Friday, February 29, 2008

The Honeymoon

Like most newlyweds, we went on a honeymoon after our wedding. Thankfully, we were smart enough to not schedule our flight until the Tuesday after the wedding. That meant we had time to relax and pack after the big night. Which we did.

On Tuesday morning we got up before the ass crack of dawn and hopped a flight to Cancun, Mexico. Did you know that Cancun is in the state of Quintana Roo? Neither did I. That's an interesting fact I learned before our plane even touched down in Mexico. We made it to our resort by about 1pm local time - which is exactly the same as local time here. I did already know that not very interesting fact. We knew that we were officially on vacation when they brought us fruity drinks at the check-in desk. They might have been something called a Miami Vice. I'm not sure. I never had another one just like it the entire trip.

Our room was fantastic. We had more room than we needed and we had an ocean view - if we looked over the trees and the 25 star hotel in front of us. But I'm not complaining. We were very happy about the room even though we didn't plan on spending much time there. Dee and I quickly got out of our Chicago clothes and into our pool clothes and headed down to catch a little sun. We found a nice spot by the pool and settled in for some reading, naps and drinks. Around 3pm I was awoken by the sounds of an emcee announcing some sort of event happening at poolside. According to him a shark had infested the pool (a lady in a gray wet suit with a fin strapped to her back) and he informed us that he needed to call in the greatest super heroes of all time to try to clear the waters in our pool. Needless to say Dee and I were very concerned. We didn't want our whole trip to be ruined by a shark-infested pool. The emcee then introduced the first super hero - "Meester Eendeeana Chones!" Unfortunately, Indiana Jones was killed by the shark. The next super hero was quickly introduced - "Mary Poppins!" Yes, Mary Poppins. The super hero. She didn't fare much better. Neither did "Meester Batman" or "Meester Superman." Fortunately, some random guest at the resort was able to seduce the shark and save the day. Our pool time was saved and Dee and I knew we were in for some good times at the resort.

The next day we decided to schedule some excursions out into the beautiful lands of Mexico in the area. At my brother's recommendation we decided to schedule a trip to Xel-Ha. Dee really wanted to zip-line so we scheduled another trip to a ranch called Chichen-Ha. Xel-Ha was to be on Thursday and Chichen-Ha was going to be on Saturday. See how that seems so uncertain? I think that's what English professors call foreshadowing. After scheduling our excursions, we headed back to the pool and got tan. We also spent some quality time at the swim-up bar. After we used up all the good sun, we headed back to the room to clean up and get ready for dinner - at the resort's steakhouse. The food and drinks were good but we were plenty tired so we called it a night.

Around 5am on Thursday morning, I noticed that Dee was getting up out of bed. Then I noticed that she was getting up again around 5:30am. Then 6am. Then I asked her what was going on. She wasn't feeling well. Montezuma's Revenge. We got up and headed to the lobby to meet our tour for the day and let them know that we had to reschedule. Thankfully, they were fine with that. We went back to the room and got some more sleep. Eventually we got up and went to the pool to hang out for a while. After about an hour we decided to head to the lunch place and grab some food. As I was finishing up filling my plate, I noticed Dee at the bar ordering drinks and swaying to some song I assumed was playing in her head. Suddenly she began to fall and crashed into the person standing next to her. I set my plate down and lurched to grab her head just before it hit the floor. After a few seconds she was back with us and able to talk and move. We got her into a chair and got her some soda. We hopped a golf cart and headed over to the resort clinic to see what the doctor had to say. He told us that Dee was dehydrated and that she needed an IV. Unfortunately, they couldn't run an IV at the clinic and sent us to a hospital. Once we got to the hospital, we quickly decided that Dee would be fine if we got her back to the room and filled her with water and Gatorade. So that's what we did. Surprisingly, it worked.

