts as well as the research process. The unit is called, "What makes a good relationship?" None of us have the answer to this question completely, so it is interesting to hear what everyone thinks. I start the unit with a ranking sheet. I give them four examples of relationships and they tell me which is the best and worst and why. I'm giving you the same assignment. You'll notice in the top left corner of my blog is a poll. Please read the vignettes below and vote on who you think has the best relationship. If you'd like, you may also post a comment stating why you feel the way you do. I'm interested to see the results. Happy voting!

~Amalia~

Relationship Ranking Sheet

A. Ross is so in love that he wasn't eaten, slept, or worked in days, and he couldn't be happier. And it is all because of Judy. Ross met Judy at a party two nights ago. Ross almost didn't go; he only went after his best friend dragged him there, saying that it was time for Ross to get over his last girlfriend, Rina. Boy, did he ever! Rina was only a dim memory once Ross saw Judy. She was standing quietly across the room, the lamplight caressing her face, making her look angelic, etheral. Nearly in a trance, Ross worked his way across the room to her. The two started talking, and very rapidly the two developed strong feelings for each other. They have to keep their relationship a secret for now, because Judy's family would object to her dating a kid from "the wrong side of the tracks." Ross spends his days thinking about her, dreaming of her beauty, and devising ways for them to be together. If he thought they couldn't be together, it would kill him. He needs to have her, to hold her, forever.


B. Samantha is in love. So what if Mike isn't the man her parents would have picked for her, if they were still alive? So he doesn't come from old money, have fancy cars and fot yahting every summer. He is a good man who treats her like a woman. He doesn't mince words; he tells her just what he likes (and what he doesn't) and tells her often how lucky she is to have a man who has a steady job and his own place. She didn't tell him that her family was once wealthy. After all, what good would it have done? The money is all gone, and they do alright on their own. However, occasionally Samantha does remember her childhood, and wistfully recalls the freedom that money can bring. If they had more money, maybe Mike would spend less time out bowling and playing poker with his friends and more time home with her. Maybe then he would rediscover the things that made him fall in love with her in the first place - her laughter, how hard she has tried to become an efficient housewife, and the grace and beauty in her character.

C. Alex is a self-labeled genius. After months of research and experiement, he has discovered a chemical that enhances the emotion centers of a woman's brain. Specifically, the emotions of romance, longing, and love are affected. Alex has done what no man has done before - he has developed a way to make women fall in love with him. He knows just who to use it on, too. Alex has been in love with Heidi since the third grade. He knows what she does for fun, what she wants to do with her life, even what her favorite desserts are. Once Heidi loves him as much as he loves her, he knows that they will have the perfect relarionship. Each of them will be madly in love with the other, and they will live hapily ever after. There will be no messy break-ups, no drawn- out arguments, just love and caring for the rest of their lives. As he puts on his coat to go meet her, he can hardly contain his excitement.

D. Doris and Boris are very much in love. They have been together since middle school, and both are in their thirties now. They have many of the same interests; books, theater and art. They know each other so well they can finish each others' sentences. Their relationship even survived a terrible accident Boris had that left him a paraplegic two years ago. He is bound to his wheelchair now and can feel nothing from his waist down. Boris tried to get Doris to leave him after that, saying he didn't want to tie her down. After all, they could never have children now, which was something Doris really wanted. However Doris stayed with him, insisting that as long as she had him she was the luckiest woman alive and she believed it (and still does). Boris was relieved and thankful that he had such a wonderful wife. He has noticed, though, that every once in a while, Doris will come home late from work, often distracted and quiet. at first Boris though tshe was coming down with something, but she appears to be healthy. On these infrequent days (it happens every other month or so), Doris comes home and showers, then spends the rest of the evening spending quality time with her husband. These evenings are some of the best the two have shared. Boris has nagging suspicions about Doris' activities, but he has decided not to say anything. He knows he is lucky to have her, and it is obvious to him that she loves him. He tells himself that is enough.

There you have it. Which relationship is the best? Which is the worst? Why?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Speaking of Christmas...


I am working on a number of sewing/knitting projects for people for Christmas this year. I have a new sewing machine that sounds like a jet engine and is just as fast. Just tonight I completed a gift for my brother and sister-in-law. STart to finish in just one evening! Of course, the mitten I am knitting my father is about two inches too big and will have to be begun again. *sigh*.


I thought you'd like to see one more picture of Bear and I, so I posted it, even though it has nothing to do with gifts or Christmas. Do you think I should make it my default picture?


~Amalia~

Friday, November 03, 2006

Some Pictures for You

Happy Halloween! Err... Happy BELATED Halloween!

Zeddicus (Zedd), the best cat on the planet! Admit it, he melts your heart, doesn't he?


I can't tell who's hornier...


Bear and I waiting to see the pandas at the San Diego Zoo.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

And I'm SO EXCITED! This morning on my way to work I drove into a flurry. The ground was covered (actually, it made the road wicked slippery) and all the trees had a dusting of flakes. It was gorgeous! Christmas is my all-time favorite time of year. The food, the family, the beautiful outdoor vistas... it all warms my heart. My fingers are itching to pull out my Christmas CDs - the Muppets, Andy Williams, even Dr. Demento. It's not too soon to be excited about Christmas, is it?
~Amalia~

