On this page:
  • The story of the shoes at our wedding; also, wedding pictures
  • Back on the writing wagon
  • Quick catch-up
  • Married!
  • Systematically eliminating choices
  • ‘round the bend

The story of the shoes at our wedding; also, wedding pictures

Here are some of the wedding pictures:

Wedding pictures

People found the shoes we wore remarkable, so let me tell the story for all the people who weren’t there.

W- had formal shoes from the time we attended a wedding in the Philippines. I had cream flat shoes that went well with the dress. But J- didn’t have any formal shoes that fit. She had grown size-7 feet while we weren’t looking.

Time to shop for shoes. On a good day, it’s hard to find a simple, flat, dressy-but-not-too-formal style. In the weeks before a wedding (and as retailers replace their summer flats with fall boots), it’s even harder.

We must’ve checked five or six stores before we found a shoe that fit well, had a low heel, and would go well with a dress. The shoe was too dressy for school, though. W- said, “I’m not paying that much for shoes that she’s only going to wear for an hour.” The man I married is as frugal as I am.

We joked about the Chuck Taylors we’d seen in Aldo. It was pink plaid. W- looked at me. “What about the Chucks? She can pull off the look,” he said. “We can wear whatever we want,” I said. “We’re not optimizing just for photographs.”

J- lit up. Sold!

We headed back to Aldo’s. For fun and family solidarity, W- and I picked out our own Chuck Taylors too. I chose a gray plaid, and he chose a bright red.

J- wore her Chucks to the wedding, while W- and I brought ours in a bag. After the wedding ceremony, we changed into our Chucks and had fun.

So that’s the story of the shoes. They’re about choosing everyday life over stereotypical expectations, the cultivation of in-jokes, and the serious fun of love.

Back on the writing wagon

From October 6:

It’s been a whirlwind week. My family flew into Toronto to celebrate our wedding. I’ve been jotting quick notes in my ever-growing text file, rough sketches of things I’d like to tell stories about. I just haven’t made enough time to sit quietly and turn quick thoughts into something longer. I chose sleep, which turned out to be a good decision.

I’d normally choose to do fewer things so that I could write and sleep, but my family just overflows with awesomeness and stories. I can think of this as braindump mode – cramming a year’s worth of interaction into a week.

Besides, I can review my parents’ Facebook posts for stories to tell. Yay social media!

A few quick stories:

Languages: I like how undistinguished I feel around them. For example, my sister Kathy jokes around in English, Tagalog, German, Dutch, and Afrikaans. I can’t understand everything she’s saying, but I’m glad she has fun, and it nudges me to learn Cantonese and review my Japanese. I am going to learn Cantonese because I want to be able to listen and talk to Wayne’s family, and because it’s fun to pick up a new language. I also want to learn how to write it eventually.

Halibut: My dad says he will only eat fish he can spell. My sister once tried making him halibut, but it was a no-go. But Gene Hattori deep-fried cubes of halibut (that he had caught himself in Alaska!) in a beer batter, and it was scrumptious. So my dad learned how to spell–and eat–halibut.

School: J- ended up skipping a week of school and then some. She had a bad cold and cough for the first few days, so her dad kept her home from camp. She felt a little better by Thursday, but she was learning so much from my dad and the rest of my family that W- decided it was better for her to take advantage of those learning opportunities. He also got her excused from Monday afternoon’s classes so that she could come with us to the Hattoris. After all, it’s not every day that one gets to chat with someone who has been an official photographer for the Queen. =) (… is how W- explained it to J-’s teacher, I think. Not that there was much talk of government over the excellent food the Hattoris prepared.)

Everyone: It has been so much fun having everyone over. This is the first time my entire family has visited me here in Canada. I don’t think our kitchen has ever been this busy – or smelled this good — before. Tita Gay and Kathy treated us to days of constantly eating gourmet home-cooked food, and everyone regaled us with stories.

