Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Caffeine

Some days when I'm caffeinated just right, I have dozens of ideas and am filled with the desire to work on and perfect them. This morning was one of those days. I had an idea about how Pong is a metaphor for libraries, two ideas for library advertisements, and was generally bouncing around working on all sorts of new things. It doesn't happen often, but when it does... Wheeeeeeeee!

I don't know if Amanda is subject to the same caffeine-fuelled brilliance, but then, she started drinking coffee many years before I did. :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just Beyond my Reach

I sometimes get a feeling that there exists something just beyond my reach. It's not quite a sense of déjà vu, but a general sense that there is more to a street, moment, or song than I can fully experience at a particular moment. When I think of where I'd like to live in five or ten years, I have a very distinct image in my head of a house on a very green street where the neighbours have trees in their front yards. But the image doesn't vary. It's always the same street and layout in my head, but I swear I've never seen a street just like that before.

Then when Amanda and I were driving home from Scrabble night at her parents' house, a song I'd never heard before was playing on the radio. But one of the instrumental bits (again, completely unfamiliar) struck a chord in me.

I think about living in a tall condo in a rainy city and carrying an umbrella to work every day. I daydream about driving off into the endless prairie with Amanda by my side. There are all of these things that feel so real, as if I experienced them during my life, but there's no way I could have. So either I can believe in reincarnation and that I'm remembering snippets of a previous life, or I can believe that there's another world on the borders of this one, and that when the conditions are right, the barrier between the two isn't quite so opaque.

Of course, it could all be nonsense. It could be that these are things that I saw or heard just briefly without thinking about them, and my subconscious keeps trying to remind me that yes, I did see that street, and yes, Amanda and I did drive to Edmonton together and parts of it felt like a drive into an endless prairie. But when that street, and that condo in the rainy city, are so vivid and real, the nonsense diagnosis is sometimes the hardest to believe.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Plugging Away...

Amanda and I spent some time tonight writing out our save the date cards. We had done the stamping for them, but needed to write out the basic details of our wedding by hand on them. So we hand wrote out the date, city, and "Amanda + Jake's wedding" over twenty times each.

There was a funny moment when we started. I asked Amanda about the ink colour she thought would work. She said green, then noted that she has a few green pens. Then she pulled out six of them. We tested all six, decided on our top two colours, and went to work.

With that, we're one step closer to finishing our wedding preparation!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Amanda went to the wedding show and came back with a giant magazine/catalogue with all kinds of ideas for weddings. It's bristling with post-it flags now, including our favourite cake toppers. I joked that we could hand out $0.39 pens with the blog name and URL written on them, but now I'm thinking it might be better if we just put a giant QR code on the cake itself!

(I'm kidding Mom) :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Grey Hairs

I joked with Amanda tonight that we should count my grey hairs now, and then count them on July 28th (the day after our wedding) and see how different the number is. Right now, those hairs are still few enough that they can be counted on my fingers and toes, but I'm betting the same may not be true six months from now!

Amanda went to the wedding show in town today and did a bunch of research. The going rates for wedding photography absolutely floored me, and I am again convinced that (even though I like my job a great deal) I am in the wrong business.

Anyway, we'll figure it out. As I've said before, Amanda and I *are* pretty awesome.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Today at the library, I had a patron ask me a question, then ask "are you a librarian?"

I answered yes. I'm a library technician, not a full-blown MLIS librarian, but in the context she was asking it (ie. a library staff member who doesn't just put books away or sign them in and out), I definitely am.

I briefly felt bad about not being perfectly clear and honest despite the fact that the patron wouldn't have cared about the distinction, but then she followed up by saying "I thought only women were librarians."

At that point, I cared no longer about the accuracy. I was a little annoyed about the double standard. I bet if I had introduced my fiancée to this patron and told her Amanda works at a hydraulic shop, she would have thought it was awesome. But I would also guess she's the kind of person who insists on using terms like "male nurse".

*sigh* It's 2013. For anyone looking for a late resolution, can we please either agree that all people who work in non-stereotypical jobs for their gender are awesome, or give up on the idea that certain jobs are "meant" for a certain gender?

Thank you.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Holy Wedding Batman!

