Tuesday Night

There’s a reason I have started giving myself an hour or so of game playing before bed.  Wednesday, I awoke with a really tight muscle in my back and one in my neck, because my sleep had not been good.  Here are the four dreams I remember:

  1.  A woman who had her face cut off and then eaten, showed up at my door to warn me that there had been a prison break and someone was coming to kill me.  I was less disturbed by the prison break and more disturbed by the woman who was wearing a see through plastic mask in place of her skin.  Goo was oozing out from the edges of the mask.  She had no lips, so I could see her teeth and they moved up and down as she talked.  I could also see into her sinus cavity because her nose was gone.
  2. The squirrels in my neighborhood caught rabies and were trying to bite people.  We called animal control, who took up positions inside our houses and were shooting them through our *closed* windows.  The theory was if the windows were closed the rabid squirrels couldn’t get inside the houses.  For some reason, they were killing for fun.  A pack of squirrels would jump out of the trees, land on someone, and bite them until they bled to death.
  3. I was mailing my wedding invitations when the post office I was at went on lockdown because of gunmen in the area.  I could hear the gunfire and I knew there was more than one shooter.  I could also hear people screaming outside.  Then there was a huge explosion and someone ran past saying they had blown up the police station.  The dream ended as they were firing at the windows of the post office.
  4. Finally, a small meteor impact in southeastern Russia, carried enough radiation to mutate several bacteria and viruses, including Y. Pestis and H5N1 to make them airborne.  Under normal circumstances, neither Bubonic Plague or H5N1 – a strain of influenza that is exceedingly rare, has a 90% mortality rate, and can only pass from bird-to-human – are airborne or able to easily pass from human-to-human.  When this does happen, we get chaos and pandemics (the Black Death of the 14th century was an airborne form of Bubonic Plague and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919 has a very similar structure to H5N1).

These dreams may not seem connected to each other or even connected to my writing, but I only have these types of dreams when I write or edit immediately before going to bed.  I’m sure there were others I don’t remember, considering I bit through my night guard and had some decent jaw pain as well as the headache and tight muscles.

Then yesterday, we had the Great Nephew for most of the evening and I dreamed about being pregnant all night long.  Needless to say, I didn’t sleep good last night either.

Time To Admit It

In my opinion, Fortified Dreams is the best book I have ever written.  I loved every single moment of it.  During the past year, I’ve faced some challenges with both my health and my personal life, which led to a bit of a crisis.

I’m afraid to publish…

Yes, a writer afraid to publish and not just the normal pre-publishing jitters, but absolute terror that my next book will suck.  Medications and chronic pain left me more scatterbrained than usual.  Even once I got it under control, I had some trouble staying focused for very long.  I started ideas and shelved them more than once.

Then there was the cockup with Flawless Dreams when Lola the Destroyer literally deleted the file by standing on my keyboard at a crucial moment.  I don’t know whether she helped me out or screwed me over.  Either is possible.

I did get the first part of Triggered Reality to the editor and she had some great suggestions.  I’m working on implementing them.  I have the cover ordered and drafts are coming, but the fact that I forgot to order the cover is proof enough that my head is not fully in the game.

The editor did make me feel a little better about it.  She swears it doesn’t suck and since I believe she would flat out say it, in those exact words – we have that kind of relationship.  With her blessing, I gained a little more confidence that Triggered Reality was on par with what I normally put out.

My goal is to get her the second part by the end of the week.  She’s got other stuff she’s working on, so I only feel sorta crappy that I missed getting it to her in a timely manner.

Ok, back your regularly scheduled programming…

Panic Mode & Edits

Last night, I was working on edits for Triggered Reality when Lola decided she wanted her chest rubbed.  Lola is harness trained, she wears it all the time and doesn’t like to have it taken off.  However, it makes it hard to pet her chest.

After several, several minutes of rubbing her chest through the sides of the harness, and making my arm tired, I stop.  She wasn’t ready for that and immediately starts pushing her chest against my hands trying to get me to rub her again.

