Monday, April 30, 2012

The wedding: ceremony

For the ceremony Spouse & I chose to wear suits we already owned, with new matching green shirts and similar but not matching ties.

Our friend Chris officiated the ceremony, delivering the following which Spouse & I wrote:

Joe, Mark, Friends… this day has been a long time coming, but I’m sure I speak for us all by saying we’re all very happy to be here with you this evening to celebrate your civil union.

Joe, I know that the idea of having this ceremony seemed a little odd to you at first, since you and Mark have been together for nearly 16 years.  You’ve been through a lot with each other, and having a civil union, which is the legal equivalent to marriage in Delaware, seemed unnecessary to you at first.  But with the passing of some time and the spirit of compromise, you are standing here beside him and before your friends this evening.

In fact, it seems to me that compromise over the passing of time has been a real theme in your relationship. I’d like to spend a few moments and take your friends on a little journey back in time, starting with the night you met.

As I understand it, you two met at a night club in DC.  You were introduced by acquaintances you’d just met that night. When Mark met you he thought “This is the most handsome man I’ve ever seen!”  And when it was time to say goodnight, Joe offered his phone number to Mark and asked him to call the next morning.  Just a few hours later, Mark called, the two of you talked for a while, and set up your first date for just a few hours later.  You two worked fast!

Joe had been casually dating for a while and was looking to meet someone special. Mark had very recently become single and was just looking to date.  The timing didn’t appear to be correct for the two of them, but they decided to see where it might lead. 

After talking on the phone the following morning, Joe and Mark met for coffee in the afternoon, which turned into dinner that evening. Two days later they had their 2nd date, and 2 days after that they had their 3rd date.  Three dates in five days!  And then you two hung out together the entire weekend.  It was clear that something new and good had just begun.
Christy sings “We’ve Only Just Begun”

After spending most of your free time together that summer, you two moved into together in October.  Your first home together was a small 50-year old Cap Cod, a foreclosure in need of a lot of TLC.  Joe, you thought “this is the greatest place ever!” while Mark, you had other thoughts.  You had recently lived in a much newer 3-story townhome.  And the day after you moved in together, Joe’s best friend, her girlfriend, and their two dogs moved in with you!!  Clearly the situation required more compromise for both of you.

A year or so later when the friends moved out, Joe wanted a dog of his own.  But Mark is allergic to dogs, so there was another opportunity to find a way to compromise, and Jordan the dog and Pouncer the Wonder Cat joined your happy family.

Then after visiting Rehoboth & Lewes for several years, you two decided you wanted to live here.  Mark was able to bring his job with him and work from home, but Joe had to find a new job, and took one in a somewhat unfamiliar area:  the Children’s Mental Health department.  This was another time when compromise was needed.

Then when Mark was laid off and decided to become a realtor, his working on weekends was yet another opportunity to compromise, since you both were used to spending weekends together.

Mark likes HGTV, while Joe prefers QVC.

It seems that time after time, you two have risen to the challenges that Life has thrown your way, and although you may think or feel differently about things at times, you’ve always found a way to compromise and make it work.

Ted sings “Time After Time”

As long as I’ve know you two, you’ve always worn matching gold bands on the wedding ring finger of your left hand.  I understand you placed these rings on each other’s fingers on the first anniversary of the night you met.  But at this time I’d like to ask that you remove your rings and place them in my hand.

Wedding rings are the shape of a circle and are a symbol of eternity, having no beginning and no end, just like Time.  They are an instantly recognizable sign to strangers and friends that the wearers are married.

Joe, will you please place Mark’s ring on his wedding ring finger.

Do you, Joseph choose Mark to be your partner, Spouse, and husband in the eyes of the State of Delaware and these witnesses today, as you did in your heart years ago?

Joe says “I do.”

Now Mark, will you place Joe’s ring on his wedding ring finger.

Do you, Mark choose Joseph to be your partner, Spouse, and husband in the eyes of the State of Delaware and these witnesses today, as you did in your heart years ago?