I had today off and spent a fair chunk of it doing wedding-related stuff. Amanda and I got to go out to the hall we rented and we spent nearly two hours there taking measurements and photos, and figuring out how we'll be arranging things.

While walking around the hall, talking to Amanda, it really hit me. I'm getting married!

...holy cow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I think Amanda would make an amazing Jedi. In fact, when I drew one of my whiteboard drawings at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library, I made sure to draw Amanda's stand-in swinging a lightsaber and looking incredibly awesome. I can imagine her waving a hand and making a suggestion to a weak-willed person. I could also see her thrusting a hand out and sending a small object flying to hit a switch or into a nearby garbage can.

The idea of Amanda wearing a Jedi robe and swinging a lightsaber in giant circles is incredibly awesome. I tried sketching it out tonight, but I couldn't do my idea justice. Oh well. When Yoda makes it to Earth she'll get her Jedi training and be able to kick all kinds of rear end!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More Seating Arrangements

Something Amanda and I still have to discuss is the seating arrangements for the wedding. She saw something on Pinterest that said "We're here to join families, so pick a seat, not a side." I think we'll end up doing something similar because otherwise we'll have a bride's side that outnumbers the groom's side by about 3 to 1!

We do, however, have to consider the seating arrangement for dinner at the reception. There are a lot of issues to consider. Some people we are inviting are not fond of one another. Others don't know each other at all and may feel weird sitting with them. Others still are so awesome (not even counting Amanda and me) that everyone will want to sit next to them.

Luckily, I feel up to the task. I helped come up with the new layout of the Tumbler Ridge Public Library in 2011, after all. If I can figure out a good layout with dozens of shelves, desks, and tables, I'm sure I can arrange 50-60 people around some tables.

And if all else fails, Amanda and I can arrange the hall so the head table we're at is at one end of the hall and everyone else is stuffed very compactly at the other end! :-)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Seating Arrangements

I like couch time with Amanda. I really do. But there are nights, like tonight, when I look at my Sumo chair on the love seat across from us and think "it'd be nice if we had room for that on the floor." Sometimes, especially after one of us has had a stressful day, it'd be nice to slump into a beanbag chair.

That said, there isn't enough room on the chair for both of us. So maybe we're better off this way!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Ring to Bind Us Together

Amanda bought my wedding ring today. We were at the mall and decided to stop by Ben Moss. That's where I bought Amanda's ring from, and it is also the place that had the two ring designs I liked for my wedding band. When Amanda and I were looking online at rings, she jokingly suggested that I either needed a ring with a lot of small diamonds (bling bling), a ring that had a design that looked vaguely Star Trek-ish, or one that was made of tungsten and had a tire tread pattern on it.

But there were two I liked. Amanda's ring is a mix of white gold and yellow gold, and I wanted something similar to match. One ring was yellow gold with a diagonal white gold pattern, and one was a ring with yellow gold on the outer edges and a band of white gold in the center. I waffled a fair bit over the decision, and more than once Amanda threatened to just go buy me the tire pattern ring. Well, a little bit before Christmas we were in the mall and I decided on the latter.

When we were there today, I tried on the ring they had in stock and it fit perfectly. Amanda and I looked at each other, and we decided that today was the day to check my ring off our wedding preparation list. We arrived home, and Amanda suggested I try on the ring again, and I took a photo of it on my hand. It's only just over six months until Amanda will be putting it on my finger for real at our wedding. And that thought puts a large smile on my face. :-)

That said, I can't help but think maybe I should've asked about getting a green lantern symbol on it, too... Then I could've promised in my wedding vows to love Amanda in brightest day and blackest night. ;-)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hockey Night in Grande Prairie

Tonight when the puck dropped to begin the abbreviated NHL season, Amanda and I were not in front of the TV. Instead, we were at the Crystal Centre watching the Grande Prairie Storm beat the Calgary Canucks. It was great. I hadn't been to a live hockey game in over five years, and I had some wonderful company for it.

Now, I don't think we'll be going to every home game, but I do think we'll go again. Amanda admitted to me that she had made sure to bring her iPhone just in case she was bored by the game. I'm happy to say that she didn't have to pull the iPhone out of her pocket even once.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Winter Strikes Back

Until around 11 this morning, I thought the mid-winter melt would continue. I was wrong. It snowed nearly two inches today, and more is predicted. During a trip to Future Shop and supper at Mucho Burrito, my car had a half inch of snow accumulate on it.