Not thinking, I unsnapped her harness.  She instantly freaked out, ran to my mom’s room,  and jumped in bed.  Where she stayed until morning…

On one hand, I love that she’s harness trained.  It’s better for her back since she’s a puller and always will be to some degree.  It’s easier on my mom to control her on a harness that has a front hook as well as back hooks, because Lola is calmer when she’s hooked in the front.  I can’t get a collar tight enough because she has a large mane due to her breeding (collies and German Shepherds both have them), so she can pull out of it.  Kids and other dogs don’t choke her when they grab her harness as opposed to her wearing a collar and that’s a big deal because she loves little kids more than she loves other dogs.  And I mean she loves kids, all kids.

On the other hand, her harness has become a security blanket.  It doesn’t matter how many times I try to take it off of her just to pet her, she always panics.  I used to think it was because she really hates baths, but I’m beginning to change my thinking.  She still really hates baths and taking her harness off is a sign of getting a bath, but I take her harness off in the bathtub when it’s bath time.  I don’t do it in the living room in the middle of the night and then go throw her in the tub.  This means her panic stems from just the lack of her harness.  She feels insecure without it and since I’m the one that took it off, it makes her panic and run away from me.

But she loves to have her chest stroked and it’s hard to do with the harness on.  I would like to train her to a happy medium… okay with it on, okay with it off, but she’s over 18 months now and I’m not sure how to do that.

Things I Couldn’t Make Up if I Tried…

On occasion, the universe throws me something so bizarre, I have no idea what to do with it.  It’s at these moments that no matter how creative I get, there are just some things I would never think up.  Here’s a short list:

  • There are geese in the park where I walk Lola the Destroyer.  Every once in a while during our walk, she will grab a mouthful of acorns, take them as close to the geese as I will allow her to get, and drop the acorns for the geese.  I haven’t a clue why. *Sidenote: the geese are not afraid of her and the closest I will let her get is about 15 feet because if they attack her, they are going to come after me as well.
  • I saw a woman dressed in a clown suit filling her cart with nothing but cases of beer and lots of cans of Redi-Whip at my local grocery store.  It was not October.
  • While shopping for my wedding dress, I overheard another bride-to-be explaining to the poofy dress picker outer from the store that she was two months pregnant and was due the same month as the wedding.  The dress lady kept trying to explain that she might want to wait to buy the dress and the bride-to-be just kept responding with it wasn’t a big deal, she’d have the baby a week or two early so she could fit back into the dress at her pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Stopped at a stop light one time and noticed that there were two women in the car next to me.  The passenger was applying makeup to the driver and also trying to style the driver’s hair.
  • When iPod came out with their broadcast your iTunes library to your radio by tuning into an unused radio channel, I was using my all the time, because I had a 30 minute commute to work and a 30 minute commute home, depending on traffic.  I’m listening to music as I go down the road and suddenly, my music is interrupted by talking.  Someone was listening to an erotica audiobook on the exact same station and for about 20 seconds, all I could hear was their intimate descriptions of thrusting.
  • I had a boss that threw a tantrum about something.  I’m sure it was trivial, but he was still kicking his desk every once in a while as if he were scoring the FIFA World Cup winning goal.  As he fumed, surprisingly not at me, I warned him that if he kicked his desk again, he’d probably break a toe.  To prove me wrong, he kicked his desk again.  I was wrong, he didn’t break a toe… He broke his desk.  The side collapsed and everything went tumbling onto the floor.  The computer monitor fell on his foot and broke it though.
  • Same boss, different day.  We get into a serious argument in his office.  The door is closed.  They can hear us shouting at each other halfway across the building. He’s swearing at me in a foreign language, which I had learned a few key words and phrases from.  I’m swearing back at him in English and threatening to quit.  We were forced to do “Couples Anger Management therapy” for 8 weeks.  When the therapist asked what we were arguing about, we both had to admit it was because we couldn’t agree on where to get take-out from.  We were working on a huge project and spent 12-15 hours a day, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week, together.  Working through lunch and dinner had become part of our routine and we regularly ordered out because neither of us could remember to bring our lunch.
  • In high school, I watched a girl shove the end of a paperclip through her nose because her mother refused to sign off on her getting a septum piercing.  She was two months away from being 18, when she could have legally gotten it sans paperclip.
  • Riding in the bed of a truck, it’s late, I’m with some friends.  One of them decides to steal the road poles.  These are orange flexible poles standing a couple of feet high that they put on roads to keep people from merging into lanes or crossing the centerline.  He reaches out, grabs one, and is promptly yanked from the bed of the truck.  His only injury is a dislocated shoulder and some scratches.  He failed to realize they were bolted into road.  This story should actually start with “Here, hold my beer” because he had been drinking, he just wasn’t drinking as we were riding down the road.
  • Finally, my SO and I were driving down the road one afternoon near Mark Twain Lake.  A male peacock crosses the road in front of us.  Near that same spot about a decade and a half earlier, I saw an orangutan cross the road.  Neither are native to Missouri.