Mark says “I do.”

By the authority vested upon me by the State of Delaware and the internet, it is now my honor to pronounce you Partners in Civil Union, or… MARRIED.  You may now kiss your husband.

Tonight’s celebration continues with refreshments and drinks.  Food is on the kitchen peninsula and  drinks are on the kitchen table.  Joe & Mark invite you to grab a plate and a drink and sit or stand where ever you like.  And later we’ll have cupcakes!  Enjoy.

Tomorrow: the flowers.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I saw this on facebook and it cracked me up!

Spouse & I were both off today.  We ran a bunch of errands and then met up with our buddies Steven, Bob, and Joe P for lunch at Saketumi.  We actually ordered desert after lunch and this is what we got:
Our waiter, Anthony, overheard us talking about tomorrow's wedding and surprised us with this.

Its hard to believe that our "big day" is tomorrow night!  I feel pretty confident about everything so I'm not nervous... except for that darned main control unit.  The electrician didn't get it back until nearly 7pm, so he's coming tomorrow morning - as in the day of the wedding - to reinstall it.

Tonight we met up with Steven & Thad and Joe P for our 'bachelor party' dinner.  Actually, they treated us to dinner at the local diner which was a perfect way to relax with our buddies the night before the big day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Tomorrow Spouse & I will pick up the flowers we ordered.  Our friend Bob is coming over to help me turn them into arrangements.  Without giving away too much, here is a little peek into some of what we'll be working with:
Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More music mayhem

As if the situation with the main control unit of our whole house sound system weren't enough to keep my nerves on edge, this week I learned that the friend who agreed to sing at the wedding can't make it and the person who was going to create my music playlist on my mp3 player can't do it.  Its more music mayhem!

It seems so odd to me that everything else has gone smoothly, the food, the cupcakes, the flowers, the RSVPs, but the music element keeps trying my patience.

The singer was accidentally double-booked and felt obligated to the 1st commitment which obviously wasn't our wedding.  The playlist creator suddenly became super-busy and didn't have time to upload songs from our CDs and download songs from the internet to put together the playlist.

But we were determined to succeed.

I called my friends Christy & Todd, explained the situation, and asked if they would consider singing at the wedding despite the short notice.  In the spirit of true friendship, they agreed.

Then I decided to tackle the playlist myself.  I uploaded all the songs from the CDs we own, then created an iTunes account so I could download the songs I didn't already have.  Since the iTunes songs are in a different format I drew on a friend's knowledge and figured out how to change the file format to match the uploaded songs.  Then I arranged the songs into the desired order and VOILA!

With new singers and a new playlist ready, I'm just waiting on the darned control unit to arrive.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend highlights

I don't have much to say about this weekend.  I worked both Sat & Sun and we went out to dinner both nights.  How thrilling, right?

My blog content has been suffering lately because I've been preoccupied with this wedding business.  Not so much the wedding itself, but related stuff, like the music system in our house.  

There are 6 rooms with doorbell/intercom/speaker units in them, with 1 of them being the master control unit, and 2 other rooms that just have speakers but no intercoms.  This allows us to speak through the intercom to people who ring the bell and to people in other rooms of the house.  It also allows us to play the radio or CDs on the main control unit and pipe the music throughout the entire house.  
I plan to plug in my mp3 player into the main control unit to have music throughout the house for the wedding and reception immediately afterward.

But the master control unit quit working so we had an electrician come out a few weeks ago to fix it.  He ordered some part and then came back a week later and replaced it but the unit still did not operate correctly.  He decided the only thing he could do was pull the unit out of the wall and send it back to the manufacturer to diagnose and repair it.

A week ago I contacted the electrician's office and let the receptionist know that it was extremely important that the unit be fixed and reinstalled prior to Sat the 28th because we were hosting a reception in our home.  She promised to contact the manufacturer to inquire about the status of the unit.  The next day she said they agreed to move it to the top of the queue.  Today I contacted her again to say I was really getting nervous since we are about 5 days out.  She said it was due back on Fri. 

