yay-a little helper!

Everyone already knows I'm completely disorganized. Well, apparently after Ann (James' mom for anyone who doesn't know) read about my planning challenges here, she and James decided I needed a helper. Or, as James called it in one of his other posts, one of those big wedding to-do binders. So now I have one, and it's fabulous. It has little pockets and divided tabs for each important part of the wedding, and it's set up like a 3 ring binder so I can add things in and put them in the right section. It has business card holders, and a calendar. My nifty little planner even provides us with a timeline, telling us when we need to have everything done. We're not even behind yet, haha. And get this: the organizer even came with a calculator and a three-hole punch built-in right in the front of the book. In fact, it is so cool and such a handy little helper, who knows--I could even become one of those nutty people that is disciplined, systematic, and orderly.

Okay haha, that will probably never happen. But at least I have a new tool to help me plan the wedding without missing any of those little-but-oh-so-important details. Thank you Ann!


more on save-the-date and honeymoon...

While we may sometimes be disorganized, Liz seems to have a better grip on what needs to be done when than I do. So as of today....save-the-date will go out in November and I may design the cards so that we can print them ourselves on our fabulous wide-format epson printer--something we really can't do for the actual invitations.

It's crazy to think that we should start making honeymoon plans with it so far away, but at the suggestion of a few people, that's what we're doing. We had been torn between going to Europe and going to Hawai'i. We've never been to Europe together and despite our six years in L.A., we've never been to Hawai'i at all. We're not 100% decided, but I think we're leaning towards Hawai'i. We can save a big European adventure for a future trip when we won't mind running around to many different places to see all the sites. Plus, since we would leave from LA to go to Hawai'i, we wouldn't need to pack for both the wedding and the honeymoon. (If you've seen how much stuff Liz and I take for a weekend trip, you would understand why that's a very good thing!) We've been gathering destination suggestions from friends, signed up to receive the free tourism books from every island, and ordered the highly recommended "revealed" series books for the islands we're most interested in--Kauai, Maui, and The Big Island. Have any suggestions? Add them in the comments. More to come about where we end up deciding to go...



It's almost time for Save-The-Date cards isn't it? I anticipate that our actual invitations will be quite traditional so I wonder if it's OK to be a little less so for the Save-The-Date. Of course we don't even have the guest list 100% finalized, so I guess we should do that first.

I just found a site called mygatsby (it's one of a billion out there that do invitations). They have a lot of cool designs that borrow from the traditional but have a modern feel. I can't imagine we'd use this company, but there's some interesting ideas there.

10 months, 1 week, and counting...Liz doesn't even have one of those big wedding to-do binders. Despite there being so much time, Liz and I are such procrastinators that 10 months could quickly become 1 month and that is something we need to avoid.

EDIT: Yes, it turns out it is still early for Save-The-Date...but much like how we tell ourselves we need to leave at 7 when we really need to leave at 8 so we're not late, it's for the best that we act like it's needed right away.


Liz Phair and meteors and sleepy drives, Oh My!

So last night Liz and I had one of those unplanned experiences that reminds you why you're getting into this crazy thing called marriage to begin with.

It all began on Wednesday when Liz told me that rock chick extraordinaire, Liz Phair, was going to be playing three sold out shows at the Troubador in Hollywood. My Liz has always been a fan of that Liz for as long as she's known her. I remember when we first drove to Los Angeles on that soul-revealing trip in May, 1999 that a new Liz Phair album had just been released so we bought it at some random Wal-Mart outside of Houston. (That was also the first day we noticed the slow leak in one of my tires, something we had fixed 800 miles later at another Wal-Mart in Roswell, New Mexico, but that's another story for another day.) Anyway, all three shows this week were acoustic, which meant it would be more of the classic Liz Phair and less of the poppy, recent side of herself.

So my Liz got up the next day and went to work at the Hospital thinking no more of it, and I scoured Craig's List looking for tickets. I couldn't find any, so I did what usually NEVER works. I posted an add looking for tickets at face value. (Which, being a small show was only twenty bucks). Later that day I check my email and see my ad has been answered and we would be going that night. I text a message to Liz at work sharing the news.

A bit later in the day, I'm reading news online and see a piece about the annual Perseid meteor shower. Now it runs from late July through mid August every year, but there's one specific time where it peaks. This year it just happened to be last night...or early this morning--1:18AM here in the west coast. The trouble with that is that in Hermosa if the light pollution isn't bad enough, there's almost always a guarantee of fog every single night. I kept the meteor shower in the back of my mind until later.

When Liz got home after her long day at the hospital, she was first a little grumpy that she would need to go to the gym quickly so we could meet the guy who had our tickets. With a little grumbling she kept her gym commitment and a smile came to her face by the time we left for West Hollywood.

After six years in this town, I was shocked to realize I've never been to the Troubador. It's a very old school little music venue, and it was perfect for the fun, intimate show. I could tell that Liz loved ever song and we left after the encore a bit after 11PM. After such a good show, we didn't want to go home...but what to do?