All this means is that Amanda and I might end up having a quiet day at home tomorrow instead of being out and about. ...maybe we'll finally finish our save the date cards!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Newest Book

Amanda and I heard about Dan Brown's newest novel today. We'd both like to read it, but we had mixed feelings bout his previous books. I loved The DaVinci Code. I bought a used copy on a whim a few years after the book had come out and spent half the night reading it. I finally went to sleep very late only because I had an exam the next day and needed at least a few short hours of sleep.

After that, I was incredibly excited for The Lost Symbol. wasn't the same. I didn't care about the penalty for failure (oh noes, people will see Masonic rituals out of context and see famously people participating...) The back and forth as to whether the keystone was a physical object or a metaphor for something else got old quickly too.

So we're both looking forward to Dan Brown's newest, but not without some concern. I guess we're cautiously optimistic... but not in the same way the Penny Arcade folks were a few years back.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Drowning in Sock Yarn

Tonight Amanda received some sock yarn she ordered a few weeks ago. To steal her word, it looked like our couch "esploded" with yarn. So we took our time cuddling it, stroking it, and hugging it. I even took a picture while Amanda's arms were full of all the yarn that arrived.

...I think we may have to grow extra feet. :-)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Wander

Amanda and I went for a walk tonight. It was warm out today, and going for a wander with her was a nice change from doing an hour of step in our living room while watching tv or playing video games.

I *did* take a picture of us near some stop lights, but it turned out incredibly grainy and will need some touching up before I can post it. At any rate, our walk was fun!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Over a Year...

I just checked yesterday, and it's been over a year since I started this blog with Amanda! So, happy birthday to this blog, I guess. What have we learned in the last year? Well, you've learned that I like to take pictures of Amanda and me kissing somewhere. You've also learned I like to write about random things, compliment my fiancée and that I play too much Minecraft, though I haven't touched it in a few weeks.

What's coming next for this blog? Well, I hope to get back into taking more pictures of the two of us. I'm also hoping to write a few more lengthier blog posts like my thousand word blog post I wrote months ago. Finally, with our wedding only 6 1/2 months away, I'm sure you'll be hearing lots about the planning, anticipation, and worrying about the big day.

So to all of our regulars, thanks for sticking with the Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie over the past year. Thanks to all four of you.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Similarities and Differences

How are Amanda and I like an average couple? Well, today we went to the mall together and one of us dragged the other to pretty much all of the clothing stores.

How are we different from an average couple? was me doing the dragging. I was looking for some pants for work and pulled Amanda into three or four stores to find something that would work for me.

Now, there *was* one store that Amanda walked into with me following, but it would've been very weird for me to lead Amanda into a lingerie store... While we were there, I asked her why there is really no such thing as a store that just specializes in underwear for men. I guess it's because there really isn't enough variety between boxers and briefs to justify an entire store.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Alternating Weekend

It's going to be an alternating weekend. Amanda has to work tomorrow and I'm working Saturday. So unfortunately, we won't be seeing as much of each other as we'd like tomorrow or Sunday. That said, we'll find stuff to keep us busy. Our Christmas tree is still up, and I should probably pack it up tomorrow, and I haven't spent anytime playing Minecraft lately. Amanda will find something to occupy her on Sunday, though I wouldn't be surprised if she came by the library.
Since I started there, she hasn't visited the library as often as she used to. I feel guilty about it, but at the same time I really don't want to visit the library on my days off from there... In fact, we've sort of reached an interesting compromise. If there's anything Amanda wants to read, we place a hold on it using my account so I can pick it up for her at the library. We save time and save me from being at the library even longer each week. I mean, I like my job. But I spend enough time in that building each week. And this week, it'll be a little more than normal.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Evaluation Time

I'm receiving my first evaluation at work tomorrow. It's weird, but I don't think I've ever received a proper one before. At the mill I worked at, it was mostly just a quick check that I was doing okay on safety stuff, and before that, I was working at summer jobs while I attended university.

When I worked at the library in Tumbler Ridge, we had evaluations on one occasion. I filled out a form with a few goals for the next year, walked into the managers office, and my evaluation basically consisted of her writing "Jacob is above average in all aspects. Excellent overall." On my form. That was it.