PS Pictures to be posted tonight! I PROMISE

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other

That's a favorite saying of my dad's. It means that whatever you call it, things seem to even out. I was very frustrated by this yesterday.
The day started out so wonderfully! It was "challenge day" for the sophomore class. The Army National Guard created an elaborate series of challenges for small groups of sophomores to navigate through. The goal is to build teamwork and communication skills. I was "chaperoning" a great group of kids. The whole day was pretty terrific. I even got a t-shirt! Fabulous.
I got my car back Monday night from the garage, and was thrilled to be driving MY car again. Unfortunately, the original problem was repaired, but a new one cropped up - my automatic seatbelt isn't working. The cord it runs on jumped the track, so it is stuck in the car-door-is-open position. I didn't try to frig with it, thinking Bear would be able to fix it later.
When I got back to Brownville that afternoon, I got the mail and then went straight to Bear's work, as we had to go to the garage to pay the repair bill on my car once he got out for the day. I knew the bill was going to be big, because I'd had four new struts, new strut mounting plates and a new tie rod end put in my car. The total? SIX HUNDRED FORTY-EIGHT DOLLARS! And change. That's more than HALF what I paid for my car five and a half years ago!! Whatever. I can't afford a new car, so I just slapped my credit card down on the desk and cringed. I drove home that night poor, with a car that was fixed but somehow still broken. Now my credit cards are both almost maxed, I have no money to fix this new problem or pay for my wedding or buy Christmas presents. Life pretty much SUCKS right now.

~Amalia~

Monday, October 30, 2006

PS

You'll notice, if you're a regular reader to my blog, that I haven't mentioned wededing plans or my weight loss lately. That's because there's been little to no movement on either front. I did, however, get several pictures shrunk in filesize so that I may share them with my adoring audience (that's you). I'll post them tonight if I get a chance.

~Amalia~

Another Terrific Weekend

Despite the wild weather we had, Bear and I had another fabulous weekend. Friday night we went to Bangor. This isn't always a productive adventure, but this time it was - we went to the bank, paid the cellphone bill, added a texting plan onto his phone and got his phone repaired, ate dinner at Pizza Hut's Italian Bistro (it's like Pizza Hut and Olive Garden had a baby), bought an exercise bike and got groceries! It was a busy evening, to say the least.
The exercise bike was a good deal. Under $200 for a recumbant and included in the price was a "no sweat" guarantee that says if anything is wrong with it, we get a new one for free. We even get to keep the old one! So for example, if the heart rate meter dies but the bike still works, we get a new bike but can keep the old one. I think that's a deal! We can renew the plan every year, to, so all we have to pay is the $18 a year. I am SO going to get my money's worth out of this thing! My goal is 20 minutes a day, but if I do it five days a week, I'll be satisfied. I did 20 minutes on Sunday but didn't get my heart rate above 100 until the very very end of the workout. I will have to push myself harder, I think. My resting heart rate is 52, which is a little below average. I don't even know what I want my heart rate to be for maximum fat burning efficiency. Do you?
I went to a chiropracter this weekend, too. It was the first of several visits. I hadn't been since high school, and the pain in my neck, back and hips was getting difficult to handle. Poor Bear had to listen to me complain daily. He strongly encouraged me to go back, so I did.
I'd forgotten how much I LOVE to get cracked.
He cracked and popped me several times, once having to stand me up to get enough force to pop the vertebrae back to their proper positions. It felt like Heaven. Getting 'adjusted' as they call it releases endorphins into your system - basically, you feel as good as you do post-orgasm without any of the mess. I go back on Thursday and I can't wait. My neck especially feels much better already.

Other than that, Bear and I just lazed around the house all day. I graded papers (first quarter ended Friday), we watched some movies (Hotel Rawanda and The Haunting), napped for three hours, cooked great food, and spent a considerable amount of time cuddling. I'd say it was perfect... wouldn't you?

~Amalia~

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ode to Bear (thanks Clare)

I read a blog daily called "Three Beautiful Thing" by a woman in England that blogs each day about three beautiful things she saw or experienced. It's a wonderful, positive way to look at life, and so I thought I'd try it in the hopes that she realizes that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Because my blog is called "Caring for Bear," it seemed natural to write three beautiful things about him. Here goes:

1. He packs my breakfast and lunch every day, including the chocolate I say I don't want, but secretly do. He even breaks into the Halloween stash if he has to to make sure that my chocolate craving is satisfied.

2. When we crawl into bed each night, he turns his back to me, an silent request to spoon him. He pays me back by letting me keep my cold feet on his warm ones. When I roll over later that night, he rolls too - and we switch positions, one of us holding the other all night long.

3. The way he looks when he plays video games - eyes intent, tongue sticking out whenever he attempts a tricky manouver, and a leg kicking the floor whenever he dies. It's too cute!

~Amalia~

Moose x2


This could have been the moose I saw yesterday. I wouldn't normally post about the same thing twice, but this moose deserves a few inches of blog space. I was driving home in Bear's car (mine is in the garage with a host of illnesses), and I saw a moose in the ditch of the oncoming lane (my left). I came to a complete stop as I'm supposed to and because it looked like he wanted to talk into the road. I was right - he walked out of the ditch and into the middle of the road, still dripping water from his chin. He stopped when he got to the dividing line in the highway, front legs in my lane, back legs in the other lane. Moose Alley is a lonely stretch of road, so there weren't any other cars around. It was just me and the moose. He didn't appear to be in any kind of rush to move and I was, so I beeped my horn at him. He turned his head and looked at me, contemplating whether it was worth it to stomp Bear's car (and me) into the pavement. Note to self: Do NOT Honk at Moose! He turned 180 degrees and faced the ditch again. Silently this time I encouraged the moose to move. He didn't. He took two steps, turned around again and walked two steps back. This continuted for FIVE MINUTES until finally, another car appeared on the road behind me. When it got close enough the moose slowly stepped off the road, disappearing into the trees. I drove the rest of the way home thankful that the moose hadn't taken my honking personally. I have my camera with me today, so if I see any more, I will take pitcures to post.

