Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hoodies and Scarves

Amanda and I enjoyed our Sunday off together. When we had to do some running around, it was still warm enough to forgo a winter coat. So I decided to go with the hoodie Amanda gave me for Christmas and the scarf I finished up a few months ago. It was jussssssst right!

Anyway, we did some running around, some minor shopping (we needed more coffee packets to the Tassimo coffee maker we got for Christmas), and then came back here for a quiet evening. We're all set for New Year's Eve tomorrow night!

I probably won't have a chance to update this blog tomorrow night because we won't be getting back until fairly late. Just in case, thanks for reading in 2012, and I hope you'll keep visiting in 2013.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Doodling

I downloaded Paper for my iPad tonight and started doodling right away. I decided to draw as if I was still doing the whiteboard drawings at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library.

This is the result:


I'm hoping to do some more sketching with this program, and I may post some drawings on here if I'm happy with the results. Or I might start drawing some of the comics I have ideas for. or I may just doodle and you'll be stuck with my normal rumblings and photos of Amanda and me kissing. Either way, it shouldn't change my updating schedule too much!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Post-Christmas Disbelief

It's been a few days since Christmas, and it still hasn't sunk in that it's over for another year. Our Christmas tree is still up, and we've got it lit up most nights. We are looking ahead to New Year's though. We'll be at Amanda's sister's place to celebrate on New Year's Eve with her family and friends.

2013 should be a good year. I'm here in Grande Prairie with Amanda, our wedding is scheduled for July, and I couldn't be happier!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Back... To the Future

Amanda and I are rewatching the Back to the Future movies. Last night was the first, and tonight is part 2.

On the whole, these movies hold up incredibly well! Granted, the predictions of the future in 2015 are... interesting. It's neat to watch and see how much has and hasn't happened. Okay, we still don't have flying cars, but we've met or passed the predictions in other areas. We don't have moving monitor waiters, but we have stuff like Siri that could conceivably handle basic order-taking. We're well past CRT monitors, phone booths are endangered species, and hardly anyone owns a personal fax machine at home. We've got video chatting and things like the Nest thermometer that makes automatic lights look like a joke.

And, of course, we have iPads. They really don't show anything even remotely as advanced in terms of computers.

That said, the price for all of this neat stuff is a *serious* lack of hoverboards. I wanted one so badly as a kid, and believed the special feature where the movie's director claimed that hoverboards really existed. I remember one year where I wrote my annual letter to Santa and asked for a hoverboard. I even told him that if he were to give me hoverboard, I wouldn't need a single other gift. In retrospect, even if they had existed, it's probably for the best that I never got one. I barely stood up properly on a normal skateboard, much less a hoverboard that would put me higher off the ground.

Anyway, we're enjoying our trip back to the future. I thoroughly recommend it if you haven't watched any of the movies for a while!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

It was a very quiet Boxing Day, helped in part because it was so cold outside (it's around -33 right now). Amanda and I spent some quality time playing with the iPads we got for Christmas and making coffee with the Tassimo brewer her parents gave us.

She and I took this photo together on the couch a few minute ago.



Doesn't she look cute in the pyjamas she got for Christmas? She joked that it is her new Cookie Monster outfit.

Anyway we're back to work tomorrow and we will be resuming a regular schedule starting then!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

And so it ends again for another year. Amanda and I just returned from her parents' house where we spent most of Christmas Day with her family.  It was a good Christmas. Between Skyping with my family last night and being with Amanda's family today, it felt like a very full Christmas.

Now Amanda and I have one more day off together before we return to work, and we plan to make the most of it!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Kiss

Amanda and I took this photo together moments after returning from the Christmas Eve service at the United Church.


Have a merry Christmas tomorrow everyone.  Best wishes from the Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie!

Happy Christmas Eve Morning!

Happy Christmas Eve Morning!

Today is my favourite day of the year.  I love Christmas Day, Canada Day, and my birthday, but Christmas Eve is the best.  Anticipation for Christmas is at its peak, and all the preparations are over (by necessity, if not reality).  The days are getting longer again, though imperceptibly, and it's hard for me to not be optimistic about the future.  Finally, there's looking forward to New Year's, only a week away.

All that said, there's a certain element of melancholy too.  After all the days and weeks of preparation and anticipation, there's a very real sense of how quickly it will be over.  In 48 hours, Boxing Day will be here, and Christmas will be a very long 364 days away.

So, I think I'll grab a glass of eggnog, maybe turn on some Christmas music, and carry on with gift wrapping or something else.

Merry Christmas everyone, from the Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wrapping Progress

I finished up some more wrapping tonight.  I wrapped a gift to Amanda from my parents that arrived unwrapped (it came from a company that missed the gift wrap), and a bunch for Amanda's family.  Half of her niece's gifts are done, everything for her sister and brother-in-law is done, and we're down to 12 gifts to wrap.

Hopefully we'll finish that wrapping and our little bit of Christmas baking tomorrow morning and afternoon before we have supper and then go to a Christmas Eve church service.  Then it'll be a quiet Christmas Eve together.  Just the two of us.  :-) And then the next day will be about family -- opening gifts with my family over Skype, and then going to Amanda's parent's house for the afternoon.

Christmas is just about here, and we're just about done.  All that's left is to enjoy it. And we intend to!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Caffeine-Powered

*sigh*

I was super-motivated tonight.  It may have been the caffeine, but all I could think about was getting stuff done.  So I did some dishes, finished up all of our laundry, and played a fair bit of the video game I'm playing right now.

There were a few other things that I thought about doing, like working on my contest entry for the Library's short story contest, or doing some more knitting, but my caffeine-fueled ambition has faded for the evening.

But now we're in good shape for the rest of our days off!  I'm hoping that the weather will cooperate somewhat so Amanda and I can go for a wander tomorrow.  With all the snow, it'll be great wandering through the park, and perhaps we'll get a chance to take a few photos together for a change!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Freedom Five

As of 5pm this afternoon, I was free, free!  Amanda was shortly afterward, too!  We're off for *five* (count them:  one, two, three, four, five!) days together over Christmas!

What's on the agenda?  Well, we have to finish wrapping gifts for her family and maybe do some baking.  We might do some cleaning, too.  That's about it.

Now all I have to do is get over this illness that came out of nowhere last night...

It's okay though.  I'm off, Amanda is off too, and Christmas is only 4 sleeps away.  Life is great!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just in case...

I don't believe in the Mayan Apocalypse that some people are predicting.  That said, before I go to sleep tonight, I plan on holding Amanda tight and telling her I love her just in case.

I'll see everyone tomorrow.  :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 more sleeps...

The countdown is well underway.  Just six more sleeps until Christmas.  Our shopping is long done, presents to my family have been shipped, and we just have some leisurely wrapping and maybe some baking left.

Oh, and we need to watch all of our favourite Christmas specials.  What's on the list?

Charlie Brown Christmas
Garfield Christmas
National Lampoon Christmas Vacation
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Anime Christmas Episodes
     Chrono Crusade (my personal favourite anime Christmas episode)
     Kimagure Orange Road
     Ranma 1/2
     Those Who Hunt Elves

Other than that, Amanda and I are going to spend lots of time together, enjoy every minute, and make up for all the weekends where one of us had to work part of.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pressure Relief

The pressure is off.  On Sunday night I was getting incredibly stressed out about a final Christmas gift that wasn't coming together as I had hoped.  Amanda tried her best, but I couldn't be persuaded that life would somehow go on.

The next day I talked with someone at work whose relative was having major troubles, and it helped me gain some perspective.

Then last night, Amanda and I managed to get things all together, and I mailed out our gifts to my family this morning.  They should arrive on Friday.

So the pressure is off.  Other than wrapping gifts for Amanda's family, we're ready for Christmas!