I suggested we go watch meteors--something not easily done from the heart of Los Angeles, but with two hours til peak time, we would be able to get out of the city. We debated between driving east to the desert or north to "canyon country." While the desert would have been much darker, it would also have been a much longer drive, something I'd later be glad we didn't choose. And with that we began the trek to no specific destination up to Canyon Country--a strange hilly area between the San Fernando valley and the fringe of the high desert in Palmdale. After about 75 miles, and an excursion into a town with no bathrooms and finally a Denny's filled with strung out teenagers, we finally exited onto a dark stretch of road. We found a safe spot, opened the convertible top, and looked up.

It wasn't quite the "shower " the articles promised, but that's because across the horizon there was still a lot of city glow from Los Angeles, Palmdale, and Santa Clarita. (Some say you can see as many as 240 meteors/hour at the peak if away from all light pollution.) But it was by no means a disappointment. We saw fast ones, slow ones, dim ones, and bright ones.

Liz devised a scale to explain the brightness of each meteor: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,bright I thought I saw one that was much brighter than a meteor she labeled a 7 and decided to add "super bright" at the end of the scale. Liz, however, will tell you that my scale is not official and that there is no super bright. (trust me, there is.) After nearly an hour it was starting to get cold, so we put the top back up and headed home. Somewhere between Northridge and LAX I started to become very tired, but we made it home safely.

So with all the hectic schedules and busy lifestyles, we can still sometimes find that random and totally fulfilling experience that helps us understand why we're happy with each other and that everything is exactly as it should be. (this is the part where you go...awwwwwwwwwww)



I am not an organized person. This may be the understatement of the year, haha. My life is a whirlwind—a sort of organized chaos. I have pretty much always been this way. As a kid, my room was always a wreck. I needed help to clean it usually, and it never stayed clean for long. When I was left to my own devices to clean, I would hide the mess. In the toybox when I was really young. Under the bed or in the closet when I got older. Now as an adult, I don’t hide the mess, I put it in piles around the house. Piles of clean clothes, piles of dirty clothes. Piles of paid bills, piles of unpaid bills. Piles of unopened mail. Piles of schoolbooks, piles of unread magazines. Anyway, I think you get the point. I’m just not one of those “a place for everything and everything in its place” kind of a girl.

As a bride-to-be, you pretty much have to plan it all. So the planning got off to a great start. We asked (most of) our attendants to be in the wedding. Found a reception site, booked the church. Debated about the times for the ceremony and reception, but we worked that out. And that’s pretty much all we’ve done.

But, there’s a lot more to plan. Vows, rings, save-the-date cards, invitations, honeymoon, attire, music, flowers, dinner, photography, cake, favors, transportation, registry. And probably at least 3,782 other things that wouldn’t occur to me in a million years. I have no idea where to start. I mean seriously, I can’t even plan to get my laundry done.

Whenever I think of a wedding planner, I picture Martin Short as “Franz” in Father of the Bride. My Dad is pretty much a saint, but I don’t think he would be able to deal with some little freak telling him what to do. So no professionals. I guess I’m going to have to develop some sort of organizational skills. Maybe I need one of those books, an organizer that tells you exactly what you need to do and when it needs to be done. One thing is for sure—I need to do something to get my act together, or the wedding is going to be disastrous.


Do people really fall for this?

For some reason, used iPods sell for more than most people would think, so I've been trying to pawn my old one off to someone on craigslist, so I can get a new color model for only a few dollars more. Here is a back and forth with a fine "woman" named Linda Park that responded to the ad:

On 8/2/05, Linda Scott wrote:
Hello Seller,
I saw your ads which was listed here. please I want to know if this item is
still available for sale cos I want to buy it as a birthday present to
someone special in my life, Thanks.
Linda Scott.
Seemed innocent enough, so I replied...

james beirne wrote:
Yes, it's still available.

Then there was this response

Linda Scott to me
3:36 am (22 minutes ago)
thanks for the reply. I am not dispose right now and I will be appreciate we conclude this ASAP. About the payment i will be making payment through US money order which will be handled by BidPay.So as to proceed withthe payment i will be needing your payment information so that i can contact BidPay to issue the money order to you.for your item(Apple ipod (40 gig) with camera link)i will be offering$280 in addition about the shipping i will be handling that with my personal fedex accoount so you dont have pay a dime for the shipping upon the receive of the payment i will be sending the shipping slips as soon has the payment has been approved. i await your reply asap.
Get back to me immediately you are back from Fedex drop off.
Linda Scott.

There it was. Dead give away scammer. Thing number one: almost everyone on craigslist is local, it's extremely rare to have a legitimate buyer want something shipped. Thing number two: BidPay offers no seller protection, so it's a favorite for scam artists. Thing number three: they like to offer a little bit extra for your trouble so that you take the offer right away. Linda here only offered me five extra bucks. I had this reply from a "different person" last week:

lize wilson to me
thanks for your quick response, i know this a great product and am purchasing this item for a friend, which I will offer for $350 if my offer is accepted, we can end the auction and proceed, which i will make an immediately payment, kindly send me your contact address, so i can send the payment immediately Bidpay which is a fast and secure. Note I want this item to be ship upon payment made/payment notification from Bidpay.