~Amalia~

Thursday, October 26, 2006

MOOSE!


I drive to work every morning on a stretch of road affectionately known as "Moose Alley." The reason for this is because the road I drive on has more moose/vehicle accidents than any other road in Maine (or it seems to, anyway). All year, however, I haven't seen a single moose. I have seen a ton of crows and a single dead deer, but that's it. Every day someone asks me, "Didja see a moose?" After nine weeks, it is just annoying. "No," I sigh. "No moose yet."
Well yesterday I saw my first moose! I was passing a fallow potato field and saw a dark blur in the middle of it. At 6:30 in the morning, it is still quite dark and moose are a very deep brown. At first I thought it was a horse, but after a moment I realized it was a MOOSE! Thankfully it was about fifty feet away from the road and standing still, so I didn't have to worry about hitting it.
A few facts:
  • Moose can weigh over 1,000 pounds (that's like NINE deer put together)
  • Their antlers (racks) can measure six feet across
  • Adult males can stand six feet tall at the shoulder
  • My car is only up to my shoulder
  • I drive a Ford Escort Wagon - a small car
  • An impact with an adult moose has a 60-80% chance of killing me.
So as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be able to tell people about the moose I saw AND that it wasn't in the road. It pretty much made my day. So I continued my commute, a smile on my face. About five miles later, I came around a corner in the road and SLAMMED on my breakes - there was another moose! I don't know how big the first one was, but this one was HUGE. He was going in the same direction I was, trotting in the soft shoulder of the other lane. Once I got stopped and could breathe again, I followed him for about 100 yards until he turned left down a gravel road. He turned and looked at me once, and kept on his path. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The first moose made me happy, the second one just scared the crap out of me. I was uber careful the rest of the drive to work, convinced that every dark patch near the road was another moose. Thankfully, there were only the two and I didn't hit either one.

It makes me wonder - how often do close calls happen?

~Amalia~

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

HURRAY!

As many of you know, I switched to Bogger Beta a few weeks ago. I admit it was a selfish change... I did it so that other bloggers I enjoy reading could comment on my blog. They had Beta, so I had to have it. Imagine my disappointment when after all this time I still had no comments! I was very sad. However this morning when I logged on, it said I had three unmoderated comments I had to look at. There they were! Three lovely comments, all waiting for me. Yess! I feel SO much better now. Of course I have no idea how long they were stitting there. I will make sure to check that often now that I know it's there. Blogger Beta is great, but I'm still learning all about it.

Moving on to what I intended to post today. Last night I was getting ready for bed as usual. I was in the bathroom, going through the nightly ritual of brushing my teeth, taking my contacts out, and tweezing stray eyebrow hairs. I hadn't done that last task in a while, so I got out my magnifying mirror and went to work. Naturally I have something of a unibrow which means that constant maintenance is a must. After I finished I pointed the mirror at different sections of my face looking for blemishes of any kind. My nose, forehead and cheeks all checked out fine. I have a freckle under my ear that grows a single black hair, and I nabbed that one, too. Feeling much better and much more attractive, I gave the mirror a final pan accross my neck below my chin. What I saw there was nothing less than horrific. I had beard hairs!! Not just one or two stragglers, either. I have two disinct patches of long thin hairs under my chin on either side of my esophogas. I am MORTIFIED. How long have these hairs been there? When did they multiply? Has Bear seen them? Have my students?? UGH! I felt this wash of ugliness crash over me. I tweezed what I could, furiously plucking any hair I could get a hold of. This was an incredibly painful process as anyone who tweezes a new area can imagine. I know that these hairs will come back, though, and I don't know what to do. I should mention, too, that this comes on the heels of Bear mentioning (again) that he is not a fan of the hairs that grow below my belly button. I Veet them off, but they have to be a certain length for the hair removal cream to be effective. I believe the word he used was - well, it doesn't matter what it was, but it was not a nice word. He did later apologize for using such a word to describe a body part. Good man. Only now I'm convinced that I am some modern-day Sasquatch that is an anomoly in the civilized world! HELP!

~Amalia~

Monday, October 23, 2006

Anniversary Ideas

Bear and I are trying to figure out what we want to do for our one-year anniversary. It seems like we've been together so much longer than that, but we did indeed meet last November 17. As we are on a tight budget, we opted not to buy each other gifts. Christmas is coming right up after that anyway so I can spoil him then. I think what we are going to do is spend a weekend on the coast. I'm not sure what area we will end up in (Portland, Old Orchard, and Boothbay Harbor are all places we've brought up in discussion) or what we are going to do, but I'm certain it will be an amazing time filled with romance and joy. The last eleven months have been, so why should this be any different? If you can reccomend a place to visit, leave a comment! I'd love to hear what you think.

I was getting ready for work this morning, and wandered into the livingroom to look for my shoes. Bear was sitting on the couch, one boot on, the other in his hand, a stumped and wonderous look on his face. "What?" I asked him.
"I just realized that for the first time in months, we have absolutely no plans for the weekend," he replied. "I don't remeber the last time that's happened. I don't have to work, we aren't going North, we aren't going South... nothing."
I looked at him with an expression mirroring his. "Wow," I sad. "What should we do?"

Any ideas? A free weekend is a true gem for us and our busy over-packed schedules. I almost want to stay home and do nothing, since I know that the Christmas craziness is going to start soon. Or we could work on one of the myriad home-improvement projects that are still on the list. The chimney's done - check. Repainted the ceiling? Nope. Painted the office? Nope. Ripped up the kitchen carpet? Only one small section. *sigh* Maybe I know what we're doing this weekend after all...


