jackofallgeeks: (Enamoured)
[personal profile] jackofallgeeks
So I got a nudge from a long-standing friend of mine, so I thought I'd take
some time to write a note and try and catch you all up on how life's been
treating me.

The good news is that life's been pretty great. The bad news is that, since
LiveJournal has almost entirely been where I go to vent negative emotions, I
haven't needed to be around here as much. And with things like
Twitter and Facebook usurping the "stay connected with friends" aspect of
what LiveJournal once was to me, I'm spending even less time here, much to
the detriment of my LJ-only friends (and my own loss, since I'm about as out
of date on your lives as you are on mine). Add to that the fact that the
business decisiomns of LJ/Six Apart/whoever's running the show these days,
I'm not sure I'm long for this realm. It'll be sad when I finally do leave,
but I can't honestly say I'm not considering it.

(I'd like to say that this just means that I need to get reliable email
addresses for those I might be leaving behind, but I know myself, and I have
trouble keeping up a correspondence when things die down.)

So. Yeah. Didn't mean to start on such a down note. Life is going well.
Work is engaging and mostly enjoyable -- I've been here a year, but I'm
being recognized for my knowledge and ability, by both clients and
management, so that's cool. I got a really nice perfoprmance review, too,
so I'm hoping that translates into a promotion. With the wedding coming up,
a little extra money every month would be nice. (I'm also considering
dropping my TV and landline service -- I'm paying $140 a month for a bundle
of TV, phone, and Internet, but I never use the landline and my cable box
has been unplugged for most of the last 8 months. Internet service alone
couldn't cost more than half what I'm paying right now.)

The wedding planning is... Well, I usually say "going well," but to be
honest I don't even know what all is involved in planning a wedding, let
alone how far we've managed to get. Meghan's picked colors, and dresses for
the bridesmaids, and told me what sort of suits/tuxes she wants me and the
guys to wear. We sort of have a reception hall, but we lost the caterer we
were going to go with, and we're holding off (apparently) on making
anything official until we get a new one. we also don't have a
photographer, though we're only planning on having him for a few pictures
after the ceremony, and then having disposable cameras at each table at the
reception (something I've seen at a few weddings and thought was a GREAT
idea). We have a handful of things on our wedding registry (notably a
coffee maker and linens), though unsurprisingly Meghan seems to like really
fancy-looking designs and things and I tend toward the simple and
understated. And since we're talking about the decorations of day-to-day
life, it's harder for me to give in than, say, how she wants to dress up the
wedding. (It's my general opinion that it's more her day than mine,
anyways, in that 'all' girls dream about their wedding day -- and despite my
always wanting to get married, the details of this or that are less
particular for me.)

A big part of me wishes I could have you, my LJ fiends, come to the wedding
-- Mel and Sarah and Nick and Dawn. But even if it was reasonable for any
of you to make the trip, I'm afraid you'd each be terribly uncomfortable
being there. Maybe that's just me, but... -shrugs-

What else is going on? Oh, my little brother, Josh, got engaged. He's
actually in the same class as Meghan (though when he goes back for the
Spring semester, she's staying here and taking correspondence classes.) He
proposed to his then-girlfriend-of-two-years over Thanksgiving. They don't
have a date yet, but they're thinking sometime in the Summer of 2009, and
they're going to stay in this area (which is a good thing in my book). My
sister Beth, just shy of 13, has her first 'official' boyfriend, which is
cute and amusing and frightening all at once. I think all of you know that
dad retired from the Navy and got a job as a consultant/researcher thing.
Yeah, I'm not really clear on what he does, but that's nothing new.

Christmas was lots of fun. I spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with
Meghan's family; they got me a stocking full of chocolate, and several DVDs
(including The Dark Knight). More importantly, though, they got
themselves a Wii, and the boys were overjoyed. I trhink Bridget was also
pretty happy, and she definitely likes her American Idol game. She
and Katey also both got iPods, which they liked. Here it occurs to me that
none of you are familiar with Meghan's family, who I'm already considering
my own siblings. She has a younger brother (Corey, 20), then two younger
sisters (Katey and Bridget, 14 and 12), then three more younger brothers
(PJ, Michael, and Seamus, ages 10, 8, and 6).