So I have no idea what to expect tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be a productive talk about what I'm doing well at and what I could be doing better. Worst case scenario, I sit and talk with my boss about how the GP Library and TR Library are different. Good times! (I hope)

Amanda basically said "You're doing a good job, aren't you? It should be fine then." And, like usual, she's right!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sleepy time Thoughts

I'm watching Amanda sleep. She predicted that I'd have trouble sleeping if I did some exercise tonight, and she may have been right...

Oh well. I can think of worse fates than watching her sleep, arms resting at her side, breathing peacefully. Hopefully she's dreaming about me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Casino Movie Night

Amanda and I are watching Ocean's Thirteen tonight. She's never seen it before, and I haven't watched it in a while. It's still not as good as the first in the series, but it's so much better than Ocean's Twelve was. I did a half hour of step and Amanda was knitting during the first chunk of the movie, but now it's couch time!

We briefly discussed other movies we'd like to watch together and concluded that we need to watch the Godfather movies together sometime soon. I've only seen the first two movies and that was a few years ago, so getting me to watch them again isn't exactly a hard sell. Or in other words, asking me to watch them with her was an offer I couldn't refuse.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Supper time Adventures

I made teriyaki chicken for supper tonight. I assumed Amanda was happy with my choice because she told me how good it smelled less than 2 minutes after I put the chicken in the frying pan.

It's one of my favourite meals too. It uses a lot of dishes, but the result, especially when served with a veggie stir fry and rice, is amazing. As an extra benefit, it's more or less healthy. Two chicken breasts is enough for Amanda and me to have supper with enough left for her to take for lunch.

So in short, Tonight I won at supper!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Test Drive Timeout

Amanda and I took this photo together on the couch in a car dealership yesterday between test drives. It's not my best photo -- there's far too much of me in frame and to nearly enough Amanda, but I would bet it's the best ever photo of a kissing couple taken on a couch in a car dealership!

In other news, our place feels much cleaner and we feel mic better after taking our cardboard to recycling and going for a lengthy walk this afternoon. Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon with my fiancée ever!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Car Shopping

Amanda and I spent most of today going between car dealerships looking around. Her car is starting to get old, and so we went wandering. As a result, I got to be driven around Grande Prairie by Amanda on five different test drives today! :-)

We didn't drive home in a new car, or even in a new-to-Amanda car, but we had fun, and Amanda has a much better idea as to what she'd like to be driving when she does buy a new car.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Books and such

Amanda and I both do a lot of reading. Lately she's been using her Kobo Mini to great effect, while my reading efforts have been buoyed by working in a library whose collection is still very unfamiliar to me. In short, both of our reading lives are going incredibly well!

I requested two books before Christmas which I didn't have a chance to start during the first loan or first renewal, but with the second renewal I'm finally getting going on them. Even more fun reading times are ahead.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Golden Symbol

I received a spiffy Golden Power polo shirt by Fangamer from my brother for Christmas. I like the shirt and its triforce logo, and find it really comfortable. As a result, I may end up ordering one of their other shirts -- probably the kraken polo. In this, I find myself following Amanda's lead. Wen looking at colourways on Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Amanda always looks at a colourway called "The Kraken", and tells me that if she bought that yarn, whenever she knit with it she'd have to proclaim "Release the kraken!"

I believe if I bought the polo shirt I mentioned above, I would do the same. :-)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Kissy Kissy


(We took this photo while looking at cars for Amanda yesterday)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


When drawing on the library's whiteboard, I once drew a Japan-inspired, library themed sports drink. Tonight I did some sketching of a similar idea. It made Amanda laugh!

Farewell 2012

I began 2012 with Amanda in my arms, and ended it the same way. I started the year with a very special girlfriend and ended it with my best friend, my fiancée, and the love of my life.

In between those wonderful bookends, I went to a conference in Toronto, had an article published, accepted a new job in Grande Prairie, moved in with Amanda, proposed to her, and... Oh yeah, I started this blog.

I can say without hesitation, just as I could this time last year, that the last year was the best of my life and that a large part of that was from having Amanda as a part of it.

I look forward to 2013 continuing that streak. Goodbye 2012, and thanks!