~Amalia~

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

success?

The ladies in the front office mentioned they had noticed I've lost weight. I'm on cloud nine! I didn't think ANYONE had noticed that I've lost 12-14 pounds (depending on the day). But they HAVE and they SAID something! Yesssssssssssssssssssssss! This makes me feel another huge surge of willpower to get the rest of the weight off. How awesome will I feel if I have to have my slightly-too-tight wedding dress taken IN? I have to go chortle with delight some more... later!

~Amalia~

Fragility

I read in the paper this week that a man died in a car accident Saturday night. He took a wide curve in the road too fast, lost control, and went off the road. His car flipped several times, ejecting him from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but there was further information about this man - he had been married just over twenty-four hours. Married Friday, dead Saturday. Is there a more horrible story out there? I can't even imagine what his bride (I don't even think she got to wife status yet) must be feeling. I can't imagine what a wreck I'd be... my mind doesn't want to contemplate it.

Also this week, a man who I know by association died of complications from cystic fibrosis. He was a band mate of my cousin's... he was only 36. They were working on putting out their new album this spring and were scheduled to play in Florida next month. I wonder what will happen now. His myspace page already has comments from people expressing their grief. How tragic.

Finally, there have been a slew of people I know getting diagnosed with cancer, and they are all young (my age). Two English teachers I know have daughters diagnosed with lymphoma. I know people who are having suspicious moles removed that are still in high school!

The more I read and hear about people, the more worried I am that Bear and I won't get the hoped-for fifty years together. With his family history, I think I will be lucky to get twenty. It's just so unfair! Why can't the bad things like cancer, accidents and unfortunate circumstances happen to people who cheat on their taxes, hurt children and animals or cut in line at the grocery store? Why does all the bad stuff have to happen to the people who least deserve it?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Speaking of Name Change...

I wrote in my last post about what my name will be when I'm married (Kinne). I wasn't analyzing what I wrote; rather, I was caught up in one of the fits and spurts of giddiness and excitement that every bride succumbs to occasionally. It interests me now when I am in a more logical mood that I "said" that. Until yesterday (apparently) I hadn't decided if I was going to take Bear's name.

Okay. I was young once - I admit it. And being young, I couldn't wait to change my last name. It's boring, people inevitably ask if I'm related to Marilyn (my last name if you missed it is Monroe). These days the occasional asshole student changes the vowel to "Manroe." Those were the days I went home fuming about ignorant children... as I bleached my facial hair and ironed a skirt to wear the next day. So why not change my name and be happy with it?

Well for starters, I'm the only one of my father's four biological children that has his last name. He has two sons and two daughters. He wasn't married to my brothers' mom, so they got her last name and my sister had a hyphenated name and she dropped the Monroe off of it. So that leaves me. If I don't keep my name what will happen to the Monroe name??
Not to mention that all of my teacher books and private posessions have Monroe written in them. It's who I'm known as in the teacher/college world. I'm Ms. Monroe. How can I just leave that behind? Do I leave Monroe in the books, or cross it out and write Kinne instead?
That may seem like a stupid reason to change a name, but I'm not reasonable when it comes to aspects of me. You know how in families some children are more like one side than the other? My mother's maiden name is Vinal. I'm MUCH more Monroe than Vinal. I'm my father's daughter, as my mother so frequently tells me. If my name becomes Kinne, who am I then?

I read an essay by Anna Quindlen about her decision not to change her name. She didn't do it out of some feminist reason, but because (like me) she felt that her name was part of who she was, and she didn't want to lose it. She did admit, however, that there were some problems as a result of her decision. For example, her children and husband "shared the umbrella of a name," and that left her out in the rain a lot. she said that teachers, nurses and other professionals were always calling her by the wrong name. That makes me think. If I don't take Kinne, does that make me Mrs. Monroe? Mrs. Monroe is my mother, NOT me! I can't keep Miss, though, so do I use Ms (Mizz)? Arg! So frustrating.

I have family members that have gone both ways. Most of the women take their husband's last name, erasing the written connection to the families of their childhood, and moving under the umbrella of their husbands'. A few, like my cousin Carly, have kept their last name and used it as their childrens' middle names. But she and her husband are in business together.... doesn't that confuse customers? I don't know.

In the end, I guess I decided to take Paul's name not to dishonor my family, but to honor his. both of his parents are passed and he is a Junior. Family name is important to him. He is the last of his family, the only boy; I have brothers (they just don't have the same last name). My family would never say that I am dishonoring them by taking Bear's name. As time goes by, I guess I am hearing them more. Bear and I are going to be sharing a life, a future; I like to think we'll be sharing the same umbrella, too.

~Amalia~

Monday, October 16, 2006

Countdown

Only 257 days until I become Mrs. Kinne! I can't even believe how fast the time is flying by. If you want more details about us or our wedding plans, visit our wedding website:
www.theknot.com/ourwedding/HeatherMonroe&PaulKinne,Jr.

Let me know what you think!