We spent Christmas evening and the next couple days with my family. There I
got a few more DVDs, some sweaters, and Roborally (an awesome board
game), but more importantly I got gifts for my siblings -- Twilight
audiobooks for Jenny, a City of Heroes subscription for Gene, a
pirate expansion to Munchkin for Josh, the 1960's Casino
Royale
for Tim, Magic cards for Greg (also: I'm teaching Meghan
how to play MtG, and so far she likes it), Ender's Shadow for Beth,
music for Becky, and a Barbie DVD for Emi (she's really into Barbie right
now). More significantly, my siblings got Rockband 2 for the Wii, and we
spent a lot of time playing that (I have a goth-rocker named Guin who plays
bass for our band, the Wrought Iron Rose). Then we went back to Meghan's
parents' place and saw a stage production of "A Christmas Carol," which was
pretty well done. And now I'm back at work.

With Christmas day passed and presents opened, I'm now going to have few
excuses to not buy myself things, and I'm probably going to start by getting
a few additional D&D 4E books. I'm planning on running a (hopefully)
regular and (hopefully) long-running campaign with my brothers starting
after the wedding, but we'll see what happens with that. I have an idea of
a story, but I probably need to sit an digest it a little before it becomes
managable pieces that I can build a game off of. And nevermind the fact
that no one can really tell me where they'll be or what they'll be doing
this coming summer -- it seems all my brothers are in a state of flux; Tim
earned his Associate's Degree, Josh is getting his Bachelor's and promptly
getting married (which is funny if you think about it), and Gene is doing
well but seems to be in a constant state of flux...

I guess, really, that pretty much sums it up. There's more (like how Meghan
and I have discussed baby names (James, Charlotte, Penny, Gwen, etc),
thought that's a little silly since it'll be at least a little more than a
year before we have any. But yes. I hope you're all well, and I'll try to
check in more often.

Date: 2008-12-29 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amazonmink.livejournal.com
You're not dead! YAY.

Matt and I were just pondering you, as we did your Christmas card. :D
*waves* hi. LJ is for happy AND unhappy.

Date: 2008-12-29 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jackofallgeeks.livejournal.com
Yeah, after writing here again I have to admit I do miss the place. Maybe I just need to adjust my usage. It just seems that I never have much to say when things are going well (this long-winded entry notwithstanding).

Oh, with Meghan home for good now, we four should get together for dinner or something sometime.

Date: 2008-12-29 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dikaiosunh.livejournal.com
Our wedding was lower-key than what you guys sound like you're going for, but if you want any input on planning, I'm happy to do what I can. In particular, we loved our photographer.

Also, dude, we HAVE to play RoboRally. I love that game. M has deigned to play with me a couple times, and we played once at my b'day last year, but I hardly ever get to play it.

And, you know, if you need a Beastmaster for your 4E game, I might be available. I'm hoping to do some travel over the summer, but that just means you'd have the opportunity to say, "oh, yeah, our Beastmaster is spending some time in Africa," which is cool in itself.

Date: 2008-12-29 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jackofallgeeks.livejournal.com
Yeah, our wedding looks to be fairly standard as far as my family goes, but my family likes making a big deal of weddings. :p For the most part Meghan is taking the reigns as far as deciding what does or does not go in, but if you have advice on things we might want to think about, that'd be cool. As for photographer, I'm not sure what's standard for these guys, but it seems to me that a wedding in Front Royal (especially for only an hour or two, tops) might be a bit much for someone local to the Baltimore area. That being said, I'm not sure that we have any candidates in mind, so... -shrugs-

Yes, RoboRally is awesome. I actually got two fairly large games going this weekend -- one board with three flags for 7 players and then two boards with four flags for 5 players. It was awesome, and Meghan seemed to really like it, so maybe i'll invite people over to my place sometime for a game or three.

As for the D&D game, I'll keep you (and others) in mind, but especially in the beginning I'm going to want to keep it fairly simple, both in the number and types of players and the game more generally. If things go well though, I'll definitely give you a call to join this or some other campaign: I know how it can be wanting to play but only ever being able to GM.

Date: 2008-12-29 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dikaiosunh.livejournal.com
Well, we got married in DC (we were married before we moved out here). We used a fellow named Michael DiBari (http://www.michaeldibari.com, IIRC), who is a "wedding photojournalist" - we'd been looking for someone to do fewer staged/posed photos and more in a "candid" style. We were very pleased with the results. There's also an association of wedding photojournalists (mostly folks trained as journalistic photogs who do weddings on the side), if you like the general style, but not that particular fellow.

What you're looking at is fairly alien to the way we thought about things, so I'd be hesitant to give general advice. Honestly, the biggest things I learned were that even a small, low-key wedding costs much more than I thought it would, and that getting a space and a caterer (esp. since the space will often put restrictions on what caterers you can use) is 99% of the battle. Having the party some place that also rents rooms is nice for elderly guests (and tired participants). Oh, and even very, very good wedding cake is only mediocre in flavor (giant cakes covered in fondant take a while to put together, so are almost inevitably a bit on the dry and bland side by the time they're ready). We ended up just getting a selection of cakes from CakeLove in DC, which were delicious but just looked like, you know, normal cakes.