Hmmm... nothing like cutting it close.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget yet too small to be their own post.

We're 1 week out from our civil union/wedding and reception, and I must admit to being both excited and nervous at the same time.  Despite farming out as much of the 'work' as possible (food, cake, cleaning) we still have a lot of little things to do.  But I'm sure it will all work out and be beautiful.

I saw this on facebook and busted into laughter!

My friend Bob sent me this because he knew I'd love it.

This is so true!!  I'm surprised how many of my old high school friends who were no angels in high school have become ultra 'Christians'.

A little political humor with a lot of truth.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Somehow I suspect there may be a similar photo in a shoebox full of photos in my parents' basement.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend highlights

I worked on Sat, then Spouse & I drove to DC to meet up with the Newlyweds.  Although they live in Portland OR, Michael was in DC for work and Jamie was in NYC for work and is heading to Baltimore today, so he joined Michael in DC for the weekend.

We picked them up at their hotel and drove to Dupont Circle.  After searching for free parking for at least 30 minutes, we broke down and paid to park in a lot.  As we walked along 17th St we peeked at all the people enjoying the warm evening by dining outside on the patios.  All the sudden I saw our former neighbors from DE, George & Michael!  We stopped briefly to say hi then let them get back to their dinner.  We ended up deciding to have dinner on the patio at Dupont Italian Kitchen, the site of mine and Spouse's 1st date.  The food was great and our conversations with the Newlyweds were even better.  It seems like we just pick back up where we left off with them, no matter how longs its been we last saw them.  The weather was so gorgeous that after dinner we went for a little walk, stopped for frozen yogurt, walked some more, and then stopped in for cocktails at Windows and Jrs, two landmark gay bars.  I joked that we were doing a "pub crawl" because we went to more than 1 bar.  At nearly 1am we dropped off the Newlyweds at their hotel then drove to Spouse's mom's house at 1:20am.

Sun morning we had coffee and visited with Spouse's mom, brother, and sister.  We picked up the Newlyweds just before noon and went to brunch at Beacon Bar & Grill.  The food was really good and who doesn't love unlimited Mimosas?  Afterward we walked over to the National Geographic museum for the Titanic exhibit which was really good.  It was the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, and Spouse & I had just seen a great documentary Fri night on the National Geographic channel.  Afterward we said our goodbyes and headed back to DE.  Since the weather was so great Spouse & I met Joe P at the boardwalk to enjoy the deliciousness.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I saw this on facebook and cracked up! 

A friend sent me this article which I found to be very interesting.  It basically says that a study has now proven what many of us have suspected:  the most vocal opponents to GLBT rights are people who are struggling with same-sex attraction.  But go ahead and read the article because the science behind this is intriguing!

When I was a manager I always tried to give my team positive reinforcement.  Compliments and verbal high-fives cost nothing but have a big impact on individual performance.  I believe the same thing is true outside the workplace.

My friend Bob sent me this video.  I especially love the scene with the person and the cat putting their hand and paw on top.  I used to do that with Pouncer.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


This evening Spouse suggested we get a handle on what we are going to wear for our 'big day'.  This made me feel good because he's actually thinking about this and not waiting until the last minute.  

We'd already discussed (briefly) renting tuxedos.  Spouse felt it a waste of money and didn't want us to be dressed exactly alike.  I was fine with not renting tuxedos but felt our outfits should at least have some continuity.  So this evening we tried on the suits we already have and decided we would wear them.  Mine is grey and I bought it 13 years ago.  I've worn it to both funerals and weddings, company Christmas parties, and probably a few other occasions I can't think of now.  Spouse's suit is black and he's also had it for years and has worn it several times.

But since we rarely wear suits and our weight has gone up and down over the years, it was nothing short of a miracle that our suits actually fit us.  Spouse will drop them off at the dry cleaners this weekend.