~Amalia~

Finally

I finally broke that two week weight plateau. I got on the scale Sunday morning and weighed in at 176.2. Yes! I ate like a pig Saturday, too. Bear and I went to Kittery with my parents and then to Freeport. We weren't shopping for anything in particular, and I ended up only buying one small thing for my brother and his wife for Christmas, but we had a ton of fun. Kittery Trading Post is HUGE! They had lots of great bear stuff that Bear liked. Their clothes were way overpriced, but Southern Maine is a different economic climate than the rest of the state, so I don't the the yuppies from Portland even noticed. My parents took us out to breakfast at The Railroad Cafe, a little place in Richmond. It was good food, but filled me up fast. I had bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and cinammon raisin toast. Yum! For lunch we went to Friendly's in Kittery. Not fancy food, but hot fast and cheap (my three requirements). I had a honey mustard chicken burger (to know me is to know that I LOVE honey mustard). For dessert (my FAVORITE part of any meal) we went to the Ben and Jerry's Ics Cream store right next to L.L. Bean. I had a small scoop of Phish Food. My stomach was in revolt by the time I was half way through it, but it was so worth it. Of course, then my parents and Bear had to stand around for fifteen minutes while I was in the bathroom, trying not to stink the other ladies out. I took a Lactaid before eating, but I don't think it's strong enough to handle ice cream. Ugh. Man I miss the days when I could eat whatever I wanted and have no problems.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Plateau

I was doing so well! I lost twelve pounds. Yeay me! I think it went to my head a little, because I haven't budged in two weeks. I am right around 178 every day. One morning I was 177.6, and that was terrific, but I haven't seen it since. Arg!
Why am I sabotaging myself? I had Pepsi every night with dinner last week, and I baked three batches of cookies, too. I haven't done my yoga DVD or even taken a walk in two weeks. It's like I decided that 178 was enough loss. IT ISN'T!! I asked Bear if we could go for a walk tonight, and he said we could try. The thing is, by the time we get home we are both so exhausted, it's hard to want to get up and move around. But we must be able to muster a stoll around the block, right? How hard can that be? I don't have to make dinner tonight (his turn), so I should have a tiny bit more energy than usual.

We are in the midst of wedding planning. I need to call party rental vendors for price lists. I'm hoping to have a place booked and deposit down by the end of the month. I don't want our wedding date to be booked! We need to rent tents, tables, chairs, porta-potties and possibly a dance floor. Bear and I got sticker shock when we saw the photographers rates, so we are hoping to get a budget set up soon. The photographer is a friend of my mom's so we are getting the "not-quite-family" discount, but still. I love her and she takes awesome photos, but DAMN is she expensive! She did tell my mom that we don't have to get a package if we don't want to, which is nice. Her packages range from $1480 to $4000!
Mom wants me to figure out what flowers I want in my boquet. Tables are going to have white chrysanthemums in red & blue vases, but I want red, white and blue flowers in my boquet. What are some good, cheap flowers in those colors? I think roses are overdone and overpriced, so those are out. Daisies, lillies, any type of wildflower are all acceptable. Suggestions, anyone?

I'm monitoring detention tonight (ugh). Three kids are staring at me, not even pretending to get work done. *sigh* Why does detention punish me??

~Amalia~

Monday, October 09, 2006

Switch-hitter

I just switched to Blogger Beta. I made some changes to my blog and I think it looks nice, even if I do say so myself. Let me know what you think!

~Amalia~

Playing Favorites

This is probably my favorite photo of Bear and me. It was taken about a month and a half after we started dating, and was the first weekend I'd spent at his place. I don't think it could have been a better weekend; the weather, the company... everything was perfect.
Little did I know that awesome weekends were going to become a staple of our relationship. Since this photo was taken, we have been to Bar Harbor, California, camping in the woods and bumming around home. We've spent weekends working on household chores and projects, weekends running errands, weekends catching up on laundry, dishes, and each other. We've visited relatives, hid from neighbors, spent entire days curled around each other and a few alone, doing our own thing. Every single weekend has been perfect. Every Monday we return to work missing the other more than we thought we would. We text messages like, "thanks for another awesome weekend, Baby" and "only five more days until we can spend the day together again". I wish I had photos of all of our perfect weekends, like I do of the first one. I wish I could spread out the happiness on the floor, creating a giant collage of us-ness.
Then I'd have dozens of favorite photos like this one.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ripping off the band-aid

So a blogger that I read daily (www.britehope.blogspot.com) says that removing a toxic friend from your life is a lot like ripping off a band-aid. It hurts at first, but at least you're done. I have to admit I'm still in the hurting phase, but at least my mind is clear now, and I can look ahead with a smile instead of a furrowed brow.

The last few months with this friend that I've ripped off of my life have been very painful. You know how some people cut themselves, because as bad as it feels, it is at the same time relieving other pains they feel? That's what I did with T. I used to listen to her tell me about the things she was doing, the places she was going, the stuff she just bought or that was bought for her. I lived on these tidbits of information, totally ignoring the fact that every single one of them made me feel bad about ME. She may never have done this on purpose, but the effect is the same. When she became engaged, I should have been happy, and I was on one level. But on another I knew that my time of being special was over. The time of her asking me about my plans without one-upping me with her own was over. But like a masochist, I read her blogs, found her name on the knot and wededings.com, pouring over the details she'd written, agonizing over what she hadn't. The groomsmen lists are filled out, but only the maid of honor on her side. Is she afraid to put up names because she knows that mine won't be on there? WILL it be on there? What is she registering for? Are they going to have a DJ? What will their song be? I was drawn to everything she posted, fully expecting to be hurt by what was there. And I was - every time. I might not have been cutting my skin, but the feeling was the same.

So why bring it up? Because I'm hoping to be done that. I'm hoping that like the band-aid, that part of my life is over. I don't want to visit her blogs or web pages any more, I'm not going to see if she's commented on my blog (I know she's read it). I'm just going to move on. Maybe I can stop feeling bad about my own life and wedding if I stop comparing them with hers. I'm not sure how long it will take the toxic friend to work her way out of my system, but at least I've taken the first step to recovery by tearing the band-aid off.

