This weekend, I started out with noble goals of getting a lot done.
After a late breakfast, we went to Best Buy so he could use his gift certificates from his birthday and Christmas. He put them towards an iPod Nano. He's wanted one since I got one for Christmas last year. Of course, his has video compatibility and cost about $100 less than mine had!
Since one of our Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) dance pads recently died, I bought the newest DDR game, Supernova 2, which comes with a dance pad. That way we can play a two-player game when we want.
Then we stopped at the Burlington Coat Factory, because I'd heard they were having a 70 percent off post-holiday sale, but after looking through all the racks and trying on a number of items, I figured the only thing worth buying was a 9 West brown and black reversible belt, to replace the one thin leather belt I'd bought at Target a couple years ago, which recently gave up the ghost. We headed home and, while I took Una for a walk, The Gryphon used iTunes on my computer to add music to his iPod. Of course, on my return I was anxious to try the new DDR game, and I had so much fun I went through all the songs, tackling them at the Standard or Difficult level, which took me about an hour. The Gryphon, who has done some online checking, says I have to play the game in Hyper Master mode to unlock more songs and features.
By then, it was time for dinner, so we got showers and made reservations at a place The Gryphon found on the Internet, which was supposed to offer reasonably priced Italian food, The Newtown Grill, formerly known as Alberto's. It had gotten mixed consumer reviews, and we would learn why.
The place was crowded, with a coat check in the front. Several rooms in the front seemed to be accommodating parties, and we also passed a bar area before being seated in the back room. Our reservations were 7:45, but it was still very crowded. The waitress who took our drink orders was very helpful. I had a Pinot Grigio while The Gryphon had a Shiraz. We placed our orders, drank some wine, ate bread and waited.
We were having a good conversation about important things like what health insurance to select when The Gryphon's health benefits change for this calendar year. We finally realized it had been quite a while; turns out it had been an hour, with no sign of food. All we could figure was that they were extremely busy or understaffed.
Finally, the food came, and it was delicious. So at least, the food was worthwhile. I had a chicken dish served with spinach and truffle mashed potatoes, which was tasty. The Gryphon had a dish that featured lots of shellfish. We finished with coffee, so we didn't get home until sometime after 10.
It reminded me of when we were on our honeymoon and would go to dinner and stay out late. But then, at least we were sight-seeing or having fun afterwards. Most of our time Saturday evening was spent eyeing the bread and trying to resist taking more!
Since we didn't have much of Saturday left, we started to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But when we started falling asleep, we agreed to finish it the next day.
Sunday we got up a little earlier and The Gryphon made us pancakes from what we had in the cupboards. So we watched the rest of Harry Potter, with me explaining things to The Gryphon where necessary, as he missed one of the earlier films.
Then we tackled the health care plans and made our selections. After that, I did my monthly bills (fun, fun, fun!).
After that, I needed a mental break, so I put the leash on Una to give her a walk. Right then, my dad called and spoke to me for about a half hour. He wanted to let me know that our wedding announcement had finally appeared in one of my hometown newspapers.
When I finally got a chance to walk Una, I got hung up talking to a chatty neighbor for so long the sun started to fade and I had to make the walk shorter than planned.
By the time I returned, it was dinner time. The Gryphon suggested we save ourselves some time and effort by reheating the tilapia dish I'd made Friday from a recipe in my new Rachael Ray cook book. It's served with a sauce made from pale beer, peppers, onions and tomatillos (which I couldn't find, so I used plum tomatoes with a dash of lemon juice). On the side was a dish consisting of avocado, corn and red peppers. Yum.
After dinner, I gave him a ride to the train station to go to his meeting of Philadelphia Area Gaming Enthusiasts (PAGE). Upon returning home, I did my yoga tape, which I hadn't done in a couple months. I really felt good after doing it, too. I even think that my flexibility is as good or better than it was the last time I did it.
Then, finally to work. I sorted through some entries to the 2007 Wild Violet Writing Contests, entering them in my official list so that I can easily find the authors when the judges make their selections (they judge the pieces anonymously).
My big task of the evening, though, was beginning to transcribe one of the interviews for my book, My Wedding, My Way: Real Women, Real Weddings, Real Budgets. This interview had been with The Pastor, conducted over Thanksgiving with both my parents and The Gryphon present. So there are some amusing exchanges with those on the sidelines, such as this one between The Pastor, The Gryphon and I. She was telling us about a couple who had had what she called the shortest service in history.
The Gryphon: "Do you? Do you? Good. Kiss."
The Pastor: We got down to what absolutely had to be in the service.
The Gryphon: Consent — mutual consent, exchange of rings, and someone saying, "You're married."
The Pastor: Yes, exactly. I — I think we had some kind of prayer, and then maybe...
The Gryphon: That was our fallback plan. In case everything went pear-shaped, as long as — as long as we had the ceremony, we were fine, right?
Me: That was your plan.
The Gryphon: That was my reassurance to you. It doesn't matter whatever — as long as we exchange our vows, everything's fine.
Me: And I love you so much, I let you believe that that was enough to placate me. But I was still worried about things.
It was interesting to listen to these tapes and hear how the various people interacted. You could really tell, for example, that The Gryphon and I love and respect one another, and that I really care about my parents. I was a little surprised, listening to the recording, how kind my voice often sounded when I addressed them.
I was also reminded, while reviewing the conversation, that as of Thanksgiving we'd been concerned that the county courthouse had never sent us anything verifying that our marriage license had been registered. So I called this morning, and they told me that the original copy our pastor had signed and given to us was all that we needed, unless I was changing my name or had another legal need for a copy with the official seal. So while I don't absolutely need it, I may pick up a copy when I get a chance, just to have it available.
It does make me happy to know, for sure, that we're officially married!
Of course, the interview was fairly long. I was speaking to her about wedding planning from the officiant's point of view. But I also spoke to her about some of the more unusual weddings in which she's taken part. We got into quite a long conversation, so I'm a little less than halfway done transcribing it.
When it's done, I hope it will form the basis for an article about what officiants say you need to know about wedding planning. I plan to talk to at least two other officiants from different backgrounds, getting their input, as well.
So while the weekend started out just fun and frivolity, I did eventually get something useful done.
Make time for fun as well as for work.