Monday, July 30, 2007

Post-weddingness, the job hunt, and small town affairs

It's hard for me to determine what things I should blog about and what things I shouldn't. I feel that I have a number of ideas of things I could write about, but if I wrote about everything I thought of, it would take forever. I heard a podcast recently that discussed the impact of blogs and how blogs are the new photo album/scrapbook of our time. The blogger they had on was a mother and there was a discussion of what this woman was leaving behind for her child as she blogged about his developmental milestones as well as all of her frustrations and difficulties trying to be a good parent. I know that what I write now is what I'll have to look back on in the future. How do I narrow that down? What's more important, a log of my day-to-day experiences? My take on what I see in the news or on what I read? My general feelings about life in the abstract?

Speaking of blogging...Way to go, Jake! You've rejoined the blogging community. Keep it up! (For those of you who don't know, Jake decided recently to make his own list of 50 things to do before our second wedding anniversary. He also added a post to his blog, which he hasn't done in quite some time...) Now we need to keep tabs on each other and try to get each other to do the things on our lists.

Things post-wedding have been going great. Jake and I had an enjoyable day in Madison right after the wedding, when all the stress was over with. We had a nice breakfast at the Arbor House (where we stayed), opened gifts, went to the Art Fair on the Square, and had our first "married date" (dinner at Lombardino's and Michael Moore's new movie)that evening. We organized our apartment not long after we got back and took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. We've gone on a camping trip to Shenandoah and took the time to play games and hang out with Jon, Ellen, Rob, & Christine. I now have almost all of my thank-yous written and hope to get them mailed this week. Our official marriage license came in the mail and Jake was able to add me to his health insurance policy. Now the main things I have to work on are a lot of the name change stuff and finding a job...

I have an interview Wednesday for a job as a career counselor. It sounds like a different sort of job. It's career counseling through the NIH for postdocs...I'm not sure how helpful I could be in that capacity or exactly how much career counseling postdocs really need...

Jobs...eek. I'm so not sure what I want to do. It's nice in a way to not have a job right now, but I feel insecure about it, too.

I have a lot of things to look forward to in my calendar. We're planning to go tubing down the Potomac this upcoming weekend. We'll probably have another poker tournament in a couple of weeks. We're flying to Chicago in another month to go to Dan's wedding. Tonia is having a bridal shower at the beginning of September, which will be interesting if I go to it. We're driving with Jon and Ellen to Penn State in mid-October to see some Badger football. And, Sarah might come visit at the end of October!! Yay!

There is drama back home regarding Princeton High School, a scholarship, and my brother. There appears to be a case of favoritism which caused school officials to award a $9,000 scholarship (which should have gone to my brother due to his class rank) to another student (who has a parent that is a teacher/coach at Princeton). My brother tried to find out about what was going on with it and the principal was unable to satisfactorily explain to him why this other student got the scholarship. In fact, my brother's investigations into this scholarship prompted the principal to write Cory a letter about how she regretted "advocating" for him when he asked that he receive credits for some independent studies he has taken under the technology teacher at the high school. My parents are going in to speak it all before the school board. I don't know what to say about this...I hope it gets addressed. I'm tempted to tell my family they should get a lawyer and look into suing. I'm not exactly sure what kind of a case they have, though...and I wouldn't want to be responsible for telling my parents to spend a couple thousand dollars on a lawyer if they lost.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Template Change

Jake said my blog was hard for him to read and hurt his eyes. So, I'm changing the look of things. Hmm...this kind of sucks, but I'm tired of playing around with the colors...

Friday, July 20, 2007

"We must be the change we want to see in the world"

I've been thinking about college and about Chadbourne in particular lately. Seeing all the former Chadbornians at my wedding reminded me of what great people lived in that building. To me, it doesn't seem that such a large number of ethical, concerned individuals would have come out of other random college dorms. Do you think that people wind up gravitating towards other people with similar mindsets?

When Cory was looking at dorms, I suggested that he consider Chadbourne as his top choice. He wasn't interested in it at all. He's going to live in Kronshage. It'll actually probably work out well for him. I can imagine him out there on the lakeshore, running around with a bunch of equally sporty guys, kicking around a soccer ball or something. I suppose he fits there better than in a dorm with Star Trek interest groups and Forum meetings. (Ha! I also just made myself think about the intra-mural soccer team I was on with some Chadbournians..."Catastrophic Failure". We changed our name to that from "Bucky's Finest" because our team was gawky, non-athletic, and lost our first game 14-0...classic.)