Thanks Sue.

~Amalia~

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An afterthought

If you read my last blog, you're up to date on the drama. I was making dinner and playing back the conversation in my head, and I realized something - she thinks I chose red and blue as my colors because they were colors that SHE wanted years ago. It couldn't be further from the truth! Here are the real reasons I am picking country apple and Navy blue as my wedding colors:

1. Bear and I couldn't agree on what colors the groomsmen's shirts should be. I knew I wanted country apple (a dark red), but Bear didn't want green, yellow, or orange in any shade. When I mentioned blue, he agreed, as long as it was dark blue. That was in March.

2. Tablecloths, napkins, paper plates and decorations will be available that time of year in those colors. I am getting married Fourth of July weekend, after all. And to be completely honest - being able to buy cheap decorations and paper products will be a sizeable portion of our budget. I can buy those cheaper at Wal Mart than I can in diferent colors at a wedding supply store.

So there you have it, the real reasons I am having red and blue colors at my wedding. I wasn't copying anyone or stealing anyone's ideas, I was making practical choices I thought everyone could live with. I'd even forgotten that T had chosen those colors in the first place. And in my defense, T wasn't engaged or even planning on getting married when Bear and I picked our colors. We weren't thinking about her at all.

~Amalia~

Mushroom cloud

That's what the conversation I just had looked like. A nuclear explosion.
So my best friend Beatrice and I had the conversation that's been heading our way for weeks. She was very courageous and started the conversation, giving me a list of all of the things she's been thinking about lately. The rundown: She feels that every time we talk she leaves upset or crying. That getting married which should have brought us closer, has actually caused a rift in our relationship. That is true. Then it was my turn, and I told her that she had no idea how much it hurt that she is getting married on a day that I can't be there, that I need her as a friend more than she needs me as friend (a fact I was reminded of when she couldn't commit to me being a bridesmaid). I told her that whether she intended to or not, every time she talked about a $1,000 dress or the swanky reception hall she booked, it made me feel like I was ... less... in some way. That it made me feel less like the princess every woman should feel like before her wedding. That's why I haven't been calling her as much.
Bea replied that it was never her intention, that what I'm doing is unique to Bear and me, etc. I told her that I'd read her blog and that I know, I just know, that her other wedding color is going to be red. She started yelling at that point, saying "You've known for five years that I've always wanted to get married on the fourth of July and have red white and blue as my wedding colors! That was my idea first! You KNOW that's what I wanted to do. When you first told me what you're colors were going to be I was so hurt..."
I interrupted her, saying, "Let me finish! I'm not saying I have property rights to red white and blue. But to be fair, when I chose those colors, you were NOT engaged and had JUST told me that you were going to break up with Rambo because you couldn't see yourself with him, he was just wrong for you, you didn't know what you were still doing with him and you were going to break up with him as soon as you got back from Vegas!" (You noticed she wasn't going to miss the cool vacation, didn't you?) And what I said was true - she really was going to break up with him after their trip. They went ring shopping while they were in Vegas, and were engaged about a month later. Who does that? She screams, "I'm not discussing this with you! It hurts you to talk to me, it hurts me to talk to you, so we're done!" And hung up the phone. I HATE when people hang up on me, and she knows that.

So I guess she's right - we're done.
Terrilyn Dawn Lebel, you are no longer my friend. When you grow up and get rid of your imaginary tiara, you can call me. Until then, don't call, write, or otherwise contact me. You are a toxic friend, and I'm done letting you poison me.

Oh, and PS - you're out of the wedding, not getting invited, and you can KISS MY ASS! I'm KEEPING the red, white and blue colors, too. :-D

Oh, and PPS - You're right, I didn't call you on your birthday. I was busy. Not to mention I gave you your birthday presents a MONTH AGO! Isn't that enough?

~Amalia~

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Snuffleupagus

That's what I sound like, anyway. I am so sick! Runny nose, congestion (how does that work, exatcly?), head and ear aches becauwe of all the snot and sneezing like there's no tomorrow. In short, I'm not much fin to be round right now. Grr. Why do I always get sick on the weekend??

My Friday was a change from the normal routine as I went to the Maine Writing Project Effective Practices Conference. It was a good conference, even if it was hella far away (85 miles). I got to see my classmates from last summer which was fabulous - I didn't realize how much I missed them! Everyone looked wonderful.

As I was driving to Belfast that morning, I noticed something I just have to mention. I left my house at six a.m., so I saw loads of kids outisde waiting for their busses. I probably saw fifty kids. It was raining quite heavily, but not so much that I couldn't see that NONE of them were wearing a raincoat or carrying an umbrella. Not one! Where the hell are the parents?!?! Who lets there kids out in a downpour in nothing but a hooded sweatshirt? Cotton absorbs water quickly, but it doesn't dry quickly. Those kids were going to be damp the entire day. Is it really that hard to purchase a raincoat and give it to your kid? What does a cheap umbrella cost, two dollars? Come on, people, that is ridiculous.

There, now that I've vented, I feel much better. It's late, so I'm going to bed, but I promise to write more soon. Sweet dreams!

~Amalia~

Monday, September 25, 2006

Cue the Cheesy Inspirational Music

I did it!!! I broke 180 pounds for the first time this morning. The scale said 179.6. Woo hoo! I'm so excited. Usually on the weekends I end up gaining weight, but this weekend we visited Bear's Godparents, so she cooked for us instead. I even said no to ice cream when we went to the mall! ME! Bear, his god mother and his god nephew (?) all had ice cream, and I - if you can believe it - had water. Willpower 1, Temptation 0. Can you tell how excited I am?
As a reward, I am going to drive straight home and WALK to the post office. I might take the dog, make a social visit out of it. Then again, I will walk faster without her. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that. It's only about a half mile away, but the more exercise I do the faster I'll be at 175.

