Monthly Archives: March 2006

Wedding Updates

We’ve made a few updates to the wedding site — including updating places to stay. Scroll down the wedding page.

We also have made headway in planning. We have several “vendors” chosen, and we are getting very excited!!!!!

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Addiction

Sujal asked me several nights ago when I was going to go public with it. I knew precisely what he meant, though for the sake of denial, I feigned confusion. I now am willing to take the first of 12 steps: admitting the truth. I am a Lost addict.

In January, Sujal began downloading episodes off of iTunes. At the time, according to his site, he claims to have watched 18 hours of the show within 48 hours. That may have been a comment writing weekend for me, or perhaps I was just grading. All I recall was being somewhat appalled at the fact that he was watching SO MUCH TV. Of course, I would never do that. He would call me into his office to watch it with him, and I kept saying no, that I didn’t want to watch that stupid show about people trapped on an island, a glorified Survivor.

Slowly, Sujal wore me down. “Give me one hour of your life,” he said. “Just one hour. That’s all I’m asking,” and so I watched a new episode with him. While I was mysteriously captivated by the very beautiful people on the screen, I can’t say I was too engaged in the show because I did not know the plot. Another night he did it again. “Give me one hour of your life…” and he had me watch the pilot. At least now some of it made more sense.

Then Sujal went away on a business trip, and my spring break began. I tried to curl up all comfy in his office chair, still recovering from one hell of a cold and sinus infection, and I watched 8 episodes on Friday night (roughly 6 hours). The next day I watched about another 10 episodes. I began dreaming Lost episodes. By Sunday, I was irreversibly hooked (though in truth I was probably irreversibly hooked on Friday night). I finally finished watching the full 20 or so hours on Monday evening. (One hour of my life; yeah, right.) Sujal was a bit astonished that it took me four days to watch a season and a half. What would happen was that I might look some things up online in between, do a bit of reading about Iraq, Google some other references, look at pictures of Naveen Andrews, do a bit of wedding planning, etc. I believe I am quoting Sujal when he said, “Your guilt about watching so much TV is getting in the way of your TV watching.” And I think he’s right.

By Tuesday, I began to do a little reading up on the show, and let me tell you, Wikipedia has a ton of info on Lost, far too much — enough to make the biggest addict crazy.

In reading up on the show, what is interesting ias that it is full of interesting references both popular culture and literary/scholarly. I picked up on many of them while watching, but some I missed, such as how Desmond picks up a copy of The Third Policeman, a novel by Flann O’Brien that I read in college. It’s a relatively obscure novel, so I thought it was pretty cool that they use it.

I’m also wowed by the plot intricacies. In Wikipedia’s episode guides, they also have a breakdown of allusions, which is cool.

I am a character gal, myself, so I love interesting plot development and less-than-linear narrative. I love how the show reveals character in flashback, interweaving various hints to be developed later. Basically, I am impressed with the writing. That’s not to say the show is without flaws. Some of the sci-fi stuff gets really corny. Of course much of it is far-fetched and difficult to believe — mainly that so many extremely good-looking folks would have survived the crash, just statistically hard to buy. But it is TV. Once in awhile there is some downright awful dialogue, but on the whole, it’s some damn well-written, well-cast, and well-acted television. If you begin to watch it, I recommend watching it from the beginning and following its progression. There’s too much to miss otherwise.

Through accepting my addiction, I keep trying to distance myself from trekkies. Sujal says aside from not dressing up in costumes, I’m pretty much there. Okay, so I need to begin to accept that as well. In my defense, I say this: When it comes to breaks from school, I usually get obsessive about something. One winter when I was a senior at Bennington, I get obsessed wih Niagara Falls. I did a ton of research on the Falls, including reading books in the rare book collection at the Buffalo Public Library. One such text was the Legend of the White Canoe, a book length poem written in 1894 — by William Trumbull, a white man’s fantasy of a native american legend which either did not previously exist or which existed as a very different story. Now there is a boat named after this “legend” — The Maid of the Mist. Another break during grad school, I became obsessed with old issue of The New Yorker. They have the entre collection at the Smith College library. I spent hours and hours going through old issues, reading Dorothy Parker and Shirley Jackson. Fun stuff. So I choose to view this as another obsessive endeavor. So there! Perhaps I am not quite ready to admit to my problem after all.

Astounded Again

Since I love being astounded (great word), I will expound on being astounded by the crappiness of the West Hartford News. I started getting it because I wanted to know more about the community, and I wanted to be aware of local politics. As I read today’s copy of the West Hartford News, there were so many typos that it was ridiculous. There was even a typo (a misspelling) in a headline. A headline, for God’s sake! How hard is it to catch that? The high school newspaper where I work is better copyedited by high school juniors. This is supposed to be a professional paper. They cannot possibly proofread that thing. I get irate when my high school students do not proofread. Way to set an example, WHN.

And I hate to publicly say this, while most of the articles are okay — they are at least somewhat interesting, do the job, cover the local news — the columnist Cindy Basil Howard is not so good. Her weekly columns are so vapid that I cannot even love to hate them. I’m sure CBH is a perfectly nice woman, but as a columnist, uh-uh. Needless to say, I won’t be re-subscribing. Then how will I get the local news? Is there an alternative West Hartford newspaper? I imagine not. Even the free West Hartford Life that gets delivered to my mailbox every month or so is a much better piece of journalism than the West Hartford News.