Oh, Chadbourne. Do you other Chadbourne people agree with me that there was probably a higher percentage of "geeks" in our dorm? In retrospect, I think it was a little more likely that people in Chadbourne were a bit socially awkward. Myself included.

Wow, looking back on college is kind of like watching a "Revenge of the Nerds" movie in my head...haha, just kidding...

The subject of children has come up several times lately. I guess it's one of those things people talk to you about when you get married. I guess everyone figures it's like that song: "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage." Lelani asked me a few times while I was home when I was thinking about having kids. When I went to pick up my marriage certificate, they included a little pamphlet on prenatal health in the packet of stuff they gave me. I thought that was amusing.

Anyway, I'm not thinking about having kids any time very soon. Jake and I both agree that we'll probably take at least a couple years to enjoy ourselves for a while before having kids. Another thing I'm really considering is having a social network set up that I feel will support us when we have a family (I'm not sure I'd have enough of one to have a kid right now while in DC). I remember looking at the research while I was in grad school and thinking to myself about this. I remember being struck by the idea that children who grow up with parents who say they feel that they have social support wind up being generally more stable and secure. That's what I want when I have kids. I want to know that I have people I can call up and help out. I want to know that there will be people willing to babysit...that there will be people willing to listen to my problems...that there will people there just to hang out with and laugh with now and again, etc...I definitely think that's key in handling the stresses of parenthood and with raising well-balanced children.

This all relates back to what college life was like. I read something recently that said living in close company with others is actually what we're ideally suited for evolutionarily and that this is why many people remember their college years as "the best years of their life". Yes, Emily, Sarah, Laura, Liz, and Brighton...I'd do it all over again. Nevermind the spats about which way the tines of the forks should go in the was all worth it to have you all around all the time. I learned new things, tried new things I wouldn't have on my own, laughed a lot, and always felt that there was someone at home to spend time with if I didn't want to lock myself away in my room and study. I'm glad also that we have blogs, etc. to keep in touch because I really don't want to lose any of you. I'm serious. Call me anytime.

I'm not sure how to end this and I'm kind of I'll just stop.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I feel like there are a million things I want to blog about right now. I never got around to saying anything about our trip to Canada and now there's all this stuff that happened post-wedding I wouldn't mind writing about either...

Anyway, I think the first thing I want to say before I get to anything else is that I'm really happy about how our wedding turned out. It was a lot of fun and quite memorable (although stressful). I was really surprised and touched by the generosity and the well-wishes from many people. I feel incredibly lucky to have such great friends and family. I'm really happy I got to spend some time in Madison and it was a great reminder of what a fantastic city it is, filled with friendly and intelligent people.

Well, I've been doing a lot of blogging this morning, so I want to take a break. Hopefully, I'll be able to get around to writing about some of the other non-wedding stuff I want to get to sometime soon...

The Top Ten Things to Consider When Having a Wedding.

1. Think about getting a wedding planner.

I originally thought this was probably a waste of money. However, on the day of the wedding, I really felt that I wanted someone else to be there to field everyone's questions and concerns. I wanted someone else to be in charge so I could just enjoy myself and not have a million worries. People kept asking, "What's happening with ...?" "When are we doing...?" "Are we going to...?" Most of the time my answer was, "I don't know..."

Maria, I want to take this opportunity to tell you that I love you. You stepped it up at the end of the night. Way to get on the people at the Union so that we could get a cart for our gifts and way to tell that boy working there exactly how to wrap up that leftover cake. You rock. I was so tired of flagging down people to explain things and straighten things out at that are a savior. Okay, maybe you don't need a wedding planner per se, but you need to have a go-to person that isn't you...

2. Skip having anything religious, if possible.

Really, if you can get the vows down to: "Do you?" "Yes" "Do you?" "Yes", it would be ideal. I didn't need all this junk about how I needed to submit to Jake like the church submits to Christ or whatever. Also, I feel that religion is a major factor causing hatred and divisiveness in the world. It's definitely the reason certain people did not show up to our wedding ceremony. Yes, I said people...although I know everyone is probably thinking of a certain person in our wedding party...

I wonder how it would have worked out if I would have just gone with a justice of the peace. I think my mom would have eventually dealt with it. Oh well...too late now.