Bear has spent the last week searching for a honeymoon for us. We've hit a snag in that everything is expensive, and we have no money to spend up front to reserve tickets or spots. We found an ideal honeymoon at a resort in Jamaica that's in our price range. We can afford it with the money we should get at the wedding, but there's no way the deal will be around then. Today he suggested that we stick around Maine for the week after we're married and do a tour of the coast, then do Jamaica in February when we can both really use it. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I'm thinking on it hard.

Speaking of Bear, he's been working overtime at the mill to earn extra money for the wedding. How sweet is that? His job is exhausting already, and here he is working until dark everynight to earn some money. I suggested that I get another job, but he didn't think that I should since would get a low paying job and never see him - he can make more money in less time at the mill. Good point.
I've been up to my elbows in chores the past two weeks - laundry, dishes, vaccuming, picking up cat puke, etc. I was getting a little bit perturbed at what I perceived to be an imbalance in household chores, but since Bear is doing all that extra work, I think we're even. Besides, Bear and I struck a deal about the dishes (I'll tell you next time).

~Amalia~

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Remember that Wedding Bug?

I think I have a fever from its bite. No kidding - it seems all I can think about lately is wedding stuff. I dont' want to talk about new bands I'm into, my students (who ar epretty great, by the way), my family - all I want to talk about is what we have planned and what needs to be done and what we can/can't do, etc. It's like the college-educated, articluate, fairly well-read person inside of me took a vacation and left me with the emotional, stressed out wedding planner. What gives?

Okay, so maybe it's true that I believe in getting married one time only. Not because of religious or cultural reasons, I just believe on making a decision and sticking with it. I don't make decisions lightly for that reason. I know without a doubt that Bear and I will have an amazing life together. Its the fact that I never had any doubts that showed me this. I never thought, "do I really love him?" or "Is this moving too fast?" or "Can I really be married to him forever?" because I knew the answers to all of those questions without asking (yes, no and yes respectively). In my previous relationships, I was always plagued by doubts. This turned out to be a good thing, because they really weren't such good guys in the end. It took a long time to figure it out, but I did. Too long, some would say, but that goes back to my desicion-sticking.

So if this is going to be my only wedding, shouldn't it be exactly what I want? I have a hard time listening to my voice first - if someone says why don't you do this, I hate to say no to them. That's what had me in some ugly wedding dresses the one time I went shopping with my mom. It's also why I'm not getting married in a small ceremony at my aunt's house - other people said that it would be a logistical nightmare (and they aren't completely wrong). It's beautiful there, though. The website for their farm is www.tidemillfarm.com They have 1,700 acres of ocean-fronted land. They even have two mountains!!

I've accepted that I can't have that as my wedding. My parents also originally didn't want me to get married at their house, but TOUGH! I want the senic view, the outdoors, all of it. I want to get married on land that I grew up on, worked on, played on. I want my mobility challenged grandmother to be there. She's 91 and has a broken back. She can make it down to the pond. If someone has to drive her, they will.
I've had to make some other sacrifices, too. There are going to be many more people at the ceremony than originally planned. I want the reception to immediately follow the wedding (pictures will be done before), and there's no way to keep people out of the wedding when all they have to do is walk down the hill. Can you imagine the distraction? My mom is doing all kinds of things for the reception, and I'm going to just have to let her do it. So I wouldn't have had jellybeans as table favors... so what? If it makes her happy and its one less thing I have to worry about, I guess I'll just have to let her. Although she also wants my cousin to be my maid of honor, and I don't want her to be. I haven't said no firmly to that, but maybe I should. The problem is, who should I have in my bridal party? I can't believe that this is such a hard question, but it IS. My best friend was (and still might) be my maid of honor, but she's getting married four days later. I just want my day to be all about me. I don't want a stressed out future bride on my hands and I don't want people to talk about HER wedding instead of mine. Selfish, I know, but no one's going to talk about mine at hers, so isn't that fair?? Maids of honor have a lot of responsibilities, and I don't want to overburden her with mine when she has so many already. I can't even GO to her wedding, not that I think I would have been in the bridal party anyway. She never came out and said it, but I think it would have happened. I can't even begin to tell you how much that stings.

Finally, Bear and I have been scouring the internet looking at all possible honeymoon options. Its beginning to look like we aren't going to get to do anything we want - we wanted a cruise (too expensive), we wanted the Caribbean (too expensive) we wanted Scotland and Ireland (too expensive). It turns out that ALL of our extra money will be spent on the wedding with none left over for a celebration alone on some far flung shore. We thought about registering for a cruise so that people put money towards that instead of buying us gifts, but what happens if we don't get enough? Can we back out? I don't know.

Today I am going to read my Women's Health magazine and try not to stress. I am going to do my Yoga DVD and laundry and dishes and NOT talk about anything wedding related for the entire evening. I'll let you know how I did tomorrow.