We celebrated by trying a bottle of wine along with supper (stuffed chicken breasts, Kraft Dinner, and broccoli).  It wasn't good.  It was a bottle of wine from the Cupcake Vineyards in California and we weren't very impressed with it.  So we toasted, tasted, and poured most of it down the drain.

...but we did it cheerfully!  We're ready for Christmas.  Bring it on!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Favourite Person

Apparently tonight I was Amanda's niece's favourite person.  As soon as we walked through the door and took our shoes off, she was saying "Uncle Jake, want to come see my room downstairs and my new books?"  So I followed her down, and once she determined that she couldn't find the books she was looking for, she spent 15-20 minutes showing me her "laptop" and how it worked.  During that time, she pressed the buttons for most of the letters of the alphabet, heard the pronunciation, and saw a pixellated picture of an animal that started with that letter.  (For the record, using "queen bee" for Q was an awesome idea).

Amanda joined us to tell us supper was ready, and her niece gave Amanda a quick demonstration of her laptop, but it was much briefer.  I don't know if it's because I've seen her more often than Amanda has lately or what, but she was definitely my buddy tonight.

Xmas Party Two

Amanda and I just got back from her staff Christmas party.  Her dad took all of his employees and a few close friends/relatives out for supper, which included two comedian acts, and then Amanda, her brother, his wife, and I went out bowling afterward.

Overall it was pretty fun.  I joked that the comedians had a three drink minimum, as I was one of the few people not laughing like crazy at their jokes, and I'd only had one drink with dinner.

Anyway, we're done with work Christmas parties for the year, and now it's back to work for Christmas -- wrapping and baking.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Baking

Saturday may be Christmas baking day.  I make nanaimo bars throughout the year, so I may or may not make them on Saturday.  I do plan on making shortbread cookies though, and maybe some rum balls.

For the past four years, I've normally done some kind of Christmas baking for myself, but it's always been hard to justify.  Why do so much work so I can overeat cookies?

But this year it's different.  Amanda is here!  What seemed like a lot of effort to overeat on cookies seems like less effort so we can each enjoy some.

So with any luck I'll wake up Saturday morning feeling ambitious and hearing the flour and butter calling my name.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FedEx

FedEx.

I'll wait while the world provides the 4-letter words for me.

It took FedEx 3 days to get something from China to Grande Prairie, but hasn't been able to finish the delivery six days after that.  They made an attempted delivery, then informed me that the only place they could hold the package for a pickup was in Edmonton. We had the address changed the next day so it would be delivered to Amanda at work, and even now five days later, it hasn't made its way to her.

So FedEx, how can you deliver something halfway around the world in 3 days, but fail to finish delivery within a city in the next 6?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mileage

Apparently I can knit approximately 1 1/2 inches (project dependant) in a half hour.

...The math may not work out well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Respite

Last night before we went to bed, Amanda checked the weather on her phone.  It said that the temperature was -2.  We assumed it was an error.  There was no way the temperature could have been -2 when it had been -20ish earlier in the day.

We were wrong.  I checked the wireless thermometer on our kitchen table and saw -2.7.

It had warmed up.  Today was incredibly nice, and the first time in about two weeks I went for a walk at lunch thinking that a walk would be pleasant.  The other days I went because I had to for one reason or another, mostly for buying cough drops.

Anyway, we're scheduled for another three or four days of mild winter this week, and I intend to enjoy them!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Plans Ahead!

Another piece of the wedding puzzle has fallen into place.  We've tentatively booked a person to perform the ceremony.  There was a minimum of fuss and/or muss which was very nice!  :-)

Christmas is coming together fairly nicely too.  I wrapped a bunch of gifts last night, and the extra stickers I put on them made Amanda and me smile.  Now as long as the couriers cooperate tomorrow and Tuesday, things should be pretty much perfect!

Keep your fingers crossed for us please.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

We like our coffee...kiss!

Amanda and I took this photo together last week in Starbucks when we stopped in for some pumpkin spice lattes.  This is the last photo you'll see for a while with me having lots and lots of hair.  Amanda and I stopped by Great Clips today and I got my hair cut.

...I picked a bad time though.  It's supposed to get down to -28 tonight, and I picked today to get rid of the extra insulation for my head.  I guess I'd better keep multiple toques handy at all times for a few days!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Comedy and a Farce

A short update on life:

Amanda and I went to the Grande Prairie Live Theatre tonight, and it was good.

I'm fighting with various courier companies who don't seem to have the slightest idea how to deal with people who live in apartment buildings and may not be home all day to wait for their ring on the interphone, and it's bad.  The fight will continue.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Winter Party Kiss

Amanda and I took this photo together on Saturday night at the Library's Christmas party.  It wasn't officially a Christmas party, as a few people wanted just a winter party, but the point of the get-together was the same.

Anyway, Amanda and I took this photo in front of the circulation desk.  We were both looking fairly spiffy, though I had ditched my tie by this point.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Competition

It's official.  The Pouting Couple of Kamloops has some competition.


Amanda and I were at Starbucks on Saturday and took this photo at Amanda's suggestion as a bit of a joke.  We had a hard time not laughing while looking at each other's sad face, and this was the best one.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Still Sick...

Amanda and I both stayed home sick again today.

Our secret way of getting through it today?  Animal crackers.  I went to the grocery store because we needed a few things and because I wanted to let my car run for a bit.  When I asked Amanda if we needed anything beyond a few staples of sickness-comfort (juice, etc.), she suggested animal crackers.

I bought some, and even though the animals were unrecognizeable, the crackers were delicious.  They really helped while we were sitting on the couch this afternoon.

Anyway, I'm really hoping we're both healthy tomorrow.  ...I'm sick of being sick.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Illness for both of us

Amanda and I are both sick today.  She called in sick, and I came home after less than an hour.  We spent the rest of the morning sleeping in bed, then the entire afternoon and evening sitting/laying on the couch.

I managed enough energy to make a pot of my chicken noodle soup, and now we're in bed over an hour early.  It was weird having a day with both of us sick.  Neither of us is a stranger to illness.  Early this year, I missed most of a week of work with a nasty flu, and Amanda has missed a few days of work this fall/winter.  But we've never been sick at the same time.

On one hand, it was good.  We were both out of energy and not feeling great, but we got to spend the day together on the couch.  When we were feeling up to it, we even caught up on some shows that were recorded on our DVR.

The rest was bad though.  When you're sick, it's nice to have someone to make some juice, or grab a tylenol, or put a blanket on you.  With both of us sick, those moments were in short supply.  It was more like when I was sick while living alone in Tumbler Ridge and having to take care of things myself, except that it was two of us doing it side-by-side.

That's not to say we abandoned each other to our own miseries.  We tried to help each other along.  If one of us had to get up for something, we *did* spare the other person the trip.  Amanda managed to make something for lunch, while I managed supper.  Because of that, at least we're well fed and won't be getting sicker from eating poorly.

It was just hard.  It's hard to see Amanda fighting to get up to grab herself some juice when she's clearly exhausted while I'm unable/unwilling to do it for her because I'm feeling pretty lousy too.

I'm hoping beyond hope that we're both healthy tomorrow.  Barring that, I'd settle for at least one of us being healthy.  Both of us being sick is for the birds.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Busy Few Days...

It's been a busy weekend.  After Amanda finished her half-day of work yesterday, we did some running around and shopping, then went to the library's Christmas party.  Today we did a lot more shopping, cleaning, and went to the Santa Claus parade downtown.  Fun times were had!

We're all done shopping for Christmas, and I managed to make enough room in our living room to set up the Christmas tree.  To save on some room, I just assembled the top two portions.  The tree is much shorter, but also fits better in here as a result.  It's kind of a novelty to see my ornaments make the tree seem crowded!

I piled our gifts to other people under the tree.  I'd post a photo of it, but those gifts are still unwrapped and I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Disappointing Saturday in Advance

Amanda has to work again tomorrow.  :-(

I told her that we'd delay our plan to visit the big craft fair until Sunday.  I'll probably head to breakfast at the Mason's Hall, and maybe come back to do some laundry and/or cleaning before Amanda returns home.