Date: 2008-12-29 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thismortalquill.livejournal.com
*sparkle* We solved the dry cake problem with a five-tier, five-flavor cheese cake with fresh flowers as decorations. Mmm mmm!

Date: 2008-12-29 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readiness.livejournal.com
Great to hear an update from you! I promise I will be better about calling.

I find myself in a weird place with lj - very much more in the reader only mode to the disservice to my journal.

I'm glad you are doing well and it sounds like Christmas was delightful!

Date: 2008-12-29 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thismortalquill.livejournal.com
I'm glad the holidays have been good for you and yours.

Re: Cameras. I wanted this too, but it didn't happen for us, which was just fine, considering everyone brought their own cameras anyway and it would have been expensive to develop all that film. It's such a fun surprise that I'm sure you will love it.

In addition to that, I will heartily recommend something we did at our wedding, which was to have a laptop available with all the right cords to connect everyone's digital cameras to. We got ALL the pictures that were taken of our wedding, and some of them we would have never seen otherwise. It was amazing to view the ceremony through everyone's eyes, and also to have six or seven viewpoints of the same scene.

Good luck with all the planning.

Date: 2008-12-30 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mordainlove.livejournal.com
it's so nice to hear from you on here, i read this entry twice.

... as a side note, i bet your wedding is going to be so nice! i wish i were close enough to go. i bet you're really going to clean up nice in a tux... ;) :D

*hug* i really do miss you, andrew. and i always hope you're doing well. because, you know, i love you and you're awesome! and who could ever stop caring about a boy they met over the last unicorn, anyway?

thanks for the update. *NUDGE* don't go away completely - you know how i fail at e-mail.

Date: 2008-12-30 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uhlrik.livejournal.com
It's good to hear from you again, man! It's been a while. Congratulations again on the upcoming wedding, btw. :)

Date: 2008-12-30 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] otakulk.livejournal.com
Oh don't tell me I have to join twitter to keep up with you, I've totally been avoiding it. I like having LJ for that "This is way to private for facebook" stuff. As for reliable email, I recommend gmail. Its free, has POP and IMAP access, and you can set it up to check your other email addy's (a feature I use extensively). When you write back to someone, it replies with whatever address they mailed you with, so you can keep you separate accounts separate but still check them in one place.

As for fancy things in the day-to-day realm, accept that fact that its now her house, your sleek-n-cheek simple colors are over. The most you can hope for is a single room (usually an office) where you get to decorate, but even that will disappear with the first kid. Though in the end that fancy stuff will feel pretty homey, kinda like living with parental units.

Anyway, sorry again that I missed you this year, I pretty much lost an entire week to what I think was a mono relapse. Are you and Meghan going to make it on Saturday?

Date: 2008-12-31 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nif.livejournal.com
Some wedding input:

Wedding invitations and guest lists were the biggest pain for me. I had to constantly badger people for their addresses. I don't know how big your wedding is going to be or how much say your family has in inviting people but our guest list kept getting added to until a month before the wedding. Which sucked.

If you can find a hotel that offers block rates for family from out of town.. it will save you a lot of hassle.

Also, I second the above comment that no wedding cake will taste good. You're going for pretty looks, so don't stress over the flavor.

As for the groom's party-- it was a serious trial getting everyone fitted for tuxedos. Go as a group and order EARLY. Some of the tuxes that we had rented a month in advance didn't arrive until THE DAY OF THE WEDDING. D:

And finally, remember that the majority of running around like a chicken with your head cut off falls to YOU immediately before the ceremony. Meghan will be locked away with her bridesmaids for the hours preceding the ceremony. Which means the groom is out there dealing with the shit storm. Richard didn't fully realize this before our wedding, so heads up.

Anyway. Hope some of this helps. My offer to you and Meghan still stands that if you need any help/advice/whatever about weddings to give me a call anytime.

Oh! And where are you registering?

Date: 2009-01-14 02:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] photoholic62.livejournal.com
I'm just now seeing this post. ><

Thanks for thinking about me and although I'd love to come, there is no way. If I could make it though, I'd take those photos for you, and I'm never uncomfortable behind my camera!

Glad to hear things are going so well for you!

BTW, I'm on facebook too, but I just haven't got the hang of using it. If you disappear from here, I'll try to figure it out.

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John Noble

August 2012

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