On a somewhat related sidenote: I was digging around in some boxes while I was at home in Princeton and I found this workbook from a class I took in 7th or 8th grade while at the Lutheran school called "Faith Shakers". I decided that I had to take it back to Virginia with me because it is just far too amusing...the book gives a little history and some idea of the teaching of various "cults" and then suggests Bible passages to look up in order to refute their teachings. It also includes a checklist of "Telltale Signs" that a religion is a cult. I think it's hilarious that the only "Telltale Sign" that Humanism (basically a belief in science...what I'd consider myself to follow right now...) is a cult is that it "Claims a written authority besides the Bible." Hahaha. Another favorite part of the book for me is a little list of points to keep in mind when responding to members of "cults". A key point is: "Don't argue. Logic will never work in explaining a faith." Yup... just hold onto your illogical beliefs and be proud in deluding yourself that you're "right".

3. Don't register for a punch bowl.

While we were registering for stuff, a punch bowl sounded like such a fun thing. Like, "Yeah...we could have a party with punch! It'll be fun!" We opened it in front of our parents and my mom was like, "The punch bowl that I have always gets in the way and I never know what to do with it." Now that we have the punch bowl at home, I can see what she means. There really isn't a compact and practical place for us to store it in our apartment...and I have a feeling it's not going to get a lot of use. Currently, it's on top of a shelving unit we put into the kitchen and all of our bottles of alcohol are stacked on top of it. The alcohol nearly touches the ceiling. Now I definitely have to get something to stand on if I'm going to pour myself a drink. Sorry, Jake's high school friends who bought us the punch is just a large, impractical thing.

4. Tell your friends to clearly identify which cards and gifts are from them.

A lot of cards and stuff got shuffled around and some bagged gifts were dumped together when people helped us load the gifts from the Union and transport them to the hotel room. I'm still working out a bit of confusion over this. Elizabeth Baker, you are a genius. Good job attaching a swatch of the wrapping paper you used on the vacuum to the front of the envelope for your card. I'm totally using this idea the next time I go to a wedding.

5. Tip people off to let them know what stuff on your registry you actually want.

I caught wind that my brother was thinking about buying Jake and me more kitchen stuff. I knew that we already had a lot of kitchen stuff coming already and that it was going to be a tight squeeze in our cupboards, so I told Cory camping stuff would be more ideal. So, Cory was the only person to get us camping stuff. Good job, Cory. I really did want a tent and that picnic set you got us.

6. Invite all your random fun friends.

Matt T kept that dance floor hopping all night long. Matt VL brought along fake mustaches. It's stuff like that that makes a wedding actually fun.

7. Serve alcohol.

Oh, alcohol. The magic it can work on a crowd and the memories it can create. My brother got up and danced with Matt T, which I don't think I could have paid him to do sober. Jake's brother went over and drunkenly asked his mom, "Is Cory, like, Candy's sister?" Yup, the things alcohol can make people say and do...

8. Get someone you like and get along with to take photographs.

This is a person that will be pulling you aside all day long and you will have to spend a considerable amount of time with. Don't bother with someone who tells corny jokes and with whom you have next to nothing in common with... I was so relieved when the photographer told me he was leaving for the evening. I felt freed in a way. I think we will end up with some nice pictures, but I sort of wish that the person taking the pictures was someone I felt was on the same wavelength as me...

9. Remember you have on a huge, crazy dress.

I temporarily forgot that I was wearing something that would make me look out of place when I suggested that we go find a seat on the Terrace and wait for our photographer to meet up with us. We walked in front of everyone out there and a got a round of applause from a few hundred people. Wow, I wasn't prepared in my head for that to happen... So, you have to be prepared to be a celebrity for a day. It can be a bit of an ego boost. You have people randomly coming up to you wanting to have their picture taken with you. You have things happen like a crowd of random drunk girls yelling at you, "Woo! You are a sexy, sexy bride! We love you!"

10. Skip the huge, crazy dress if possible.

It's a pain. It's hot. It's itchy. It's uncomfortable. It's an invitation for all sorts of people to come up and touch you all day long. The bustle on my dress kept falling and people came to drag me off the dance floor a couple of times. I ripped that dress off my body before Jake could come back into our hotel room after saying goodbye to his parents in the parking lot and thanking them for helping us get the gifts to the hotel...I just could not stand to be in that thing any longer.