Then we're off to the Library's Christmas party in the evening!  Hopefully a fun time will be had by all.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Phone Issues

Amanda and I are discussing phones today.  My current phone is two years old and, notably, is not an iPhone.  I'm the black sheep when I hang out with Amanda, her sister, and her brother-in-law, who each own an iPhone 4S.

So I spent a half hour on my mobile provider's website looking at different phones and reading reviews that are written by people who have owned their new phone a single day and don't understand anything between a 1/5 rating and 5/5.  Almost all reviews were either "It's the best phone ever" or "This phone is the worst ever."  The few reviews that offered constructive criticism of the phones to help inform potential buyers were overwhelmingly marked as unhelpful by fans of the phone too.

So I was reminded once again.  Arguing on the Internet is a pointless endeavour.  I resolve not to bother rating my phone online if/when I change phones.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cold.

It's cold.  It's definitely winter.

It was -17 today, and with the wind chill it was -27.  I (completely understandably) went for a walk at lunch time and returned to the library very cold.

To top it off, there's a snowfall warning for the Peace region.  I don't think Grande Prairie is expecting quite as much, but other areas might get between 15 and 20 cm between now and tomorrow night.

It is winter.  But it's not as cold this winter.  I get to cuddle up to Amanda every night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Healthy Eating

Amanda and I plan to eat healthy sometimes.  We really do.  But then we get lazy sometimes and end up at Taco Time or making pizza at home yet again.

Then there are other times when we have the materials and things come together.  Over the last few weeks, we've bought salmon, a spaghetti squash, and asparagus for various meals we planned on making.  On Amanda's suggestion, I cooked the three of them for supper tonight.  It was fun (because of the spaghetti squash), tasty, and healthy.

Yay!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wedding Wine Tasting Part Two

Amanda and I continued our wine tasting tonight with Jacob's Creek, an Australian white wine.  It was good.  I'd put it close to the baby champagne we tried previously.  As a side benefit, it went really well with the nacho dip Amanda made for super tonight!

In short, it's definitely on the maybe list!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Shopping Part One

Christmas shopping day
Nieces and nephews all done
Others yet to come.

Yup, Amanda and I spent this afternoon in stores doing some Christmas shopping.  We finished up the nieces and nephews today, and I finished shopping for my brother.  I think we've finished for Amanda's sister and brother-in-law too, so we're well ahead of the game with a month left!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Haiku Time Again

Some late night musings
No new photos, but hopeful
What will Sunday bring?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Shoe Haiku Time

Shoe closet hazard
Winter boots along sandals
Forbidden romance

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Post Phone Call Blues

*Thoughtful and depressing blog post alert*

(Amanda and I are fine -- this is about a different person)

If you're here for laughs and cute photos of Amanda, you won't find them here today.  Feel free to jump down the page to the wonderful photo of us together while I was wearing my completed scarf!

You have been warned.


I gave a friend some advice today.  I listened to everything that was going on and told her "get out of there."

It wasn't domestic abuse or anything anywhere near that level of horribleness, but I got a pit in my stomach just the same as I heard what was going on.  It's incredibly hard to see two people you like have their relationship (working, romantic, or otherwise) crumble to the point of no return.

All I could do is listen, and then confirm that the behaviour being shown now is replaying a cycle I've seen as a spectator before, and commiserate.

My friend is a strong, intelligent person who I have an incredible amount of respect for, and I know that if anyone can, she'll find a way through this.  I just hope that whatever happens and wherever she is at the time, she's still able to come to Amanda and my wedding next year.

I talked to Amanda about the whole phone call, but I still had to get a little more of it off my chest.  Thanks for your patience, and hopefully tomorrow I'll write some kind of silly haiku about our shoe closet.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finally...



ZOMG!  It's *the* scarf!  And it's being worn in winter in a proper Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie photo.

My dreams have come true.

*happy sigh*

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Skyfall

Amanda and I went to see Skyfall tonight.

It was awesome.

I had my doubts for a little bit in the beginning, but it turned into a great movie and was worthy of Daniel Craig's other Bond outings.

The Good
  • Gritty, down to earth Bond again -- Daniel Craig and the filmmakers of the last three James Bond movies have nailed this.
  • Interesting plot with M as the target rather than Bond or someone/something else.
  • Q and his throwaway line about what Bond expected from him -- awesome reference to Goldeneye.
  • Judy Dench as M going from dismissing Bond as a Cold War relic in Goldeneye to being (essentially) dismissed as one herself.
  • The ending.  My inner fanboy said the following:  "OMG, SQUEEEEEEEEE!"
The Bad
  • Could they have possibly shown more of Daniel Craig topless?  To be fair, I think this appeared very high in Amanda's list of the good points.
Oh, before I wrap this up, was anyone else reminded of some of Skyrim's landscapes during the scenes in Scotland?  Or is that just because Skyrim is on my mind?

Monday, November 19, 2012

ZOMG! A new photo?

Yes!  It's a new photo!

Amanda and I took this photo together the weekend before last while we were at Starbucks on Sunday morning.  We woke up, and Amanda insisted that coffee was necessary.  I agreed, but then she stipulated that it had to be in the form of a pumpkin spice latte.

...I capitulated, and a few minutes later we were in Starbucks.  I sometimes think about Jake from a few years ago who would call me a pretentious jerk for going to Starbucks as often as I do now.

My response to that Jake?

"I have Starbucks and the woman of my dreams.  You have no Starbucks and no woman in your life.  I win."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Five Weeks...

It's just over five weeks until Christmas, and things are going full steam.  We're already noticing much larger crowds in stores, and are starting to think about getting our Christmas playlists ready.  That means it's time to talk about Amanda and my favourite Christmas music.

Amanda is a huge fan of Run, Run Rudolph, while I have two favourites.

The Crash Test Dummies' rendition of The First Noel is my favourite religious Christmas song.  Brad Roberts does an amazing job singing it, and I always look forward to starting my Christmas season by listening to it.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is my favourite secular song.  Garth Brooks does a great rendition of it, as do many other people, and it sums up my feelings about the holidays succinctly.

I think we'll wait another week or so until *officially* kicking off the Christmas music season, but it may be time to add another song or two through the iTunes store.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Artistic

It doesn't take much to make me feel like I should be doing something artistic.  A visit to Michael's usually does the trick, and so does playing Minecraft for that matter.

The last few days though, seeing Amanda sketch and doodle with pens has made me feel the urge to do something artistic myself.  I pulled out my markers to do some doodling the other night.

Part of it though might be not getting to do my weekly whiteboard drawings anymore.  For over a year at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library I drew a sketch of what the library really needs on a weekly basis.  There were times when I felt like taking a week off due to lack of ideas, but I do kind of miss it.

Anyway, I think I'll finish this up and grab a sketchbook and either a pencil or some markers.  ...or maybe I'll get back to work on my current knitting project.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Life isn't a Movie

Amanda and I were talking about our wedding last night before bed, and we got onto talking about wedding cliches.

Pretty soon we were talking about wedding cliches in movies that we *wouldn't* re-create.

For instance, Amanda will not have a fight with her best friend who has a wedding on the same day as ours.  Nor will she be someone who is finally getting married after being a bridesmaid 27 times.

Neither of us will wake up next to someone we don't remember meeting but who we're now married to.

Amanda will not wear running shoes under her dress in case she needs to run away from the ceremony.  Neither of us will have a friend who hopes that the wedding will be cancelled so that we'll go through with an ancient promise to get married to another person by a certain age.

There will not be any 40 year old men crashing our wedding trying to pick up women.  The iPod "singing" at our wedding will not get married to the catering assistant.

Hugh Grant will not show up at our wedding mysteriously after attending four funerals.  Nobody will be dancing Bollywood style at the reception except for my brother if he's had wayyyyyyyyyy too much to drink.

