Monday, January 29, 2007

hitched without a hitch

It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. After the months and months of planning, every detail of our wedding turned out exactly as we hoped it would. Pictures will be coming soon. As of right now, my wife [; )] and I are now frantically trying to tie up last minute details before we head off for our honeymoon.

This is shorter than I'd like it to be, but I just wanted to thank everyone for coming. Thank you all for sharing in our wedding and being a part of it. It meant the world to us both.

Like I said, pictures will be coming soon! But first, Canadia!

Friday, January 26, 2007

at long last

It's midnight which means that today is my wedding day. Right now, Amanda is at a hotel in Oakland with her maid-of-honor and my sister and they're having some sort of bridal sleep over thing. I hope they're having a great time. : )

In 11 hours, I'll be a married man - and married to an incredibly woman whom I love more than anything. I miss her right now. I wish we could spend tonight together - there's a "young kid at Christmas" level of excited anticipation in me right now and I'd love to just joke and laugh with Amanda about the long road we've taken to get to this day, reminisce about the tastings and fittings and vendor interviews, laugh about all of the millions of little details that only she and I would ever notice if they were right or wrong.

Of all of the to-do lists that we've written, of all the plans that have come and gone, there's only one thing left on my list and that's to write my toast for tomorrow's reception. I'm slacking a bit. Something in me is sorta' intimidated. How do you say thank you to all of your friends and family for traveling 3000 miles just to say "we support you"? How can a corny joke and a glass of cider thank Amanda's family for being so incredibly supportive of us for our entire relationship and for accepting me into their family so graciously?

You know what? I just realized that I've just written my toast. Everything I wanted to say is right here. So, I think I'll print this out and read it tomorrow. Manda, I love you. I can't wait to marry you today. I'm incredibly lucky to have you in my life and I promise to live the rest of life trying to live up to your vision of me. You're the best.

Good night, everyone. See you in about 10 hours. : )

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

see you soon!

It's Wednesday on the East Coast and that means that a fair amount of people - friends and family - are heading west for our wedding today. Can't wait to see everyone.

Manda and I are neck-deep in the final preparations for everything and doing our best to wrap up a bunch of really nice finishing details as best as we can so that everyone has a nice time.

We're tired, but really excited about the wedding. I can't wait to finally be Mister Jesse Harlin. ; )

See everyone soon!

Friday, January 19, 2007

t minus 8 days

Until we get our wed on. Our to-do list of about 60 items is now down to about 20 something, which is nice. What's not so nice is that we still have about 20 some things to do.

The honeymoon is all planned and we're really looking forward to heading off to Quebec. We've spent more money on this whole shindig than I thought we possibly could. But it looks like it's all coming together.

Just a few last minute things to tie up and then we can hopefully just sit back and enjoy the day.

I don't know how much I'll get to blog over the next week. I'll see what I can do, but I'm not promising anything, you greedy SOBs. It's entirely possible that the next time I write here, my wedding ring will be clacking against the keyboard keys.

Well ... you know ... like, when I lay my hand flat on the keyboard and smack on it. Whatever, you get my point.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

the game that's sweeping the nation!

I realized something today. I realized that I'm a shallow and judgemental asshole. No, don't try to defend me. It's true.

How did I figure this out? Well, you see, there's this guy that I see relatively frequently around and about during the course of my days. He's kind of a dumpy guy and he always wears t-shirts that are tucked into his pants. His t-shirts always say inspirational things like "Make It Happen" or "Dream. Believe. Achieve." Anyway, I've seen this guy around and everytime I see one of his inspirational t-shirts tucked into his pants, I find myself trying to figure out if he's 1.) a hopeless nerd with no fashion sense, or 2.) retarded. But you know what? He's neither! Turns out, he's simply foreign. Option 3. And this is where I realized that I was a judgemental asshole. I found myself trying to figure what was wrong with this guy that gave him such a lousy taste in t-shirts - completely aware of the fact that whichever answer it would be, I'd inevitably just think "Oooohhh ... that explains it."

What is that? Am I really that freakin' shallow and stupid? Maybe we all are. Here's a game. See how you do. The the rules are simple: I'm going to show you three pictures. All you have to do is tell me which of these pictures shows

- a group of retarded people,
- a group of nerds, or
- a group of foreigners

Leave your answers in the comments and I'll give you the answers tomorrow.




Wednesday, January 17, 2007

long awaited story-time

Okay, so not so much long awaited as long promised. Not this past weekend, but the weekend before that, my brother came up from LA to take me out snow tubing for the weekend. I'm not a drinker nor am I the "wild and crazy stripper" kind of guy, so when the idea of doing something for a bachelor party came up, I was pretty short on suggestions. Ry, however, came up with some really great ideas, the winner of which ended up being a weekend trip to go snow tubing outside of Tahoe.