Monopoly

No, not the game, which BTW, I have never played. It is one of my less lofty goals in life to never ever play it.

Now, on to ETS, the real monopoly. The New York Times has an article on errors in scoring the SAT. I’ve been saying for years that ETS has a pretty damn clear monopoly. They charge pretty outrageous fees, especially for their post-grad tests, and there is virtually no competition. I also firmly believe they are crappy indicators. The article details how finally 2 students out of 4,000 affected by the incorrect scoring came forward. Those of you in the ETS “know” are well aware of the fact that all they send you are scores. If you disagree or want to further check out their accuracy, you need to pay additional fees to have them send you a scored copy. They’ve got a pretty great system of protecting themselves there. And they have a serious impact on kids’ and adults’ futures. I am astounded by how long they have been able to get away with this unfair monopoly.

Cough, Cough

I’ve been pretty sick all week. I missed two days of school and I’m sleeping a ton. Sujal has taken very good care of me, which is why I told him whatever he wants to do this weekend, we’re on. Being that I am still sick and he’s on call, he chose for us to watch “Rent” — which he brought home on DVD last night. I wasn’t thrilled about seeing it in the theater, nor was I thrilled about watching it at home. Sujal loves both the staged musical and the film, and you can read his review here.

I’m not sure what it is, but I tend not to really like musicals that much. They seem hoaky to me. There are exceptions. I really liked Les Miserables. I also like Oklahoma!, though I think I mainly like it for its kitsch factor. Of course I grew up on Grease. Watching Rent, I first felt like the singing and dancing trivialized the subject. I watched Angels in America about 2 years ago, and I really liked that. They have a somewhat similar story. I think I am much more into narrative, a real story with solid character development. I liked to be intrigued by interesting storytelling. Yes, you can do that with a musical, but the singing and dancing gets in the way for me…

I did really like the scene with the song “La Vie Boheme”. Visually it was fun and it’s a great song. I did Enjoy watching Chicago and I really like Moulin Rouge. I don’t know. Rent is growing on me a bit, but I don’t share Sujal’s love of it.

We late check out some links to the writer, Jonathan Larson, which was interesting. Wikipedia‘s entry on him is informative. There are cool connections to his life. Frankly, as we watched the flic, I kept wondering who wrote this and why. I figured that the writer must have had strong ties to the Village, to AIDS, to homosexuals, to being broke. It was also cool to learn the musical’s connection to La Boheme, and while I know next to nothing of opera, it made me more intrigued.

Bridal Shower

Last weekend my sister threw a wonderful bridal shower for me! Leading up to it, I was getting a bit nervous. A friend who recently got married told me she had read in Emily Post (after her own bridal shower) that you’re not supposed to ooh and aah over gifts that you receive off of your registry. Instead you are supposed to merely thank the giver for her generosity, otherwise it looks like you are fawning over your own great taste. Questions began swirling in my head: How do I act? What if I get too excited? What is the proper etiquette for the bride?

OMG, did I google etiquette for the bride?? OMG, am I a bride? Holy Crap! I’m a bride.

On the Thursday morning before my shower I realized that I am indeed a bride. I had not though about myself in those terms. I was genuinely freaked out about it until about 7th period lunch, when enough of my colleagues assured me that I wouldn’t make any faux pas, that as the bride, you really can’t unless you don’t thank someone. One of my many mantras in life is that Emily Post is for the birds. (I firmly believe that all birds should follow proper etiquette.) What my little breakdown was about was that word. By the time I got home and looked into my handsome groom’s eyes, being a bride was suddenly a very good thing again. He is pretty handsome, after all (even if he does like the musical, Rent).

So the shower was quite lovely. My sister ran a tight ship. One of the best touches to the shower was how everyone brought (or wrote there) a bit of advice for Sujal and me. My sister coordinated it so that she read the advice aloud as I was opening the gift from the advice-giver. Tres cool. I also got lots of good recipes, more impetus to get me a-cookin’. I’ve always wanted Sujal to serenade me with a little Hank Williams.

I was also amazed at how generous everyone was, both with their time, efforts, and gifts. We got some very creative gifts, some risque gifts, and one gift that was wrapped about 10 times, that had to be passed to various individuals around the room. Fun was had by all. We really did have a good time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been generous with shower gifts before, but it is different when you are on the receiving end. I just didn’t expect such generosity!! The only down side was that we didn’t get to chat with guests as much as we’d have liked. Several guests came from pretty far away, including Sujal’s mom and sisters. My friend Kirsten and her aunt drove for about 7 hours to come.

I’d been sad that my grandmothers could not attend. I was telling some colleagues that Thursday at lunch that all the other granddaughters in my family got the traditional big shower thrown by my grandmother and that I was a bit sad that I wasn’t going to get that. My cousin Cindy got at least three crock pots at hers! Of course my colleagues thought that I had done something that offended my grandmother. Alas, my grandmother could not be at my shower because she passed away a few years ago. And while I did get the traditional shower, and I am very grateful for it, I did miss having my grandmothers there.

Oh — and Sujal and I are supposed to have 5 kids — I broke 5 ribbons. I was going for as many as I could, trying to defy biology. Sujal said that I shouldn’t do that because I might have quintuplets. My mom called this AM and told me that I don’t need to buy onesies, because she inadvertently got 36 of them. Even 36 might not tie over our quintuplets…