I always get intouch with some buyers/friend outside the states. Meanwhile, am paying for the shipping cost, which I had contact my fedex Courier company concerning the shipment, the shipment will be charge through my fedex account, so you will not be charge for any bill.

If you still have any other item, kindly let me know we can still work things out after this first transaction done.
Waiting for your quick response.

At least Lize tried to sweeten the pot with an extra $75! Ah, Linda...scammer AND cheap! Lize should have put a little more research into the item, since a new ipod with more features and a larger hard drive than what I was selling would have probably cost the same or possibly less than what she offered me plus the FedEx charge. I want to sell it for as much as I can get, but people can't be THAAAT dumb. Anyway, I ignored Lize last week, but I thought my new friend Linda needed a final response...

james beirne to Linda
3:54 am (4 minutes ago)

Seeing that I'm not a moron, I do not let people I don't know dictate
the terms by which I sell something.

BidPay offers no protection and is used by scammers and practically no
one else. If you are a legitimate person trying to buy this iPod,
which I seriously doubt, then you will send me payment by way of

Somehow I don't think you will do that.

You scammers really need to come up with something new. The whole pay
extra-bidpay-fedex thing....it's really kind of old. Not that the
horrible grammar and form letter wasn't a giveaway the first time I saw
it, but by the eighth message, it starts to just make you look like a moron.

Are there really people that still fall for this bullshit? I guess
there must be if an unoriginal half-witted crook like yourself is
still trying to pull this crap.

Enjoy the criminal life. Nickle and dime yourself fast enough up the
ladder, and one day you will be the Godfather.

Good luck with that.
I don't think I'll be hearing from good ole Linda again. But if I do, I'll be sure to share. And now that I think about it, when there are people willing to pay $275 for a year-old iPod, I guess I can buy that there are idiots falling this tom foolery.

AUGUST 5TH EDIT: Well, it turns out that I found a buyer. I sold the iPod (which I got for free from that free iPods website) to a very nice woman from Hollywood. She drove all the way down to Hermosa to pick it up last night and was super excited to own her first iPod. If only she could do research, she'd probably realize that it'd be better to spend a little more to buy a brand new one. But, had she been research savvy, I wouldn't be the proud owner of a new color iPod that I purchased from the Apple store that opened in Manhattan Beach last week for a bit more than what I sold the old one for. (Yes, I was one of the dorky people that went to the opening day to get a free t-shirt. But, because I'm a thoughtful dork, I went through the line twice to get one for liz. After I scored two free Atari Pong shirts at E3 in May, this marks the second collective geek wear acquisition that I've made for us.)

And another thing...after rereading this, I've realize this original entry goes on for way too long. It's not really THAT interesting. What can I say, this is still new to us and it's a learning process. For those of you that have made it to this point, I applaud you. For anyone else that skipped to the end, rest assured, it won't always be like this.


Settled on a wedding time!

It now officially begins at 2:30PM on June 24, 2006. After much debate we confirmed that we will be having our wedding ceremony in the afternoon rather than early evening. We're only doing this thing once and Liz has always looked forward to getting pictures at the Lighthouse in scituate on her wedding day. No need to pack the day so tightly where that can't happen. Of course now we need to figure out how to achieve the fine balance between everyone being bored for a couple hours before the reception and everyone showing up trashed on the party bus that's going to run back and forth between the Red Lion and the hotel.

We have some time to figure that out...what's it say at the bottom of the sidebar? 330 something days? PLENTY of time! (How much longer before I don't feel comfortable saying that anymore?)

EDIT: Just looked. I was wrong. It's 320 something. Still saying PLENTY of time though...for now!


Have a case of the Mondays?

On Monday each of us learned fabulous news...

Liz discovered that she needs double the practical hours she had previously thought she needed to graduate. She's been really on top of her requirements but the school constantly screws her and changes the rules so it kinda blows. It's going to make the next few months a little tight schedule-wise, but with school, things always seem to work out in the end for Liz, so I think she'll still be done in December as planned.

I went in to have what seemed like a couple routine cavities taken care of. Turns out I now need two root canals...neither of which was visible from the x-ray, so I currently have two teeth with exposed roots covered by a practically pointless temporary filling. The dentist told me this temp filling was no harder than chalk so I needed to chew on one side. I asked him why they couldn't have temp fillings that were like real fillings and he had no answer for me. Apparently my roots are curved--thanks for those genes mom and dad!--so I have to go twice to an endodontist (once per tooth) and then follow it all up with my dentist to get crowns. I'm not a big fan of dentists and I've never had a root canal, so I'm somewhat nervous. Plus, my teeth didn't hurt before I went to my dentist today and now the entire right side of my face is in pain. I get to wait in pain until Thursday to begin Operation: Root. Yay, me! I guess this is better than getting some horrible infection at some date in the future when it got worse. Maybe this was all being timed so that it was going to become infected come June of next year, so my premature discomfort now is probably more than worth it. Courtney and Kevin are visiting Saturday and we were planning a big sushi dinner at Blowfish. I guess I'll be drinking lots of saki to numb the pain.