The plan was this: drive up and snow tube all day Saturday. Saturday night head back. Sunday watch the Eagles playoff game while eating hoagies. A great plan and one I was really looking forward to.

When we headed up to Soda Springs, we found the place pretty crowded. Lines were long. Lift lines were longer. But there was snow and lots of it. And I hadn't seen that much snow in years, so it was nice to be back in the cold white.

While snow tubing was a lot of fun, by far the biggest source of entertainment of the day were the hundreds of kids there who had never been in snow before. So many of them just ... didn't get it. It was hysterical. Here's my list of top five favorite snow-retarded kids:

5. The Eater - this kid just would not stop eating the snow. No matter what kind of snow it was, into his mouth it went. Fresh white snow? In. Old stepped on snow? In. Old snow-mobile run over snow? In. If that kid had had a fistful of yellow snow, it wouldn't have lasted long.

4. The Fish Out of Water - This poor girl ... her parents apparently didn't really explain to her that snow is cold. Really cold. Colder than, you know, rain or sunlight. So, when she got up there, she took her glove off, grabbed a big fistful of snow and instantly just began to cry. Not only that but she didn't quite get that if she just wiped off her hand and put her glove back on that everything would be fine.

3. The Lazy Girl - This girl was sitting in the snow digging at it with some piece of blue plastic. I couldn't figure out what it was at first. It looked like salad tongs. But, instead of the typical salad tong ends, it had two concave cups on either end. She was scooping up snow wads with it, then she'd beat the thing on the ground a bit, and then scoop up some more snow. Finally, it dawned on me that what she had was a snowball maker. I kid you not. Who the eff needs to use a snowball maker to make snowballs? Other than being fairly round, it tends to make some pretty crappy snowballs, too. They disintegrate easily and don't look like they hurt when you're hit with them. What's a snowball if it doesn't leave a welt?

2. The Girl With Vision - Most of the kids there were doing a pretty piss poor job making "snowmen." I put that in quotes because most of these things resembled little more than tiny snowball stacks. Lumpy wads of half-assed fun with a stray stick protruding from one side, that sort of thing. Generally, Ry and I just figured that these kids were never going to see a real snowman. That was until Ry and I saw the Girl With Vision. It was like watching the first caveman invent the wheel. You knew you were watching something revolutionary. As we were standing in line, she walked by on a mission with a HUGE snowball in her arms. We laughed and joked about someone finally having had "vision." About half an hour later, she walked by again. This time she'd recruited a friend and the two of them were pulling a sled brimming with huge snow balls. Forget the invention of the wheel, this project of hers had just taken on the look of the construction of Giza's pyramids. As we were leaving later in the day, we passed by her handy work: a massive snow fort constructed out of huge snow bricks and seemingly impenetrable to the piss-poor snowballs of the girl with the salad tongs. This girl was our hero.

1. The Lazy Boy - This kid took the cake, though. After mocking Lazy Girl amongst ourselves for a little while, we forgot about her and started to just talk about other things. About half an hour later or so, Lazy Boy comes walking down along the line of people waiting for the snow tube lift. He looked so forlorn and needy. Why? What was his problem? He kept asking everyone "Does anyone have a snowball maker?" Ry and I lost it. I was dying to scream "USE YOUR HANDS, DIPSHIT!!" but his mom was standing in line right in front of us. That, and ... you know, I would never actually yell something like that at someone. But I wanted to. That kid was a retard.

Anyway, that was the snow and it was fun. Hoagies and the Eagles win were also fun. But nothing beat the impassioned pleas for a snowball maker.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I do'h

Less than a month ago, Manda and I had our apartment spotless. My family was flying out to SF for Christmas and so we cleaned up, scrubbed, and dusted all over the place to make sure everyone would be happy and comfortable.

Less than a month later, it looks like a wedding threw up all over our apartment. There are supplies for making invitations, boxes of wedding gifts, piles of honeymoon-related snow clothes. There are branches. There are lamps. There are thank you cards, place cards, and greeting cards. There are receipts everywhere. There are empty bottles of every kind of sparkling non-alcoholic drink sold within the Bay Area. There are tasting cakes. There are magazine clippings of cakes and place settings and branches. There are binders with all of our notes and book after book after book of wedding planning guides telling how we need binders to keep all of our notes.