Stories: Wayne and I like the way people tell stories. There are several parts to that: developing confidence and fluency in free-flowing conversations; developing an archive of stories; and connecting stories to each other. We’d like to get better at that. We can do that by hosting or hanging out with storytellers, going on our own adventures, and practicing telling stories around the kitchen table. I also enjoy writing.

More snippets as I make time to write.

Quick catch-up

Too many things going on. Haven’t been able to sit down and properly write for almost a week, and probably won’t get a chance to do so until people have left. Fortunately, my parents (already awesome storytellers) have gotten addicted to writing, so I can probably piece together the important bits from their Facebook news feed. (It’s really cool. You can almost see my dad go, “Hmm, I should share that.”)

Everything turned out even awesomer than we’d planned. =D

Married!

Rings
Married!

Systematically eliminating choices

I confess: I sometimes feel overwhelmed when researching choices. I find it really helpful to write options down and then systematically eliminate them as I learn more.

For example, we’re planning how to take 11 people (ourselves included) to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Based on a few Internet searches, we identified the following options:

  1. Rent a 12-passenger van and take everyone.
  2. Rent a 7-passenger minivan and go in a convoy.
  3. Charter a yacht and go across the lake.
  4. Charter a private tour van from Toronto.
  5. Take a pre-determined Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake tour.
  6. Go to Niagara Falls by bus.
  7. Skip Niagara entirely.

Decisions are less stressful when you’ve got a basic plan in place, like the way that writing is easier once you’ve written a first draft, and like the way negotiations are easier when you’ve identified your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA).

Our “first draft” was option 6: taking an inexpensive bus to Niagara Falls, and then doing a self-directed tour. That beat option 7, which might’ve involved making more preserves. ;)

We briefly looked at option 5 (public bus tour), too, but it didn’t feel like a good fit. So we struck that out.

Our ideal would’ve been to rent a 12-passenger van, but the companies that listed them as available seemed sketchy (mixed reviews on the Internet, complaints about transactions), and the larger rental companies didn’t have any 12-passenger vans available during that period. (Update: the smaller companies reported not having any vans for those dates, either. Moot point, then.)

We played around with the idea of taking a yacht (3) because it would be an awesome experience, but we decided it wasn’t worth it.

  1. Rent a 12-passenger van and take everyone.
  2. Rent a 7-passenger minivan and go in a convoy.
  3. Charter a yacht and go across the lake.
  4. Charter a private tour van from Toronto.
  5. Take a pre-determined Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake tour.
  6. Go to Niagara Falls by bus.
  7. Skip Niagara entirely.

Renting a minivan and going in a convoy (2) was much better than going to Niagara Falls by bus, so we made that our current working option.

A bit of digging turned up the IBM discount for Enterprise Car, which was okay. (I found out from Ian Garmaise that Enterprise also has 12-passenger vans, but none were available for the period we were looking at.)

W- reasoned that it made more sense to rent a minivan for the entire time than to hire a van and a driver, considering many people in our family can drive.

  1. Rent a 12-passenger van and take everyone.
  2. Rent a 7-passenger minivan and go in a convoy.
  3. Charter a yacht and go across the lake.
  4. Charter a private tour van from Toronto.
  5. Take a pre-determined Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake tour.
  6. Go to Niagara Falls by bus.
  7. Skip Niagara entirely.

When you feel overwhelmed with choices, it helps to list those choices and then get rid of them one by one.

‘round the bend

You know those moments in formulaic movies. Our heroes hit their lowest points. Everything looks stressful. Then something changes, and everything starts looking up.

This week feels different from last week. I think we’ve finally made it ‘round the bend in terms of wedding planning. With two weeks to go until the wedding, it’s about time. =)

We’ve cleared most of the woodworking tools from the living room, so there’s space for guests. We reinstalled the shoe cabinets in the newly-painted hallway. We have a detailed plan for things to do until the big day. We’ve got a definite answer for the drama we’d been struggling with, and everything else looks like it will work out.

Things are looking up. I’m even excited – it might not be the stressful day I’d been dreading. It might even be fun. =)