Finally, I sincerely hope that Amanda's dad won't have a meltdown based on a different number in weiners in a package versus the number of buns packaged together.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Guest List

One of the things Amanda and I still have to figure out for our wedding is the guest list.  I think I've mostly finished up my list, but there are a lot of maybes to resolve.  We'll be inviting my immediate family and grandparents and a few of my friends to sit on the right side of the aisle.  Beyond that, it gets trickier.

I'm definitely inviting my good friend who had me as a groomsman for his wedding.  I won't be returning the favour though, as it looks like Amanda and I will just have one person stand up alongside each of us.

Do I want to invite even older friends who, though I haven't talked to on a regular basis in a while, would probably be very happy to be invited?

Do I invite the cousins who were never a large part of my life (nor vice-versa) but who I like?

Should I make an effort to reach out to someone who has sort of blipped into my life now and then but who I have an amazing amount of respect for?

These are the questions that require answers -- and that's just for the groom's side!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Proportions Blown out of Proportion?

(blog post updated a few hours later)
 
I've been reading a lot of the iPad Mini reviews since Apple's new tablet was announced a few weeks ago.  I understand reviewers comparing the iPad Mini to various 7" Android tablets like Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD.  I understand discussing the difference in app quality and availability, pixel density, and price.

What I don't understand is people complaining that the iPad Mini has a 4:3 screen ratio.  Nearly every review of the iPad Mini notes that not having a 16:9 display is an annoyance because widescreen movies will appear letterboxed.

I don't understand why this is such a big deal to some reviewers.  Yes, a 16:9 ratio screen will work better for watching movies.  If you're buying a tablet simply to watch movies on, you'd probably want a 16:9 tablet.

But if you're browsing the web with a 16:9 tablet, I assume you'd either have to scroll the page horizontally all the time (if holding the tablet vertically), or only see a small portion of the wepage at a time (if holding the table horizontally).

Typing would seem to be more awkward on a 16:9 tablet to me, too.  Either the keyboard would be very compressed in portrait orientation or the keyboard would cover so much of the screen that you couldn't see much of what you'd written in landscape mode.

It just seems to me like letterboxing widescreen movies is less of an inconvenience to me than dealing with an overly wide (or tall) screen for everything else.

(portion below added at 2:41am)

It occurred to me just before drifting off to sleep that I had made an error in the above post.  Many 7" Android tablets, including the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD have a screen resolution of 1280x800, which is not quite a 16:9 display.  However, I believe most of the above points to still have some merit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We Have Lift-off!

It's official!  I received an e-mail today that *officially* confirmed our hall booking.  There's still lots to do, but the date has finally been set and confirmed.

In just 255 days, Amanda and I will be husband and wife.

I don't think I can type anything that would make me smile any more than I am right now.

I'm marrying Amanda!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cleaning and Laziness

Amanda and I had a lazy day today.  The shop she works at is closed today, and I took it off in lieu of Remembrance Day.

We blitzkrieged through nearly a season of Community while playing Minecraft (me) and Paper Mario:  Sticker Star Story (Amanda).  That said, we did do some cleaning.  My desk looks better than it has since I moved here.  We're caught up on our laundry, and Amanda cleaned up the living room.

So we're all set to start our short week tomorrow.  I'm hoping to spend the rest of the evening doing what I was doing earlier this morning -- putting some time into my current knitting efforts.  I just started my current project two or three days ago, and I'm already making good progress.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reception Distinction

Earlier tonight, I was talking with Amanda's family about our wedding.  At one point, her dad asked "What do you need me to do?"

I said "Show up and don't get too drunk."

He said "Whoa whoa whoa, I was fine with the first part of that, but the second...?"

He was joking of course, but it sort of points to what a reception is.  For Amanda and me, it'll be our first evening together as a married couple in front of our friends and family.  For them though, it's a party to celebrate our marriage.  Because we're the ones getting married, of course we think that our perspective on the reception should be the important one.

That said, we're only two attendees, and everyone else will be taking time out of their lives to come.  One of the books we purchased about wedding planning specifically commented that your wedding guests *are* guests and should be treated as such.  So what does that mean?

Party on!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day.

I don't know what Amanda and I will be doing most of the day, but I know that 11:00 am, we'll be observing two minutes of silence.

Two minutes, even from every Canadian every year isn't enough.  Not compared to the sacrifices so many have made.  My grandfather was one of them.  He, like so many others before and after, travelled far from his homeland and fought the good fight.  In his case, it was against Germany in World War II, and he helped fight against evil.

The evils my grandfather fought against have been remade again and again in different forms throughout human history:  racism and intolerance.  He was forced to battle these evils in the guise of human soldiers following orders.  He had to fight his battles with guns and ammunition, and he paid for it dearly the rest of his life.

A few years back (somewhere between five and twelve), my family met up with an extended family member who was passing through, and he told us a few stories about my grandfather.  In the early days after he returned from the war, his family would wake up in the middle of the night to find my grandfather patrolling the perimeter of their farm as he had done during the war.  He wasn't able to sleep peacefully anymore.

A while after that meeting, my mom was scrapbooking old photos of my grandfather as a soldier.  She captioned one of the pages as "Our Hero".  When we talked about it, I made a comment that I hoped he would be the last one in our family.

At the time I meant that I hoped there would never be another war where members of our family would have to fight.  I've reconsidered that comment.  Maybe we won't become heroes doing so, but we all need to take up the fight against the same evils my grandfather fought against.  To quote from In Flanders Fields, "to you, from failing hands we throw the torch."

The men and women whose service we'll remember tomorrow have thrown us the torch.  It's on us to carry it high.  We won't need guns and ammunition, but we will need the same perseverence and the same courage my grandfather and so many others showed in their battles.

So when you're observing Remembrance Day tomorrow, nomatter how you choose to do so, please take a minute beyond your moment of silence and consider how you can continue the fight against the racism and intolerance that still exists out there.  I truly believe it will help those fallen soldiers rest peacefully.

Thank you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Things to be doing...

I need to be knitting.  I have a couple of projects I'd like to start, and one that I really should finish.  But instead I'm typing on Amanda's Macbook while she knits.

Have I ever mentioned that Amanda is awesome?

Yeah, maybe I will pick up my knitting needles and get to work.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Even More Wedding Songs (Part Six if you're counting)

Yup, it's time to discuss even more songs that will probably make the playlist at our reception!

Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Amanda and I both like this song more than we have any right to.  It's fun, catchy, and it's awesome that she's a Canadian.

Hey Jude - The Beatles
  • This song is incredibly fun to sing along to, particularly the last four minutes or so.  As an added bonus, everyone will remember all the words to the last half of the song nomatter how much they drink at the reception.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lost Idea...

I had a brilliant idea for a blog post today while at work and neglected to write it down.  Now all of the ideas that Amanda is pitching to me, while good, don't seem quite right, at least not right now.

Maybe it'll come back to me, or perhaps one of Amanda's ideas will strike a chord tomorrow.

Until then!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

Amanda and I have been on the couch for a while tonight.  After we finished getting groceries, we came home and I turned on the election results while we were putting groceries away.  Neither of us is super-political, but it's always interesting to see what happens in federal elections, either Canadian or American.

So while we put away vegetables, fruit, and bread, we heard speculation about what would happen in Ohio.  Just before we finished up, the station we were watching projected President Obama as the election winner.

So, good job Mr. President, and please continue to work hard over the next four years.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Creative Process

I love Amanda for her patience.  The local Zellers, like so many others, is going out of business shortly.  For the past two months or so, the entire stock of the store has been marked down.

I saw an opportunity.  For years, I've loved Lego bricks.  I started playing with them when I was a little kid, continued making creations on and off through my teen years, and took my Lego bricks with me when I left Williams Lake.  Now and then I'd pick up a new set that intrigued me (such as a giant bulldozer), or I'd try making something that interested me (a replica of the Red Baron's triplane).

So when Zellers was going out of business, I seized the moment and dragged Amanda into their building toys aisle.  She stood there for nearly twenty minutes while I perused every Lego and Mega Bloks set, and eventually decided on a tub of basic Mega Bloks bricks.

While getting ready for the annual Community Connections event, I had acquainted myself with the Library's collection of Lego (and other brand) bricks, and found that Mega Bloks were actually pretty decent.  Prior to that time I had solely purchased Lego bricks -- no other brands.

Anyway, Amanda and I came home from our trip, and while she was reading or knitting, I busied myself opening each bag in the tub and letting the bricks clatter together.  To amuse myself and get her to look, I made I (heart) U out of bricks, and designed a small black car that I proclaimed was actually a picture-perfect model of her car.

If you've read through the archives of this blog, you've learned that I'm a fan of Minecraft.  I enjoy the creative process there so much because even in survival mode it's like having a bottomless box of Lego bricks.  But even with the crafting and zombies, there's something missing.

There's something special about the tactile response of Lego bricks.  It's simple to identify a brick just by touch, even without looking at it.  When two pieces are joined, they fit snugly together.  Finally, when pulling them apart, there's often a satisfying pop.

As I write this, I'm staring at a Mega Bloks tub near my iMac and thinking about my similar (but much more populated) Lego tub in the storage room.  It may be time to build something.  The only problem is that I'm not sure where I'd display it!

In spite of all our efforts, our apartment is still fairly crowded.  Amanda and I have decided that (especially since my condo in Tumbler Ridge still hasn't sold) it makes more sense for us to stay here until after our wedding next year before looking for a new place.  We could weed through our belongings somewhat, but it'd take something on the level of discarding couches, bookshelves, or my computer desk to free up an appreciable amount of room.

Or we can do what I'm doing right now -- think about how cozy our place is and how cute Amanda is.  Ahhhhhhh.  Satisfying.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Notes on Tweed

Tweed.

Tonight's topic is tweed.

The scarf I finally finished knitting was made with tweed yarn, alternating with straight white yarn, as were the three scarves I knitted for my grandparents.  I like how they turned out, and I think the different coloured specks add a lot of interest to the yarn above and beyond how the straight colour version would look.  I bought some more tweed yarn as part of a Knit Picks order, and I'm looking forward to using it.  The tweed bits are a little more subdued than in my scarf, but I still like the effect.

There are downsides to tweed though.  Amanda warned me about the dangers of velcro near yarn, and that danger seems to be exacerbated with tweed.  It's like the little bits of colour are made simply to be absorbed by the hook side of velcro.

My winter jacket, for instance, has velcro fasteners for the flap outside of the main zipper.  If I wear my jacket unzipped along with my scarf, it takes approximately 2.3 steps before my scarf is stuck to every patch of velcro.  I can pull the scarf away, but it leaves some coloured tweed bits behind.

It actually serves as an interesting metaphor for our lives.  Occasionally we'll have someone or something intersect with our lives for a time.  Even if we intentionally remove them/it for our lives, something usually remains.  Some of that person's colour, so to speak.

So the next time my scarf sticks to my jacket's velcro, I think I'll stop for a minute before I pull the scarf away from it, and think about the bits of colour people have added to my life.  My parents added all the shades of grey between the black and white I used to see.  Tyler added a patch of yellow with green stripes to make me smile.  Most importantly, Amanda added a large splash of the most beautiful shades of blue when I met her last year.  More recently, that swatch has been banded with a ring of gold.

The colour scheme of my existence couldn't possibly make me happier.  I love the my base shades and especially the bits of colour that everyone adds to my life.  In short, I won't be re-painting anytime soon.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Kissing Couple Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph

As promised, Amanda and I went to see Wreck-It Ralph tonight.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and it'll be an instant buy for me when it hits blu-ray and DVD sometime next year.

The Good:
  • Overall story was fun
  • Video game cameos were awesome
  • The Konami Code
  • Plot points that were reminiscent of Reboot and .Hack
  • Good animation
  • Paperman (the short shown before Wreck-It Ralph) was incredible
  • Jane Lynch voicing the female space marine
The Bad:
  • Bowser didn't have enough screen time
  • Amanda wants to play Sugar Rush, and I'm not sure any video game adaptation of it will match up to the movie
Best Moments:
  • The explanation of "Going Turbo"
  • The method of escape from the quicksand
It felt like a crazy mix of a Pixar movie with .Hack, Reboot, Speed Racer, the podrace from Star Wars Episode I (for a few short minutes) and a ton of video game references thrown in.

*Highly* recommended!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Movies in our Near Future

Date for tomorrow:  the movies.  Amanda and I have been excited for Wreck-It Ralph ever since we saw the first trailer.  So we're hoping to go see it tomorrow.  Then we'll be following it up in a week or so with Skyfall, the new James Bond movie.

So I predict movie awesomeness in our future!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dates not Available

Amanda and I may have set our wedding date tonight through the process of elimination.  The halls we were looking into were both booked on our first choice week, but the weeks immediately beforehand were not booked for one of them.

Amanda was at the hall a few years ago, and we're hoping to take a look at it in person soon.  After we've got the hall, we'll book the person to marry us, and our wedding date will be official.

It's not official yet, but it's exciting to have a specific date to think about!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Again

Well, another Halloween has come and gone, and it was a pretty good one.  I was allowed to dress up at the library and I went *very* high concept with my costume.  I bought a Flash t-shirt, wore it over a long sleeve shirt, and declared myself to be Sheldon Cooper.

Unfortunately, only two people understood my costume without explanation.  That said, when I told people who I was dressed as, they said "Ohhhhhhhhhhh!"

We spent the evening at Amanda's parents' place with friends and I went trick-or-treating with them and their kids while Amanda stayed with her parents and Clayton (it was cold out, and on the drive over she claimed the right to stay with Clayton while everyone else was trick-or-treating).

Anyway, it was a very good Halloween.  Good night everyone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today's Headline

Everyone else seems to be talking about it, so I will too.  Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm is crazy.

...crazy awesome!

Amanda and I aren't in agreement on this.  She worried that Episode 7 will be a lousy movie and do more to tarnish the original trilogy.  I made a joke on my Twitter feed about wanting to see Jedi Master Mickey Mouse fight Darth Buzz Lightyear.  Jokes aside, the idea of having people like John Lasseter and Joss Whedon able to work on future Star Wars projects gives me hope for the future.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.  I'm sure that even with her doubts and my over-enthusiasm, Amanda and I will probably end up seeing Episode 7 in three years.  After all, how could we resolve our disagreement about the prospect otherwise?  :-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Observational Test

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Other Side

Today I was on the other side.

A year ago, I was the new person in the group.  I was the guy who lived hours away but dated Amanda.  Meeting her friends and family for the first time was very weird, even though they always made me feel welcome.

So today I was on the other side.  One of our friends (this might be a bit of a stretch using "our" rather than "Amanda's", as I've only really gotten to see and talk to him 4-5 times) started dating a woman who lives somewhere other than Grande Prairie.  With the exception of Amanda, who was still working away at moving her dad's shop, we finally got to meet his girlfriend.  And with that, she officially took my place as the newbie in the group.  :-)

Even though it would've been much more fun if Amanda had been able to come, I enjoyed myself, and it was very good to see a few of our friends who we haven't seen since our engagement.  It's weird though -- it's been over a month since we've seen each other, but we'll be visiting again on Halloween.  I think it's the first time I've ever said "I'll see you on X day" to them!

So in spite of Amanda having to work all day in the snow, I had a good day.  ...I just hope she did too, and that they'll finish up with their work for the evening very soon.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Writing in the Snow

I had an Amanda-free day today.  She had to work all day and I had to entertain myself.  I ended up going on a lengthy walk, and along the way I saw a person advertising the closing of Zellers while entertaining herself by walking in the snow and making patterns.

It made me think briefly, and then I remembered that for quite a while I've wanted to write a message to Amanda in the snow.  So I did!


It's kind of hard to read, and part of it is cut off due to how close I had to stand to the message, but it says I <3 Amanda.  If you turn onto the bypass by the intersection near the mall and look to the right, you may have seen it early this afternoon.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Why Amanda is Awesome, reason #6,734,932

Amanda had an incredibly long workday yesterday.  She left for work before 8, and didn't get home until nearly 10.  She was tired and sore, and I didn't know how she'd be feeling this morning.  I know that when I work an exceptionally long day, I'm often tired and grumpy the next morning, especially if I was only dozing the last hour or so of sleep.

So what happened this morning?  She seemed like she was in an okay mood while I was doing my step.  When I stopped, and came into the kitchen to help put her lunch together, we both looked at the last banana sitting on the counter.

Amanda *knows* I would've given it to her.  The Library is very close to the Co-op, and I can easily run over there during my lunch break to pick something up if need be.  But instead of just taking it, or asking if I'd mind picking up fruit for myself, she looked at me, grabbed the banana and said "I pirate your banana."  :D

We both burst out laughing, and then she continued.  "I'm going to paint a skull and crossbones on it.  I claim this banana for Amandania!"

I think a new (now not-so-private) joke has been born.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Alone Time

I've had a bunch of alone time tonight.  The shop Amanda works at is moving to a new location and she had to stay late to continue working on the move.  So I've had an evening entirely to myself.

What did I do with it?

Well...  I played a bunch of Skyrim, had supper, read, did all the dishes, did a small (very small) amount of cleaning, and am back in Skyrim again.  I'm hoping Amanda gets home soon though -- she's been at work since 8, and I can't imagine how tired she'll be.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Randomness

It's time for some randomness tonight:

Jake and Amanda in...

...Final Fantasy:
Jake - Fighter
Amanda - Red Mage

...Tetris
Jake - 4 bar (height!)
Amanda - T (my favourite piece)

...Plants vs. Zombies:
Jake - Kernel-pult
Amanda - Sunflower singing "There's a zombie on the lawn"

Okay, that was kind of random.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

No Knitting Progress

I had to tear back a bunch of my current knitting project tonight.  I'm trying to work with multiple colours, but the carrying over ended up showing on both sides because of how I was working on the project.  I should've gotten Amanda to check it during the second row, but I figured I knew what I was doing after the first row.

Anyway, so I pulled it all back, and will be starting over.  I've still got my plan for the project, and I'll be able to get back to where I was in fairly short order.  Still, it's disappointing to pull it back.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cold... and Warm

It was chilly today.  I picked Amanda up when she dropped her car off to have her winter tires put on, and in the few minutes we were outside, we both got incredibly cold.  Then it was off to Costco for gas where I had to stand outside in the cold, and Amanda had to sit inside my car which was rapidly getting colder while it was turned off.

I will say this -- my scarf proved its worth today.  My neck was not cold, even if most of the rest of me was.

Anyway, Amanda and I were both cold, it was close to 6:30 already, and I made a decision.  I asked Amanda if I could take her for supper.  She suggested one place, but we ended up deciding on Boston Pizza, thinking that we'd be able to sit in a warm restaurant with hot food in our hands.  ...we ended up being seated in a drafty corner.  Our pizza was really good though, and we really enjoyed our time together.

Now we're in bed, comfy under the duvet Amanda bought at Ikea when we were in Edmonton earlier this year, and watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.  More importantly, we're warm.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tired...


Amanda and I took this photo together at Starbucks this afternoon while warming up (with lattes) briefly before continuing to get groceries.  The sun was getting low, and I really like how it illuminated our faces in this particular photo.  The other three attempts at it (the first three) didn't turn out nearly as good.

Today was a lazy day.  I worked yesterday, and worked much longer than I had expected.  I figured I'd be in for 6 hours or so with an hour break for lunch, and instead it was closer to 12 1/2 with an hour lunch and an hour and a half for supper.

Needless to say, I was *extremely* grateful when Amanda gave me a massage before bed, and I was very happy to spend most of today on the couch with her.  :-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Knitting and Slacking Off...

Amanda and I are indulging ourselves tonight.  We're lying in bed looking up neat yarn online.  She's been plugging away at a new project, and I've been trying to figure out how to knit with two colours.  I had an idea, and made a pattern myself.  Amanda was impressed when she saw my list of knit and purl instructions for 30 rows of this project, and I was impressed when I used Excel to draw out what the pattern would look like afterward.

I liked the result.

Now I just need to teach myself how to knit it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wedding Music Part Five

Yup, the well is a little bit dry tonight, so I'm going to talk more about the music that will probably be on our wedding reception playlist.

I think we'll need some music from Glee -- maybe the three songs they sang at Regionals in season 3 -- the mashup of Fly and I Believe I can Fly, What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger), and Here's to Us.  I thoroughly enjoyed all three songs, and in fact, they were my background music while playing Minecraft for about two weeks after the episode aired.

There are a few others songs that are in consideration too.

Be my Yoko Ono - Barenaked Ladies
  • When I left Tumbler Ridge, I joked that people had better not refer to Amanda as the Library's Yoko Ono.  As a result, this sort of became my anthem for a short time.
...actually, that's all I've got tonight.  Hopefully I'll have more to write about tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wine Tasting Part One

Supper tonight was very uninspired, but while I was finishing it up, I decided to try one of the wines we purchased while we ate.  So I opened the bottle of baby champagne (a Canadian sparkling wine), and we each had a glass while we ate.

Years ago I bought a bottle of the same wine for my family to have with Christmas dinner.  I didn't drink at all at the time, and so I didn't try it.  My family all seemed to like it though, so I decided to put it on our list for consideration for our wedding.

We tried it, and I wrote our reactions down in *The Wedding Notebook*.

Amanda: "I like it." (enthusiastically)
Jake: "Good for wine." (I'm starting to think I'm really not much of a wine drinker)

So we've got one wine listed in *The Wedding Notebook* with our reactions.  Once we've got a few more listed, maybe we'll be able to make a decision.  ...or maybe we'll just say "Everyone drinks Canada Dry!  Wheeeeeeee!"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hurt Knee

I hurt my knee today.  I'm not sure how I did it, but moving it anywhere but in a straight line hurts.  You might think that it's not a big deal.  Well, it turned out to be a bit of one...

I found out when I got home that walking up stairs is interesting when you can't swing your feet even slightly to the side.  A minute later, I had an interesting adventure in the world of pain while taking my shoes off.

But then Amanda came home.  Just seeing her made me feel better.  When she saw me limping around, she ordered me to sit on the couch, passed me the cooling bag to put on my knee, sat with me for a while, and told me she'd make supper.

So now I'm sitting with my leg up on the ottoman and with a cold bag on my knee.  I can hear the sounds of Amanda cooking, and I am incredibly grateful that she's my fiancee and that she cares about me so much.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wine Tasting

Amanda and I took this photo together yesterday while waiting to cross the road downtown.  A little while later, we stepped out of a store and saw a half-dozen people with cameras milling around.  I joked that they were members of the paparazzi following the famous Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie.


Today we spent some time in a liquor store.  I'm not much of a drinker, and neither is Amanda, but we're looking ahead to picking the wine for our wedding.  So we picked up two bottles that sounded interesting -- one Canadian, one American, and we'll be tasting them later on.  If we like one of them, we'll keep track and keep it in the "Maybe" list for the wedding.  If not, it'll be used as cooking wine.

The best part is that by starting now, we can spread out our tasting over quite a few months.  It'll be easier on both our bank accounts *and* our livers!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Amanda and I took this photo together outside of RBC this afternoon.  We had just finished doing some other running around after having breakfast with my new nephew and his family at McDonald's.