It's everywhere. With less than two weeks to go before the big day, I have the feeling that it's only going to get worse the closer we get. When it's all over and we get back from our honeymoon, maybe then we can start to dig out from it all.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

totally late to the party

Rhino Records has just reissued all of the albums by The Pogues, Ireland's traditional/punk combo from the 80s.

Like most world famous punk acts, I've heard the name for decades. However, in a completely predictable ignorant bout of closed-mindedness, I decided that they probably sounded like the Sex Pistols since they were labeled as "punk."

Guess what? I was full of shit (also very predictable). They're not anything like the Sex Pistols. Instead, what you get is a very traditional Irish sound with very touching lyrics that are at once both timeless and and brilliant in their brutal urban poetry.

I bought their second album, Rum, Sodomy & The Lash, off of iTunes the other day and have been listening to it a bunch since. I HIGHLY recommend it. Seriously, the lyrics are genius. Do your self a favor and check it out.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

never saw this coming

Weekend update delayed again. I'll get to it. It was awesome. Ry and I went snow tubing and had a great time.

But, at the moment, I'm just ... well, I don't know what to say about this. It's funny. It's weird. It's the first time I've ever had this happen. "Get to the point, Harlin." Fair enough.

David Collins and I have been receiving fan mail at work.

Yep. Yesterday we got a letter asking us to release the songs we wrote for Thrillville on an official soundtrack. Today we got a letter from some 10 year old kid who wants to learn how to play the tunes on guitar. And I'm not talking about email. We're talking letters. Actual paper fan mail.

It's too funny. : )

Monday, January 08, 2007

update tomorrow

I'm way too busy right now to talk about how awesome my weekend was, but it was and I'll talk about it.

Basically, though, it looks like this:

Ry + Snow + Amoroso Rolls + Eagles Win = great weekend

Thursday, January 04, 2007

well, it's a kind of composition ...

I've been writing fiction recently. I seem to write it in spurts. I'll go for a long time uninspired and then .~*WHAM*~. Inspiration blindsides me on the train or something. Anyway, I'm writing a novel right now. Well, technically two, but the first one I've written myself into a corner and don't quite know how to get myself out of it yet. Anyway, the one I'm writing at the moment is significantly darker than the fairytale I'd been writing earlier for Amanda.

So, for the time being, I'm pouring my creativity out into my own version of the great american novel, or novella. Depends on how long I make it. Figures that I get struck with inspiration as soon as I'm not writing music anymore. Guess that creative energy needs to go somewhere constructive. Interesting how that works. I wonder what kind of scientific work has been done on creativity?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

um ... wha??

I'm a big fan of Mac OS X. It's nice. It's stable. While OS 9 apps used to crash very frequently on me, OS X apps rarely ever crash - certainly not as frequently as the Windows apps I deal with seem to crash.

And yet, despite all of it's Apple-happy stability, I got this error message yesterday.


Deleting negative items? Does that mean it's giving me items? Do computers do double negatives?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pet Peeve #2: those white ovals

Happy New Year, blah blah blah. I was going to write something all about the new year and all that, but I saw something on my way to work that irked me. For some time now I've had a strong dislike for those dumb white oval stickers with the black letters that seem to be spreading like some kind of automotive rash.

I can't stand these things. It was one thing when they used to simply be nationality abbreviations required for inter-European auto travel. My American-centric brain had a hard enough time trying to figure out what the actual abbreviations stood for. You know ... is "LT" Lithuania? or Latvia? (It's the latter).

But things went wrong somewhere. I don't know when it happened exactly. Maybe it was European ex-patriots living here in the States brought their stickers over with them as an expression of national pride some time in the 80s or 90s. Regardless of when the European stickers first landed, it seems to have taken a while before some dumb ass decided that they, too, could make themselves seem hip and European if they just made a similar sticker with their own made-up abbreviation on it.

That's where things started to get out of control. I remember the first time I was staring down an "OBX" sticker trying desperately to figure out what the hell European country that stood for, only to later be told it stood for The Outer Banks beaches of North Carolina. I was actually angry that it had caused me to waste brain power on trying to figure out something nearly impossible to just regularly deduce.

Now there're things like "HMB" for Half Moon Bay, CA or "McM" for McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Do they even have cars in Antarctica?!

But, as if that wasn't bad enough, now it's just spread to whatever the hell anyone wants to put in a little oval, whether it references a location or not. The one I saw on the way to work today said "MEOW".


That's just so ridiculously removed from the original point as to not make any sense. Yes, we get it. You like your cat. But ...

I dunno. I'm at a loss for words, I guess. I just hate those things so much. This is the only one I can get behind: