Posted in Life, Uncategorized

The fun never ends…

The fun of realizing you forgot to change your last name after getting married on yet one more thing. Today I called two billing companies to see about changing my last name on the account, as even though I’ve had 7 months in which to remember to do so, I hadn’t. Until now. One place needs to see my license or marriage license, the other did it easily over the phone. And then was shortly called back as I realized my middle initial was then (or had it always been and I just didn’t notice?) wrong.

I’m now trying to remember if there are any other bills I’ve forgotten to update. Besides the name I’m on our lease with… I need to change that still… Despite paying rent every month and having ample opportunity when dropping off the check to do ask about changing my name.

But aside from that, all I can think of is my passport. It’s not like I’ll need it anytime soon, but it would be nice to not have major issues updating it. It’s just time consuming as I even need to include a new picture. But hey! That means I’ve already done my research on how to change my name on my passport, which is more than can be said about my lease.

Oh, and there is that one bank account…

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

D.C. 2017, Day 4

Day 4 (Sunday) was our final day. And technically, most of it was not spent in D.C. After sleeping in a bit (three late nights in a row plus all the walking we did finally worked), we packed up and had brunch with second cousin and friend/ex. We went to a place that was apparently second cousin’s favourite place to have breakfast in the area, where most of the workers know him by sight and had to ask what had happened to his arm and shoulder.

Sadly, once brunch was done, it was time to head home. We took the same route back, but seeing all the lovely mountains and hills first made the flatness of Ohio and Indiana that much more apparent  – and sad. It was also weird not walking five miles that day…

Nevertheless, it was a great trip back home, complete with lively discussion in the first part, and all sorts of music and dancing to it in the second half! I also learned that I am so self-conscious about my dancing that I would start laughing as soon as my cousin looked at me. And would laugh for about a minute while probably turning a little red. Or as she put it, “you dance for 30 seconds and then laugh for a minute”. Yeah… So we worked on that by me trying to dance even more than normal and her not looking at me directly or for long. I actually made it several minutes. Improvement!

We ended our trip driving into the sunset and listening to the last couple songs (plus the second one, “Concerning Hobbits”) of The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack, “The Breaking of the Fellowship” and “May it be”. Perfect epic and melancholy soundtrack to the ending of a trip.

Okay, that was actually the end of the cousin road trip part of the trip, I had to drive an hour further to get home to my husband.

Posted in Libraries, Life, Uncategorized

D.C. 2017, day 3

This was our slow day. We spent the morning hanging out with second cousin and his temporary live-in nurse/friend/ex, had plantains and fish sauce for lunch, then went out for few hours to see the Library of Congress, the Capitol, and the Botanic garden. Sadly, we hadn’t realized they all closed earlier than the other sights, so while we did indeed see the Library of Congress (which I loved!), we were too late to see inside the Capitol, and were chased out of the Botanic Gardens after about fifteen minutes. Apparently wen the outside garden there must be locked up at 5:30…

The good thing about such a slow day was that we didn’t have as much walking to do! All three places were fairly close together even. Unfortunately, I ruined the maybe two miles we’d have walked all day by needed to stop by a store to pick up a couple things, is trying to walk to one that would mint be too far out of our way from a metro stop, and the two we tried to get to being either non-existent or closed already! That seemed to add two miles to our day…

The actually good thing about the day’s sights was how much I loved the Library of Congress. From painted ceilings to mosiac floors to gorgeous stonework. They had quotes painted on some of the ceilings, which were excellent fodder for thought (some I liked, some I disagreed with), as well as authors’ names in another section. Some ceilings in different rooms were 3D and gold against red, while others were simpler.

Also exciting was the fact that they had a display of Thomas Jefferson’s library collection, albeit a small one. Despite much of the collection burning shortly after he sold it to congress, they had many of the originals! The books were marked with ribbons according to whether they were originals, ones bought to replace his immediately, and so on, including boxes marked with title for the books still missing. It was also organized according to the system he used. Amazing. And yes, nerdy librarian amazing.

Less nerdy was how much I enjoyed all the green and flowers at the botanic gardens. And all the selfies I took at all of these places including outside the Capitol. I’ve tried to not include them all here…

After all this, it was back to the second cousin’s apartment where we watched another movie and he fixed steak.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

D.C. 2017, day 2

DAY 2 of our D.C. 2017 trip involved another five miles of walking. Not that we were keeping track that precisely, but estimating our distances both times lead us to conclude we did a ton of walking. About five miles worth. Each day…

However, the walking was quite enjoyable – if painful – as it included visiting the Jefferson and Rosoovelt memorials, learning who George Mason was, seeing the MLK memorial, visiting a couple smithsonians (natural history and a brief venture into the air and space museum), and stopping and seeing the Smithsonian visitor center, otherwise known as “the castle”.

I had great fun nerding over everything space, as well as the two dinosaur skeletons on display, in their separate museums.

I also had great fun ooooing and ahhhing over how pretty the Jefferson memorial is, and sitting and enjoying the sun and waterfalls in the Rosoovelt memorial.

It was also nice to learn about George Mason, who was an early human rights defender as well as providing inspiration for several important political documents including the bill of rights.

I had less fun learning just how out of shape I am. My legs hurt when I woke up, basically. Just a little. But hurt a lot by the end of another long bout of walking!

Still, it was worth it. Despite the pain, despite the slight sunburn on my face, it was a great day.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

D.C. 2017, day 1

I’d never been to D.C. before, so when my cousin suggested I come out with her to see her brother and the sights, I was excited. We ended up driving instead of flying due to ticket costs, so most of the first day was taken up by an 8 hour drive through Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

But we finally made it. After hanging out with my second cousin for few hours, and having a delicious supper of basil tomato soup with shrimp and garlic bread, the first cousin and I took the metro out towards the national mall.

It was great. And cold. And a very lengthy walk that I started to feel towards the end. But have I mentioned how cool it was to see stuff mostly without the crowds and lit up? We saw an unidentified by us cool building, the White House, the Washington and Lincoln monuments, the Korean War memorial, and a distance view of the Jefferson monument. Then it was back on the metro! After not being able to use one station entrance because of the time…

Once on the metro, I in my stupidity decided it would be fine if we made our originally planned stop at a bookstore/cafe, even though it was late, we’d walked miles, driven even longer, certain of us were very short on sleep, and the second cousin (brother to first) was no longer going to meet us there and drive us back to his place then. So we stopped. Quickly. Just enough time to see they had a ton of cool books and to split a bowl of peach cobbler a la mode.

We rushed back to the metro then. In time to miss the train we needed in our confusion over why the track we thought we needed was closed. Turns out they were single tracking it. So we waited for the next one headed in the right direction. The one which might also be our last chance to get back to the apt without needing a taxi to do so…

We did make it. It was late, but we made. Although while we waited we were also privileged enough to be the recipients of a curse laden racist rant. My first time to hear a racist rant with that many “f***”s and “motherf*****s”. And it was aimed at us, which was also a first for me. We were both so glad when some other (also non-white) man came over and the ranting man left. I can’t imagine facing racism on a daily basis, however, so it was a good reminder that even if the racist rants I hear normally aren’t that curse-filled and making me nervous for our safety, they are making someone else afraid or at least aware of so much ingrained hate and they probably experience it far more frequently, if not daily. We all need to do our part to stop the hate.

And thus ended the first day in DC.

Posted in Tutorials, Uncategorized

Brochures

Most people probably don’t enjoy picking out brochure templates, deciding on colours, changing colours so fonts stand out – or don’t – and so on. I do. It’s a creative organization project, perhaps, or just enough of a creative puzzle to be fun. And when I told my boss a week ago that I was thinking about doing one as an updated tutorial on how to check out an ebook through our digital library, she was thrilled. And gave me a thumb drive with a brochure started on it about why to get a library card with us.

So, I did both. And a basic template look for our library (combing the new logo with a coordinating colour palate). And some options. I’d have to check the thumb drive again to see for sure, but there were six or eight brochures on that thumbdrive when I was done.

I also then either didn’t see my boss or forgot to mention them to her when I did. For a week. But she finally saw them yesterday and said said there were only a few changes that needed to be made. Success!

I just wonder which ones needed the changes… we somehow didn’t discuss that.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

Married at last!