It was a good day!  We stopped by the bookstore in the mall and picked up a number of books that'll come in handy in the future:

Be the Man

  • all about weddings from a guy's perspective
Fodor's Essential Italy
  • We don't know for sure if we'll be able to do it, but we've discussed honeymooning in Italy.  Even though we're focusing on planning for the wedding itself right now, it's never to early to start planing for the wedding's aftermath :-)
The Newlywed's Instruction Manual
  • The books made by this company are useful and funny, and we really enjoyed reading parts of it together already.  The washroom door-style drawings and accompanying captions are hilarious and cut things down to their essentials.
Wedding Planning for Dummies
  • We saw a copy of it for sale, and it's the same edition as the one we borrowed from the Library. Amanda knew we'll want to use the book long past the three week loan period, so we bought it as well.
So from a literary standpoint, we're all set for our wedding, honeymoon, and life as newlyweds!  We've got some reading to do, and much of it will be done together, or at least sitting side-by-side on the couch like we are now.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wedding Music Part Four

So far I've written about songs I'd like to play at our reception.  Tonight though, I thought I'd talk about a few songs we *won't* be listening to.

The Nyan Cat song

  • Amanda will not be happy with me if I play this song at our reception.  She tolerates it for 30 seconds, and that's enough.  To commemorate her dislike of this song, I even stayed up late a few months back to make a minigame using Warioware D.I.Y. where Amanda could deal with the Nyan Cat.  She liked it.
Splash Wave
  • I found this song while searching iTunes for a song of the same name that was used in Sega's Outrun.  It's a Eurodance song that I find really catchy, and Amanda finds really annoying.
Better Things to Do - Terri Clark
  • I dislike this song.
Kryptonite - Three Doors Down
  • I love this song, but it's also my favourite song to be depressed to.  If I'm having a lousy day, this song fits my mood *perfectly*.  I don't think I'll need it on my wedding day.
For Now - Avenue Q
  • Again, I love this song, but it works much better as an anthem for bad days.  There's no way I'll want to hear it on my wedding day.
So those are a few of the songs that won't be played at our wedding reception.  I'm sure there are many more, but this is a good start at a Do-Not-Play list.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Rainbow Connection

I had The Rainbow Connection stuck in my head today.  It's such a great song, especially the version sung during last year's Muppet movie.  Amanda and I know all the words, and we're likely to sing along when it's playing on my iPod while we're in the car.  I sing Kermit's part, and according to Amanda my imitation of Kermit is pretty good.

I had a crazy thought in my head while walking around downtown at lunch.  At my friend's wedding a few years back, he and his groomsmen got up on stage to sing along to the lumberjack song as part of the reception.  I don't remember how well it went over, but it was silly and fun.

What if I were to find a second-hand banjo, learn how to play The Rainbow Connection, and sang it at our wedding reception?

...nah.  Somehow it would be missing something without all the other muppets joining in on the final verse.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Nephew

Amanda's sister gave birth this morning to a healthy baby boy.  Amanda and I drove over to the hospital after work to see how Amanda's sister and the baby were doing.  Everyone is healthy, and the baby is strong.  Shortly after we arrived, Amanda held the baby, and then I sat with him in my arms for quite a while.

He will be the first person in the world to know me as Uncle Jake for his entire life.  He'll never know me as Jake, or even "Auntie Amanda's friend Jake."  Amanda and I aren't married yet, and we won't be for nearly a year.  Nevertheless, my nephew was born today.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pre-Turkey Photo


Amanda and I took this photo together just before going to her parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner.  We ended up having lots of fun, but as soon as we got there, Amanda's mom and sister had a calendar sitting on the table open to August 2013.

We knew what it was for right away, and they didn't disappoint us.

"What day are you getting married?!"

We looked at each other, shrugged, and reminded them that we'd only been engaged two weeks and that Amanda had been sick the whole previous week.

...we ended up talking much too late last night about wedding plans after we returned home.  It was fun.  :-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Smoke on the Water (or in the air)

It was incredibly smoky in Grande Prairie yesterday due to a wildfire.  When Amanda and I headed out later in the day I tried for a photo of the two of us.

If I were to say that this photo turned out a little blurry because of all the smoke in the air, you folks would be polite enough to believe me, right?

...thanks.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Couch Day

We're having a couch day today.  Amanda is still sick, and I don't really have any reason to head out and about.  So we've been on the couch together most of the day.  Amanda is still knitting away at the silk mawatas she bought from Knit Picks a little while ago, and I've been playing my 3DS a ridiculous amount.

...I know we've been kind of light on the photos lately.  I'm hoping that tomorrow's weather will be nice (it's very grey outside today) and that Amanda and I can take a few while we're out and about doing stuff.

Couch Day Plusses

  1. Quality time with my favourite person
  2. Progress on the games I've been playing
  3. Relaxation -- I don't know the last time the two of us have had such a lazy day together
  4. A different perspective -- I'll feel incredibly virtuous just by going for a walk either later on tonight or tomorrow
  5. My pyjama bottoms are comfortable

Couch Day Minuses
  1. Amanda is still sick :-(
  2. I feel like I really should be up and doing a lot of different things, though I can't think of any that absolutely have to be done today
Anyway, I'm going to try to enjoy the remainder of our couch day together, and with any luck we'll have a new photo or two tomorrow!

It's Very Early in the Morning Right Now...

It's very early in the morning right now (2:20am).  I woke up from a fairly silly dream, was convinced that something odd must be happening, and am now awake and thiking about returning to bed.

So why is it that I didn't just roll over and return to sleep?  Why am I typing at nearly 2:30am?

I sleepwalk.

I half-woke up and thought that there was an event of some kind going on, and there were people trying to join Amanda and I in our bedroom.  So I hopped out of bed, threw on a t-shirt and pyjama bottoms, and walked out of the bedroom to see what was going on...  just to realize that it was the middle of the night and I was out of bed, wearing more clothes than I do while sleeping.

Yesterday morning I had to re-hang the painting that is on the wall over the head of our bed.  I had pulled it down (while half asleep), because I was convinced that one of the hangers had come loose and that it was going to fall and hurt Amanda and me.

When I told Amanda about it, she reminded me that I have woken her up a few different times in the middle of the night because I believed that something dangerous was happening and I was trying to protect her from it.

I remember the dream about the weird robots on the ceiling who were going to drop on us, and me yelling that we needed to get out.  I remember being so scared of one or two other things that have happened in my dreams that I screamed, woke Amanda up, and was halfway outside the bedroom before I came to my senses.

I know that Amanda is an incredibly smart and strong woman.  I know that she's resourceful and would find her own way out of the weird problems/dangers I dream about.  What's more, I remember very clearly her telling me *way* back when we first started dating that she was a damsel, but she wasn't in distress.

But still, a man has to rescue his princess.

...or maybe I've just played too much Super Mario Brothers over the years.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wedding Music Part Three

I think I might enjoy writing about this topic far more than it warrants...  Presented for your consideration, here are more songs we're considering for play during our wedding reception.

Crocodile Rock - Elton John
  • Amanda and I saw Elton John in Grande Prairie this April and the show was incredible.  This song isn't Rocket Man, but it would be a lot more fun for Amanda and me to dance to.
Never Gonna Give you Up - Rick Astley
  • I'd like to include this for two reasons:  first because the song covers some of what I feel about Amanda, and second because I think it would be really funny to have our reception playlist get rickrolled.
Not Moving at All - Major Maker
  • I first heard this song on CBC Radio 3 a few years ago, and it's Amanda's way of telling whether the iPod currently playing is mine or hers when it's not playing a very distinctive playlist (Japanese/video game music on mine, or tons of Tom Petty on hers)
Waiting - Tom Petty
  • Amanda is a huge Tom Petty fan, so I know we'll have some of his music playing at the reception.  This song would be my pick because it seemed like a very appropriate anthem for Amanda and me dating while I was still living in Tumbler Ridge.
So the reception playlist is still very much a work in progress.  Amanda and I spent some time this afternoon while we were making pizza talking about the wedding and some of our ideas.  We talked more about date and location, colours, the wedding party, and started talking about what we'd like to do for a wedding cake.