~Amalia~

PS Another blogger that I read religiously (www.britehope.blogspot.com) mentioned me in her post! It was the coolest thing EVER. So here's her shout out: Sue - you ROCK!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Good, Bad, and the Disappointing

The Good - I BOUGHT MY WEDDING DRESS! I got it yesterday at David's Bridal. I went with three dresses in mind rom my first visit, but I swore I would look around before I forced myself to choose one of them. I took a swing by the $99 rack, which are dresses that are discontinued (the leftovers from the previous season). There were about thirty dresses on the rack, and only one that I liked that was in my size. Well, actually, it was a 14, and all the dresses I'd tried on last time were 16s, but for $99 I figured it was worth a shot. Helen, aka Nana, the lady helping me flitted about picking the dresses I'd tried on before and getting my undergarments ready. This time instead of getting me a bustier she brought me a microfiber slip thing that was less constricting and hot. I slipped it on and she helped me put the dresses on. I modeled them in the mirror and was able to quickly rule out two of the five that I had. The third dress I tried on was the one with the red embroidery on it, and I still liked it, but wasn't sure about it. I was just worried that I'd look on those pictures ten years from now and wish I'd stuck with plain white. The fourth dress I tried on was the $99 one. It fit wonderfully and looked awesome. It was a sheath, so it wasn't too poofy, it was a nice length, and had some nice crystal beading on the top and side. It also had a side gather, which is very flattering on my figure. At that time Bear showed up and came back to see what I was up to. His first thought was, "Oh, God, I wonder how much that one costs." It should be mentioned there that I don't mind that he sees the dress. More on that another day. I told him that it was under a hundred dollars, but that I wanted him to see the other two finalists, too. I put the red one back on and he said that he liked it but wasn't crazy about it (same as me). Yeay, I was down to TWO choices! The other dress was my favorite from the first time, another sheath, this one with a cowl neck and a lower cut back. This time it zipped up, which it didn't do last time. That was very exciting. Wasn't I just saying the other day that I wanted proof of my weight loss? But once it was on, I didn't think it looked as good as the cheap dress. Bear agreed. My best friend had arrived by that point to return my camera, and she agreed, too. So for once in my life, I liked the cheapest option best! I can't even believe it. I will take some pictures of it so that I can post them here. I bought the dress, a red sash to give it some color, jeweled flip flops for getting out of the boat and a garment bag for a grand total of $136.66. Can you even believe it?

The Bad - I went to my dress appointment alone. Bear drove me down, and he gets huge kudos for that, but my best friend, my mom, NO ONE could come with me. My mom didn't even WANT to come. How can my own mom not want to see me get a wedding dress? I never thought I'd be twenty-five and have problems finding people to care about me and what's going on in my life. Beatrice did have her own appointment to go to, but she didn't invite me to hers, and something kept me from asking her to come to mine. If I hadn't wanted my camera back so badly, I don't think we'd have seen each other. I did give her her birthday presents (eleven months late, but they were hand made!), so who knows when I will see her again? It just seems that there is a huge chasm of unspoken stuff between us. I'm not sure what to do about it. I've been sitting on a world of emothional stuff dealing with her, knowing that if I mention it it will just push her further away. At the same time, last night Bear had to deal with me in tears last night. Trust me when I say I'm not a pretty crier. Beatrice and I need to talk, but I think part of me wants to wait and see if everything will just blow over, and in a year when everything is said and done, maybe it won't matter any more.

Disappointing - My childhood favorite bakery, McDonanld's Bakery, is no more. The cook, McDonald, sold his bakery. The new owners are no where near as good as he was, and life will never be the same. No sugar creme rolls, no eclairs, not even a single gingerbread man. It was so disapointing. I felt bad for taking Bear there. He will never know the sugary goodness that was McDonald's Bakery. Sigh.

But you know what? I've got my dress!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Not Quite So Close

This morning I was very excited to get on the scale. I thought for SURE I'd be at 179.8. I hopped on, and quess what I weighed? 180.4. Sigh. Am I ever going to break the 180 barrier? I did well yesterday - I did my yoga DVD (okay, so I didn't do the last progression, but Bear came home right then and I look like a fool with my legs in the air and my face all red and sweaty). I had a chicken stir fry for dinner with white rice and tons of veggies (green and red peppers and onions). No dairy at all for TWO days! Grrr. I want to know that I am going in the right direction. It's hard to know that if I don't see results. I've never dealt well with the theoretical. I need proof, damnit!
Tonight Bear and I are driving to my parents' (two weekends in a row!) so that I can buy my dress in Portland on Saturday. I still don't know which one I want to buy. I'm hoping inspiration strikes once I'm there. Bear wants to go to a local bakery in my hometown for breakfast on Saturday. On the one hand I am really excited to show him a staple of my childhood, but on the other hand I know what a tremendous calorie-overloaded temptation all of those sweets are going to be. Honey-glazed doughnuts, chocolate sugar-cream rolls, bismarks, double Dutch chocolate muffins, butterflake rolls... the list of tasty fattening treats goes on and on. How will I resist?
I had a dream last night that I asked my best friend what her song is going to be at her wedding. You know, the first song the couple dances to? In the dream, she said the song that has meant quite a lot to Bear and I for our entire relationship. It has been recently released on the radio, and is rapidly gaining popularity. I just looked at her and said, "No." When she said that I wasn't the boss of her wedding, I replied, "If you use that song, I will not be your friend any more. It has meaning to Bear and I that it doesn't have for you. No." She hung up on me, and used the song anyway. I was so hurt.
I know it's just a dream, but what is the etiquette for that sort of thing? She's getting married four days after I am. I'm not going to be at her wedding because Bear and I will be out of the country on our honeymoon. Do I have a right to veto a song? Does she? Is it first-come-first-serve, or do you not have any rights to a wedding song? I don't think my dream conversation would ever happen (she couldn't possibly be THAT mean), but what if it did? What will I do? Is it that terrible to want even one thing to be our own, that no one else has done or is doing?

I'm confused. Help!