Attacked in the Dark

I’ve had a terrible cold all week.  My face hurts from the sinus congestion.  I went to the doctor who gave me a steroid injection and told me to live on a decongestants, which has made me a little bit of a zombie and it works better during the day.  Come night time, the sinus headache and face pain get really bad, so I haven’t been sleeping at night.  I have been going to bed around 5 am and getting up around noon or 1 pm.  That’s why no one has heard from me.  However, it has lead to a very funny story…

Last night/this morning, around 3:30 am, Lola the Destroyer got up and really needed to go outside to pee.  So I put her on her leash, bundled up, even though it had warmed up to a balmy 48 degrees, and we headed outside.  I didn’t take a flashlight, my stun gun was on, but it was actually on – meaning not in flashlight mode, but stun gun mode, and my cell phone was in my pocket.  I live in a lower middle class area of town.  Crime isn’t bad, but we’ve had problems with teens breaking into cars.  Especially in the wee hours of the morning.

We get to the backyard.  It’s much darker in this part of the yard, but it doesn’t bother me to be in the dark at any time of the night.  I just don’t spook easily and I’m good in a crisis/dangerous situation.  Lola squats.  I’m kinda looking around.  I catch movement out of the corner of my eye.  Turn my head and something lands next to Lola.  Lola jumps, literally jumps, straight up into the air.  She is freaking out.  I can only see a large dark shadow.  I’m thinking large owl or hawk has landed two feet from her.

Lola is a medium sized dog.  She’s sixty pounds, most of it muscle, and she has long teeth.  She can handle herself.  However, a large owl or hawk could inflict some damage.  Plus, there’s a conservation area just south of Columbia about three miles where Bald Eagles are making a comeback.  Now, if you have ever seen a Bald Eagle up close, they are large enough to eat my dog.

The dark shadow is fairly good sized and it scoots a couple of inches.  So I’m digging for my cell phone for the flashlight while trying to get it to fly away.  I move up on it, stun gun at the ready.

It’s a friggin’ box.  It has been tremendously windy with this warm front coming through (it was 8 on Saturday, 60 this morning, and we are expecting an ice storm on Friday).  Windy enough that it picked up a large cardboard box from somewhere, flew it through the air – above the level of my head, and managed to plop it down right next to Lola the Destroyer.

Needless to say, it took a little while to get Lola calmed down.  And I had to chide myself on nearly stun gunning a box.

The Promised Update

And let’s just get it out there immediately… I forgot to order the cover for Triggered Reality.  The book is just about ready for the editor though.  Then it will go to the betas.  With a little luck and some finger crossing, I’ll get a cover this month so it can release.

No, I don’t know how I forgot such an important step in the publishing process.  Normally, I have the cover by now. Normally, I have even showcased the cover by now.

Not this time because this time, I completely blanked on the cover and forgot to tell Covered Creatively I needed one.

So, that’s the progress report I’ve been avoiding.

What’s In A Name?

Since officially announcing we were getting married, people have started to call me Mrs. ___.  They don’t ask, they just assume that I will be taking my SO’s last name.  I’m not.  This is not a reflection on my SO or his family or his last name or our relationship.  It’s about me.

First, I already manage more than one identity.  Hadena James does not include my real last name.  It is my first and middle names.  Even after four and a half years, I still occasionally forget that Ms. James is me.

Second, I would still have to be Ms. James.  My last name isn’t used very often because we really only us last names in our professions.  About a third of all the people I hang out with, probably have no idea what my last name even is.  Since we started handing out reception invitations I have been flooded with friends’ requests on Facebook.  It finally dawned on me that they probably hadn’t friended me before because they didn’t know my last name.  They knew James was my last name as a writer, but they couldn’t find me under that, so they started “finding” me because my last name is on the reception invitations.  I’d also be willing to bet more than half of the friends I do have in darts, found me through my SO’s Facebook page and not because they knew my last name.

Third, I am 36.  By the time I get married, I’ll be 36 and 1/2 years old.  That means unless I live to be over 73, I will have carried my last name for half my life or more.  Frankly, a girl gets attached to a name after this long.  I can’t imagine my name being anything other than it is.  It has become part of my identity.  Most women who marry, will have had their husband’s last name for a decade or more by the time they reach my age.  Or will be working on their second married last name because the first marriage didn’t work out.  The point is, that most women do not carry their maiden names into their mid-thirties.  I’ve talked to a few that did and they all feel the same as me, it’s a part of their identity at this point.

Finally, changing my last name to his doesn’t improve our chances of making our marriage work.  It doesn’t make anything more or less legal.  What it does mean is that at 36, I’m changing all my banking info, all my business info, all my tax info, my driver’s license, my social security card, my car registration, my student loan repayment paperwork has to be redone, my college diplomas have to be reissued, all my current medical information has to be updated, and only god knows what else.  If I don’t change it, it’s a matter of checking a different box.  This final point ties in heavily with the third.  I’m not 22 or 25.  I have a long paper trail of life behind me.  Changing my name is more about filling out forms than bolstering our relationship.

Thankfully, when I told my SO, I didn’t want to change my name he was fine with it.  Some other people haven’t been, but making them happy isn’t in the Notes section of my life plan.  I do admit I was surprised by the number of people who thought it strange that I wasn’t changing my name.


The Office – I Do Not Miss

I do not miss working in an office for a multitude of reasons, but one of the biggest is coworkers.  Not all my coworkers, over the years, I’ve had some great ones.  I’ve also had some pretty shitty ones.  It has led me to believe that a book on office etiquette should be mandatory reading for anyone entering into an office.  And I’m not talking about a handbook, that puppy needs to cover an unbelievable amount of WTFness.

  • Consistently being two or three minutes late to work.  Want to raise the ire of your coworkers?  Walk in the door four days out of five at 8:01 instead of 8:00.  Most of us were raised with the understanding that if your job starts at 8:00 am, you should be there by 7:59 am.  The one, two, or three minute infraction is not enough to raise the eyebrows of supervisors if you aren’t punching a time clock, but it will not go unnoticed by coworkers who will see you are the last one at your desk after they have already started working.  It shows a lack of respect for your job, your employer, but most importantly, your fellow hostages.  They have got their computers booted and are ready to start work while you are still fumbling to figure out where to put your keys.  And if they need something from you before they can start work… well, now you being a minute or two or three late is holding their jobs up.
  • Sometimes, it’s great to get personal with a coworker or two.  It’s bonding and helps bolster friendships within the office.  At other times, it goes a little too far.  A woman I had worked with for three whole days suddenly popped her head up over my cube wall to inform me that she had to have her vagina surgically tightened.  She then went ahead and explained why.  Um, no, nope, not even a little okay.  Some things should be better left unsaid.
  • Want to check your personal email or rotate your Farmville crops before they die?  Not a big deal, except when it takes up more of your time than your job and your coworkers notice.  Or infects the network with a virus. Keep your personal email on your phone and take three minutes when you aren’t busy, to check it.  Log into Facebook and change your crops out, when you aren’t busy.  This whole busy thing is part of the problem. People will interrupt work, when they’re busy, to do these things and usually, that affects someone else.  No one who works in an office is alone.  Everyone has to work together.  However, we all have downtown, it’s nearly impossible not to take a few minutes to pull our sanity together.  Just make sure you aren’t taking those minutes too often or for too long and screwing up someone else’s work.
  • Do not steal other people’s shit.  I don’t care if it’s their staples, their lunch, or quarters from their cube counter.  This is annoying and eventually, someone is going to figure out who is doing it and then, if you’re lucky, they will just treat you like a pariah.  I once got charged by my job because of the extreme number of paperclips I was using.  At least once a day, I would have to get a box and since all inventory was monitored, it was obvious that I was going through a ton of paperclips.  I was even approached about not using office supplies for arts and crafts because I couldn’t explain why I never had paperclips.  I decided to start marking every paperclip in every box to figure out how I was using them all.  After about three weeks of putting sharpie marks on all the paperclips I was getting from the supply room, I walked into the office of lead secretary and asked to borrow her three hole punch.  She opened a drawer and there were just boxes and boxes and boxes of paperclips.  She’d been going around when people were on lunch and at the end of the day and collecting all their paperclips.  Eventually, there were about seven of us that all figured into the whole had to be paid back from a government job for the paperclips we had stolen from us ordeal.  The most interesting part; the lead secretary was in on the discussion about not making arts and crafts with office supplies.
  • Stop with the judgement.  This should be self evident, sadly, it’s not.  When I worked in an office, every time someone had some big news to announce – usually a baby or a wedding – we were all expected to be happy for that person.  One of my coworkers always sent a gift to the office shower, but never turned up for them (neither did I for that matter, but for a totally different reason).  At some point, someone got snippy about my coworker’s lack of attendance and made sure that the coworker was aware of it.  In what I can only describe as a meltdown, Snippy Coworker started an argument with Non-Attending Coworker about their lack of support for their fellow hostages.  Snippy Coworker went a little too far calling Non-Attending Coworker an unhappy, miserable killjoy.  At which point Non-Attending Coworker revealed that some two decades earlier she had been pregnant, miscarried in the eighth month, nearly bled to death, and had to have a hysterectomy, at that point, her husband decided he couldn’t stay married to a woman who couldn’t have kids, so he left her.  She didn’t participate in the baby showers or wedding showers, because it was emotionally painful still.  That led to a lot of team building exercises and seminars and all sorts of things.  None of it was useful or on point.  Snippy Coworker should have just kept her mouth shut.  It was none of her business why Non-Attending Coworker didn’t go to the showers.  My reason for attending was far less dramatic, I hate baby showers.  Everyone kept telling me when I started having kids of my own, I’d change my mind and when I would tell them I didn’t want kids, they would say You’re young, you’ll grow out of it.  How does a person grow out of not wanting children?  It’s not a shoe size.
  • Finally, bodily functions and wow, where do I start?  We all pass gas from the top or bottom end.  We all have to use restrooms.  It should try to be done politely.  Belching at the top of your lungs is more for frat parties than a cube farm.  Sometimes, it can’t be helped, but saying excuse me is considered the appropriate response.  Or if you know you have to pass gas from the bottom end, excuse yourself to the restroom or somewhere that people aren’t near.  This isn’t just about the sound here, most people can smell.  Flushing toilets is always nice.  Not peeing on the walls or floor or toilet is also a good idea.  Wiping fecal matter on the walls (why does this even happen?!) is just utterly disgusting and should earn people a caning.  And ladies, no matter how much you hate your job, the janitor, your coworkers, etc., do not stick used feminine hygiene products to the wall – what possesses a person to do this?

I believe manners should be part of the training process into a job.  Most people can work in an office without any problems.  However, there are always those handful of coworkers that make life miserable for everyone else.  These are the coworkers that we wish were replaced by rabid wolves, because they have more manners.

GoFundMe & Writers

Aside from GoFundMe being a successful way to raise money for a wedding, honeymoon, or sick family member.  Several writers have had success with GoFundMe drives to help them publish their books.

Editing can run anywhere from $300 to $3000.  A good proofer is somewhere between $200 and $1,500, depending on their per page rates.  A good cover artist, like Covered Creatively, charges $170 or so for a wrap around cover.  Formatting is yet another expense.

Most of us have to have full time jobs in order to pay our bills and publish books.

KickStarter is designed for these things, but if you don’t meet whatever goal you put on your fundraising, you get nothing.

This has made a lot of indies turn to GoFundMe.  That way, if they raise at least a few hundred dollars, that’s better than they were before and they get the money regardless of whether they reach their goal amount or not.  Also, GoFundMe allows you to offer rewards, just like KickStarter.

Since I’m broke this month, I’ll give you an example of what I mean:

  • I have paid for the cover.  So I don’t need money for that.
  • I need to pay a formatter.  Mine is cheap and I only need her for Smashwords, meaning I would need $15 for the formatter.
  • I need to pay K.Smith Proofs.  She charges a $1 per page and a page is 250 words.  Triggered Reality looks like it is going to be around 300 pages, so $300.
  • But I will need to order proofs of the paperbacks and hardbacks so we can figure in another $50 for proofs.
  • After the proofs, I need to order around 10 copies for promotional purposes.  That’s another $80.
  • Sometimes, unexpected expenses also crop up, like one time I had to pay the formatter twice, because I broke it.  Another time, I had the cover and then realized a different cover would work better, so I bought a different cover.  I always set $300 aside in case I need a little extra for cover changes, the book gets a little longer right before I send it to the proofer or editor making my page count longer meaning I need more money for it.  Or I break the file that the formatter sent me because I do something stupid.
  • Total needed to publish Triggered Reality: $750.

If it was a Dreams novel and not a set of 3 stories about serial killers and how they were captured, it would cost closer to $1,200 because I would be paying an editor and a proofer.

Now work that into your monthly budget?  Are you able to set aside the entire amount in a single month?  For most, the answer is no.  Which is why more and more writers have turned to GoFundMe to get their first handful of novels published.

When I have extra money, I try to donate to at least one of these campaigns a month.  I’m four and a half years in it and I still have months like this one (where I start to wonder about getting a part time job).  Because it isn’t cheap to publish a book, even if the platforms are free.

Just something to remember when you look at the price of indie ebooks.  $3.99 might sound unreasonable to you, but I know I have to sell 480 of them to break even and that’s not counting any advertising.

A Dog at a Wedding & Other Things

In other news today, Triggered Reality is nearly finished.  Maybe one or two more days of writing/editing is all I have left.  Then I have to scrounge up money for a not me editor… turns out quarterly taxes and wedding expenses are taking up far more money than I expected.

First, I’d like to say that I’m kinda happy that quarterly taxes are way higher than expected because that means that I made far more money this quarter than I expected.  Second, let me say, I might need a second job, at least temporarily, to pay bills, taxes, and wedding expenses.  For a simple wedding, the price tag seems to be climbing faster than I expected.

However, wedding plans are moving right along.  The rings arrive today.  I’ll take a picture and show everyone since we went with wooden/lexan rings and that baffles just about everyone.

Lola the Destroyer is now on the guest list, possibly a member of the bridal party.  No dress, I don’t need that kind of stress in my life, she had to wear one of my t-shirts the other day (she wouldn’t stop licking the hydrocortisone cream off after the vet told us to apply it) and it will probably make it into a Dysfunctional story because it was definitely dysfunctional.  She is getting a shiny new harness for it.  Hers is getting old and torn up anyway.  We’ll just put off replacing it until our wedding in February.

Someone offered to make her a pink saddlebag type contraption so that she could sprinkle flower petals down the aisle for us.  Unfortunately, I don’t think she’s Flower Dog material.  The same someone offered to make a saddle like contraption to put the rings on and have her hold them.  That someone knows Lola the Destroyer and why/how she got the moniker The Destroyer, so I’m thinking these ideas are a bout of insanity brought on by wedding planning weirdness.

If someone had told me in August what I would be stressed out about in January, I would have laughed at them.  Not just a little snicker, but a full body-shaking laugh that makes it impossible to breath and sends tears streaming down the cheeks.

The last few days have seen several requests for a registry.  Except, I can’t think of what to put on a registry list.  We don’t need stuff.  We have stuff.  We’ve lived together seven years… I would like to have a lasagna pan, but seriously, I need only one of them.  My kitchen is stocked with more gizmos and gadgets and pans than most people realize exist.  I even have one of those knife/cutting board scissor things that they sell on TV (yes, I’m that type of person and it works amazing on vegetables, meats, and other hard things… mushrooms, soft cheeses, and other squishy things are not so great; don’t try to use it on a tomato in other words).

So, I set up a honeymoon fund on GoFundMe.  We don’t have anything extravagant planned for it, yet, but that’s just because I can’t convince my SO we should head to Belize for a week to ten days (snorkeling, Mayan ruins, umbrella drinks on the beach, and English because I suck at all Romance Languages – English has a huge chunk of Latin words, but is still considered a Germanic Language).

Things I’m stressed about:

  • The cake – do I get a real cake or cupcakes?  Cupcakes sound easier and I don’t have to deal with fondant, which I actually hate more than icing.  Considering I scrape all the icing off cake anyway, that seems like such a waste.
  • RSVPs – they say to expect about half of the people who RSVP to accept.  I think I’m going to have a different problem… I think more people are going to attend than RSVP.  Like a whole lot more.
  • Keeping it small – The SO and I originally capped the guest list for the actual wedding at 30.  Then at 40.  Now we have 42, which is the meaning to life, the universe, and everything and that’s great, but we admittedly did not invite some people that I’m wondering if we should have (family members).
  • Walking Down the Aisle – My father would like to walk me down the aisle and I’m fine with that.  Now, I’ve been asked if we are walking to music or just walking.  I’m leaning towards just walking, no music.  I have this irrational fear that he is going to want to walk to either Butterfly Kisses or He Stopped Loving Her Today – There are stories behind each of these songs.  If I was going to pick a song, it would be something like Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright (this is my favorite version), Are You Gonna Kiss Me by Thompson Squared, Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley, or Wilder Wein by Rammstein.  None of these are among my dad’s top 10,000 choices.
  • Dancing – Growing up, I learned to dance.  I could two-step, waltz, box step, fox trot, and even jitterbug.  In my thirties, it appears that I have become very stiff and rigid when I dance.  Since I specifically told the SO I wanted a Husband and Wife dance, I’m now sorta freaked out that I cannot let loose and dance.  Worse, I’d like a father/daughter dance and I have a good song for it, but again…  Also, is it weird to have a mother/daughter dance?  My mom means the world to me and she’s the one who helped me learn to dance when I was young.
  • Spanx – I know I need them.  I have a stomach pooch and empire waistlines make me look a little pregnant (I’m not pregnant, just overweight).  Of course, the dress I bought has an empire waistline.  I’m working on losing a little bit of weight, but I’m still going to need to cover that pooch and my dress is not built for a corset.  However, I haven’t a clue how to buy them.  I had to ask someone where to buy them even… this is not an Amazon purchase because I need to try them on. (Can you try on Spanx?!)
  • Guys’ Clothes – My SO wants to wear polos.  I’m not totally opposed, but I was hoping for something a little more dashing (he looks great when he dresses up).  It is our wedding after all and he wears polos often, even though they are dart shirts, they are still polos.  My cousin had a great idea of having them wear the vest and tie from a tux that matches my ribbon on my dress (it’s burgundy) and then putting them in black shirts and black slacks, since I went monochrome on the bridesmaid dresses.  She even has the hookup on where to get the vests and ties cheap.
  • Ladies’ Clothes – I think each lady needs a splash of color.  I have a burgundy ribbon for my ivory (white, it’s effing white, regardless of what everyone says) dress.  So, I was thinking about adding a splash of color to theirs, but I don’t know if I go with burgundy for theirs too or something complimentary to burgundy – by the way, I have no idea what is complementary to burgundy.  Also, what would I get them?  Ribbons won’t work for both.  Are shaws outdated?
  • Wedding Registry – While I would prefer donations of the monetary type for our honeymoon, I know some people are traditional and prefer to give actual gifts.  But I really am stuck at “lasagna pan.”  We just don’t need stuff.  So how do I fill out a registry for stuff I don’t need?
  • My Maid of Honor – We had a slight disagreement the other day.  We’ve been friends forever, so I know it isn’t a huge stumbling block.  But I also know we are both stubborn, determined, and strong-willed and I feel like it could become a much bigger problem (it had nothing to do with the wedding).  Because when I get pissed, I don’t pull many punches.  So, it’s mostly my fault that it escalated as much as it did.  Even as I was typing the messages, I knew I needed to stop.  That’s probably my biggest fault as a human being… Once I’m angry, I’m pissed as hell.
  • Shuttle – We definitely need a shuttle for the reception.  We have a ton of people coming from out of town who will need to go back to their hotel rooms.  Not to mention those in town that will probably need rides.

The good news is that our vows are done (the ceremony will take ten minutes if we drag it out with the ring exchange, kiss, and I do’s).  The food took care of itself.  The DJ was easy to find, we play darts with him.  And I solved the two Maid of Honors problem; I now have a Maid of Honor (one cousin is not married) and a Matron of Honor (because the other one is).


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