I'm not panicking anymore though.  I just look at the ring on Amanda's finger and the smile on her face, and I have confidence we'll get things figured out.  Besides -- I'm looking forward to the day I get to see her walk down the aisle.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wedding Music Part Two

It's time for another edition of possible songs for Amanda and my wedding!

Walking on Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
  • I really like the song and quite often I'd make sure it was playing through my car's stereo for the last few minutes of the drive to visit Amanda before I moved to Grande Prairie.  To make things even better, the song is from the 80s.  As we all know, the 80s will *never* die.
Black Sheep - Metric
  • I'd prefer the version sung by the actress who played Envy Adams in the Scott Pilgrim movie, but even the version from the soundtrack would be good.  It's just an awesome song and I spent lots of time sending my love to Amanda "on the wire" (over the Internet).
Sugar Sugar - The Archies
  • Yup, I'm still a fan of Archie comics at 31.  I bought a greatest hits CD of the Archies years ago and still love the songs on it.
Rainbow Connection - The Muppets
  • I heard this song for the first time, if not ever, in many, many years in The Muppets movie that was released last year.  It still brings a smile to my face and I love singing it with Amanda, with me trying my best to sound like Kermit the Frog.  Supposedly I'm pretty good at it according to Amanda.  :-)
Anyway, those are a few more of the songs that I'm considering for our wedding reception.  I don't know if they'll make the final list or not, but Amanda already likes all of them well enough.  Maybe next time I'll tell you about Splash Wave and how there's no chance of it playing at our reception.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wedding Music Part One

This blog post could also be titled "Songs I'd like at our wedding, but I don't know that they'd really fit the mood or be appropriate...

1)  The Star Wars march

No, not the Imperial March, though that would be interesting.  I'm talking about the song that plays during the medal presentation to Luke and Han at the end of Star Wars.  It's an awesome piece of music, and I'd really like to use it for when I make my way down the aisle, but I worry too many people would be looking around to see if Chewbacca was in attendance.

2)  You are my Sunshine
I have an irrational love of this song, and I think of it fairly often.  The only thing is that it's really not a happy-celebration-go-lucky song.

3)  I'm too Sexy
I've been to one wedding already where my brother had his vest and shirt taken off by bridesmaids to this song -- I don't need it to happen again at my wedding.  That said, I did post on Facebook today that "It's my wedding, and Tyler can party if he wants to!"  I stand by that.

Anyway, we've got lots of time to figure out what music we'll have during the ceremony itself and the reception afterward.  Perhaps Amanda and I will post about it in more detail later on.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday Night Fever

Amanda has been sick the last few days.  I'm still healthy so far, but I just woke up from nodding off to sleep against her shoulder while sitting on the couch about a half hour ago.

...I hate it when I'm sick.  I really dislike being stuck in bed or on the couch all day.  I don't enjoy sleeping for 20 hours in a day, or having a sore throat, or feeling nauseous.  That's why I feel so bad when someone else is sick.  Amanda's been sick for three days now, and I know that if I'd been sick the past three days, I'd be sick and tired of being sick, tired of the apartment and not getting outside of it, and desperate to feel better.

So, I hope she's feeling close to 100% tomorrow, and I hope I don't catch what she's got.

Get better soon Amanda!  <3

Monday, October 1, 2012

The B Colour

I like blue.

That's not to say I don't appreciate other colours.  Red is awesome, for instance.  But blue seems to be the predominant colour in my wardrobe, in my mind, and in my life.  Amanda's favourite colour?  Blue.  Her niece's favourite colour?  Blue.  Most of the time when we're talking about something being a neat shade of blue, it's something small or nearby.  With Amanda's niece, it's usually regarding a toy, part of a game, or a stuffed animal.

For Amanda and me recently, it's been other hues of blues that have caught our attention.  For instance, Amanda and I did some wandering around looking at vehicles this weekend both online and in person.  We debated the merits of car paints with names similar to "sandstone shade blue", "blue shark-spray mist", and "indigo-blue twilight."  They varied between true blues, blue-greens, and blue-greys, but they were all blue.

When we weren't admiring those blues, we were wondering at the blues in the yarn colourways we looked at online.  Some of the ones we'd most like to try are a mix of blues and greys among other colours.  My first skein of sock yarn was a mix of blue, indigo, and purple that still looks amazing to me.

The colour of the sky, especially in summer in-between clouds, is one of my favourite shades of blue.  In the dead of winter when it's sunny and 40 below, the shadows in the snow are also one of my favourite blues.

But the most wonderful shade of blue in the world can be found in just one place a few feet away from me:  in my financee's sparkling eyes.  They're beautifully blue.  They're an amazing mix of blue and grey that even now can take my breath away.

Maybe that's part of why I love her so much.  When I look into her eyes, I see my favourite colour, and it's a fantastic shade of it.

After all, I like blue.

:-)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Panicking Nine Months in Advance

I only proposed to Amanda a week ago, and already I've had my first panic attack about the wedding.  While Amanda was having a nap this afternoon, I looked at the website for one of the halls we considered for our reception.  The weekend we were considering for our wedding next August was already booked.

It boggled my mind.  I knew that weddings are planned well in advance, and I've heard stories about certain places being booked up for two or three years in advance.  But a small hall in Grande Prairie, Alberta?

Crazy.

And that's what caused me to panic for a little bit.

I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow, and I'm sure Amanda and I will get things booked fairly soon so that we'll be able to get what we really want for our wedding and reception. Until it's done though, I reserve the right to panic at any time.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Soooooooo Fast

It's been less than a week since I proposed to Amanda and already things are moving quickly.  We're discussing plans for the wedding party, flowers, and other things.

Oh, and Amanda bought her wedding gown today.  Surprised?  I was.  It came about by chance, and it was an amazing opportunity for her.  When she texted me to tell me she and her mom had bought a dress, I didn't believe her.  I thought it was a joke.  Then Amanda texted me back to say something to the effect of "Yeah, crazy, huh?"

She let me see photos of her in the dress, and she looked absolutely amazing.  I couldn't believe how beautiful she looked, and felt the dress she chose suited her amazingly.

One major decision down, many to go, and only ten months (roughly) left.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pre-Subway Kiss

Amanda and I decided to go out for supper yesterday because we got home so late.  So we walked to the Subway on the bypass and took this photo on the way over.  It was really nice -- the weather cooperated with our walk, and we stopped to swing in a park for a little bit before returning home.

Sadly I have to work tomorrow, so Amanda and I won't be getting up to much together.  But we've got Sunday together, so it's all good!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Telling the Future

Will Jake write a lengthy blog post tonight?

Magic 8 ball:  "Ask again later."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Memory Lane

Amanda and I just spent ten minutes wandering down memory lane.  I wasn't sure what to write on the blog tonight, and Amanda suggested that I check her iPhone to see if there were any photos on there that we hadn't used.

So I borrowed her phone, started the camera app, and started scrolling through the photos.  Soon we were completely lost in reminiscing about my parents visiting GP in early August, our trip to see my family before I moved to GP, our mini-vacation to Edmonton, and the many other things we've done together since she got the phone in January.

On one hand it's only been eight months, and for over six of them we were only together on the weekends.

But when we look back, it's hard to believe we did that much *living* in that time.  We've travelled, spent time with family, hiked various places, and did it all together. ...and it was all fun.

We kept scrolling back further and further to when we hiked to TR Point, and then to when I had just gotten my hair cut in the winter, and finally to the very first photos we took on Amanda's phone:  a photo I took of her sitting on my couch, smiling at me, quietly amused that I wanted to test her phone's camera by taking a photo of her, and a photo she took (the very first with the phone) of herself to send to me.

Memory Lane is fun.