We agreed we'd buy new shirts and ties to go with our 'old' suits.  After just a few stops we found shirts we both liked at the Calvin Klein outlet store.  The shirts were 40% off AND we each had coupons for 20% off a single item so they were very affordable.  We got the same shirt in the same color, an organic green, but decided that we'd each get a similar but different tie.  

When we got home and put the suits, shirts and ties together we were quite happy with the overall look.  Its not matchy-matchy, but our outfits look like they belong in the same collection, kind of like the way they put coordinating items together in a store's display window.  Its just the look I was hoping for!

Double duty

Tonight Spouse & I had what we call "double duty".  That's when we agree to 2 social events back-to-back on the same night.

Right after work we met up with Christy, Ted, Bethani, and Amy Saketumi for Happy Hour.  I had a cosmo and 2 small sushi rolls which I shared with Spouse.  I love the great Happy Hour deals at Saketumi and the food is always great.  Our good friend Kim who is the manager was there and stopped over to visit with us.

Then we drove up the street for dinner with Steven & Thad and Joe P. at Ocean Point Grill.  Since we didn't see them over the weekend (due to being away for Easter) we accepted their invite to dinner even though we'd already agreed to Happy Hour.  It was nice to see them and although Spouse & I weren't very hungry we ordered anyway and simply took our left-overs home.  I ate mine the next day for lunch.

Double duty is fun and gives me a cosmopolitan feeling.  I imagine that's how people in Manhattan live.  After work they meet friends for happy hour, then meet up with their bestie for dinner and gossip, then take the train home to their apt in the burrows.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Weekend highlights

After my client appointments on Sat I left the office early so Spouse & I could drive back to VA for the Easter weekend.

We arrived at 5:30 and visited with Spouse's mom and sister and her kids for awhile.  His sister and the kids went to church that evening and Spouse's mom went with us to dinner at Taco House (aka Cantina Mexicana).  
OMG, the food was SOOOO good!  Its a good thing we can't eat there regularly or I would be huge.  It was a mild evening so some people were eating on the patio, but since we had Spouse's mom with us and she's always chilly we ate indoors.  Gloria & Juan (the proprietors and our friends) greeted us like family and it was truly good to see them.  It occurred to me while we were there so I said it outloud to Spouse and his mother that I loved Taco House not just for the wonderful food, but also for the wonderful energy there.  The restaurant is bright and colorful but still cozy.  I always feel happy and positive there.  Once we returned home we watched a little TV and went to bed.

Sun morning while Spouse's mom was at church, Spouse & I went to Trader Joe's, World Market, and Panera.  We joked that the owners of TJMax and World Market were "good Christians" because they weren't open on Easter Sunday, while the owners of Trader Joe's, World Market, and Panera must be Muslims.  Later on I picked up my aunt Mary and brought her back to Joe's mom's house and we visited for a while before going over to Spouse's brother's house for Easter.  Most of the extended family was there with a few exceptions and we had a great time.  The weather was mild so we were able to sit out on the new screened porch and on the patio below.  The kids played badminton and volleyball in the yard.  We had fantastic food (as usual) and enjoyed a nice family holiday with no drama.  We took my aunt Mary home and then headed back to DE.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I saw this on facebook and it cracked me up!

Does anyone else think its weird that people will circle the 1st row of parking in front of the gym in their cars for a close-in space when they're going to go inside and walk on a treadmill?

I want a T-shirt of this SOOO bad:

Spouse & I 'brainstormed' on the content of our civil union ceremony.  Neither of us want it to be too traditional but I do want some traditional elements.  So we wrote bullet items of what should be in it and said we'd come back to it and 'fill in the rest'.  Progress...

I saw this on facebook and love it!

Work has been super busy but I can't seem to close any deals.  I've shown a lot of homes but my clients have been 2nd home buyers who want everything, or they are retirees and transplants who have houses elsewhere to sell.  I'm hoping that all of this work done now will pay off later.