…And for over a month… (Edit: It has now been over two months. It took me a month to write this blog post. It then took me another month to finish this post and add pictures…) I’ve mentioned previously about how my fiance and I weren’t going for the traditionally large and stressful wedding, but were going for simple and small (back in August, actually. Wow…), well, let me tell you that the way to do a low stress wedding is to plan it in less than 2 weeks. 12 days is more than enough if you have easy wedding dress needs or worked ahead and already have that, like I did. It happened like this…

My fiance still hadn’t found a job in my area, but we had finally found an apartment, and were going to sign on it at the end of October. We were figuring out when to move and had finally decided that gave us a month to plan a wedding, as we didn’t want to wait longer than thanksgiving. My fiance was then going to move in to the apartment the same day we signed for it, as his lease for his old apartment would be up after that weekend, while I move in after we got married. One Sunday a mere 12 days before that sign and move-in date, my parents were on their way to a family reunion when my mom jokingly asked why we didn’t just get married when his parents were already going to be in the area. I laughed, and had to tell my fiance that (via text, as normal). He mentioned it to his parents then, as he was having lunch with them. Turns out it was his great-grandparents wedding date. And his parents were okay with that idea. And when he texted back that he was actually okay with this (joking!) plan, I realized it was the only date that wasn’t making me feel stressed out and nervous. (All the dates we’d been looking at for a month in advance had been making me want to elope.) So, we decided to get married then. We still didn’t have a minister, but his best-man was a pastor, so could do it if our other options (a family friend I’d asked about the other dates or an uncle) didn’t work out. It turned out that when I told my mom, she freaked out in my stead. But my fiance and I were feeling good about this. After finally hearing back from the uncle that night with a no, and hearing back from the other guy with a no as well the next day, we went to plan C and his best-man was now our officiant. We still had no location, but my brother started brainstorming and mentioned that some of the large area churches were likely to have chapels we could use, as the first place I contacted that Sunday hadn’t gotten back with me yet. I called two churches before I had one – and the first church hadn’t answered. This church had a super helpful and friendly secretary and pastor – who even took pictures of their chapel and texted them to me, even though I also set up a viewing of it on Wednesday. A couple friends were still willing to help me out with flowers and make-up, and I decided to do my own hair so ordered hair products to help with that – as I was going to have to do it in the morning even though the wedding would have to be in the evening. And I would be helping my fiance move in the afternoon after signing the papers at 3:30. After taking care of a few other small details, we had most of a wedding planned. By Wednesday. (We finalized with the church Wednesday afternoon after also getting our marriage license and taking care of utilities that had to be ready for Friday.) I had a final dress fitting and we went shopping for ties for the men (I was the only female amongst two male attendants, my groom, and our officiant, and my then-fiance wanted to gift ties to them all – and I wanted them to coordinate with the flowers), as well as picking out a few songs to play for the ceremony and my then-fiance meeting with his friend and officiant to put together the ceremony outline, but that was all done by Saturday. And we still had a week before the wedding.

Honestly though, we both still stressed. We just didn’t stress about the wedding. We did, however, stress a lot about timing with everything, as the wedding was a mere three hours or so after signing papers for the apartment and moving my then-fiance into it, and people’s tempers throughout all of it. We were also trying to get his parents to be okay with him moving basically everything that first day, but not setting everything up, as he had a long-awaited table-top RPG to get to the next day (he was willing to miss it for me, but I’d been hearing about how hard it was to schedule it finally so told him to go to it). Another friend of mine had her son and his cousin come to help us move though, and despite my now-father-in-law getting lost with the u-haul full of stuff, we managed to get everything moved in and the bed and table set up before I had to leave for make-up. And no one had gotten super upset! (That I knew of then. Apparently my man-of-honour had ticked off my now-mother-in-law with a joking comment, but I’m trying to ignore that still.)

Aside from the stress of moving the same day (and not even separated by half a day), the wedding itself was simple, still lovely, funny at times (music got messed up because I wasn’t worrying about it and let other people give the instructions for how to run it; and the officiant almost skipped the part with the rings; at which time my brother, who was standing in as the best-man since the former best-man was now the officiant and couldn’t do both at once, couldn’t find my slender wedding band in his pocket), touching, and extremely low-stress in putting it together. I wholeheartedly recommend planning small weddings in two weeks or less.

 

Oh, and did I mention that my now-husband and I were still working and having our normal lives during all this? His last day at work was literally the morning of our move-in and wedding date (he worked third shift). Again, I wholeheartedly can and do recommend two weeks or less for wedding planing.