Here's wishing everyone a terrific weekend!

Thursday, April 05, 2012


Here are 20 Zen teachings everyone should know:
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow. In fact, just leave me the Hell alone.

2. Sex is like air. It's not that important unless you aren't getting any.

3. No one is listening until you fart.

4. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

6. If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of payments.

7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

9. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

10. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

12. Some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree.

13. Don't worry, it only seems kinky the first time.

14. Good judgment comes from bad experience ... and most of that comes from bad judgment.

15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

16. There are two excellent theories for arguing with women. Neither one works.

17. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

18. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

19. We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our ass... then things just keep getting worse.

20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


I got an email from my cousin Jeni letting me know she'd be in my neck of the woods on Sat with a friend to attend a Bat Mitzvah.  She inquired if Spouse & I had any plans for Sat evening, after the Bat festivities were over. Fortunately we had nothing on our calendar so we planned to meet up. 

Jeni called at about 4pm saying they were about 15 minutes from leaving the event, and were about 20 minutes away, so I checked out of work early and came home to await their arrival.  Fortunately Spouse had tidied up the house a bit (emphasis on "bit") so at least the main level was presentable.

When they arrived we welcomed them in, met Jeni's friend, and began to chat.  Turns out Jeni's friend's niece was the one having the Bat Mitzvah.  I had no idea they lasted all-fricken-day but they said they were there from 9:30 am until about 4pm.  I just hope the food and drinks were worth it!

We talked until mine and Spouse's stomachs growled and then decided to go out for dinner.  But 1st Jeni and her friend wanted to check into a place to stay.  Of course we invited them to stay with us but she said no, it was too short of notice, and that they were kind of looking forward to seeing a Bed & Breakfast they'd seen online.  I knew of it and looked up the phone # for them.  We drove over to the B&B and looked through the rooms, each one decorated in a different theme.  Once they had decided on one, we headed out for food.

We gave them a couple choices: seafood, Mexican, Italian, or Saketumi.  Fortunately they said anything was fine with them so since I had a taste for sushi rolls I suggested Saketumi.  Our buddy Kim was there (of course, it was a Saturday night) so we got his 'special friends' attention.  We started with drinks (a Cosmo for me, naturally) and an appetizer platter, then ordered our meals.

Our conversations ranged from updates on family members, to family drama, to politics, to God and religion, to GLBT rights, to everyone's work.  All of us were equally engaged, even Jeni's friend whom we'd just met, and I felt that family history and connection with Jeni.  I couldn't believe my eyes when the clock showed it was after 10pm!  We'd been at Saketumi for 4 hours!

We had a really great visit and I'm hoping Jeni and her friend will come back again in warmer weather so they can stay at our house and enjoy the beach.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Bubbles and blooms

Instead of my usual Weekend highlights post, I'm doing something different because all I did was work both days this past weekend and nobody wants to read about that.

Since I worked on Sun I took today off.  I wanted to do some research on some of the elements of our civil union ceremony and reception.

An element I'm excited about is that we're serving champagne!  Well, not actual champagne since that only comes from the Champagne region of France.  Technically everything else is sparkling wine.  So we're serving sparkling wine!  Its celebratory, its bubbly, its fun!  So I went to 2 liquor stores and talked to employees about brands of bubbles.  It was very productive!  Both guys suggested the same brand as a good-tasting, easy-to-drink, moderately priced sparkling wine so the decision is made.

Next I stopped at a local grocery store's floral department for blooms.  The young floral manager Amanda couldn't have been nicer.  We talked about overall look, color scheme, shape, combinations, etc.  Rather than ordering expensive, fussy arrangements, we decided to make our own casual arrangements using the flowers I ordered and some of the multitude of vases we already have.  Of course I'll have to enlist the help of a friend because Spouse & I are both missing the floral arranging gene.  But I know what I like and I know my friends will help us achieve it.

I'm getting excited!