For the next couple days we took it easy and made sure that Dee was fully recovered before doing anything too crazy. We pushed back our excursions to Sunday and Monday and decided to just enjoy the resort in the meantime. And we did enjoy it. We hung out at the beach, pool and ate at the delicious restaurants. We even made a few visits to the theater to see the crazy shows they put on every night. Good times.

Eventually, we were able to go on the excursions that we had planned and we were both feeling good enough to really enjoy them. Xel-Ha was fabulous. It was an exquisite inlet filled with crystal clear water and thousands of beautiful fish. We snorkeled, swam in the bay and jumped from cliffs into the water. As the day wore on, we floated around the "lazy river" and climbed across a rope bridge. We even walked around and enjoyed some of the grottos and trails.

The next day was the zip-lining and swimming in the cenot├ęs (sink holes). We had a great tour guide who showed us around the ranch and made everything great fun. There are pictures - lots of them, and you can see them by going here. They tell their own grand story that I don't have the patience to tell anymore.

Besides, we left the next day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Wedding

About a week and a half ago I got married. Everyone told me that the day would fly by and it would be over before I knew it. That all of the months of planning would feel almost wasted given the short day. I guess our day was a little different. Don't get me wrong, the day didn't go slowly, but I was able to enjoy the day and soak it all in. I won't walk through all of the specifics, but I'll provide a few highlights.

-We got lucky with the weather. It was sunny and relatively warm for a day in the middle of February.

-When Bob and I went to get sandwiches for the trolley ride from the church to the reception we were wearing our tuxes. The guy behind the counter who gave us the sandwiches asked, "Are you guys having a bachelor party?"

-My dad made it. They brought him and his medical equipment up in an RV and parked it in front of the church. He was able to attend the ceremony and reception and deliver a wonderful speech. He even danced with my mom for part of a song. It meant a lot to have him there.

-The church was packed and the ceremony was beautiful. I was not nervous at all.

-Speaking of beautiful, Dee looked fabulous. Absolutely beautiful.

-Our wedding was in the city and the reception was in the 'burbs. We had a trolley to take the wedding party from one place to the other. The traffic was terrible and we ran out of beer on the trolley. We stopped at a 7-11 and Dee and I took our first pees as man and wife.

-The reception hall had a nice little room for the bridal party that was separate from the reception. It was really nice but the room was hot as hell. I was very grumpy by the time we were introduced.

-Dee and I took some dance lessons for our first dance. We were great when we practiced but still screwed up a couple of times at the reception.

-All of the speeches were perfect for the people that gave them. Everyone was very impressed. Not a dry eye in the house during my dad's speech (which I will publish on this blog later).

-One of the speeches involved dancing.

-The food was good even if they did screw up a few things.

-Lots of craziness on the dance floor. I can't wait to see the wedding video. Our friends are awesome and hilarious and great dancers.

-I got to do the Beat It dance.

-There were sliders at the end of the night. They were delicious. They were also mashed all over the dance floor.

-I couldn't have asked for a better wedding day. It was fun, touching and beautiful. We are very lucky to have such loving family and friends.

If you want to see the professional pictures you can go to www.modernimagestudios.com and then click on "Proofs" and type in my last name.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Marriage!

Welp, I'm all married up. Got a ring on my finger and everything. The wedding day was beautiful and hectic and great fun for everyone. I'll post more about the details and highlights once I get a chance to process it all a little more.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why Weddings are Good

As promised, some positive things about my wedding:

1) I love Dee. I'm not nervous about marrying her at all, I know it's the right thing to do.

2) I'll get to spend time with my family this weekend. My dad will be here. He's pretty sick and we were worried that he wouldn't be able to make it, but he's going to be there after all. That means a lot to him - and me.

3) There will be dancing. Lots of fun dancing with lots of fun people.

4) There will be drinking. Something that should be happening right now.

5) The planning will be over and life can go back to normal.

6) Dee and I get to spend a week in the warm weather in Mexico where we can do as much or as little as we want.

7) I love Dee and we'll have a happy marriage.

So there you go, some things to look forward to. This will probably be my last post for quite a while. Try to get by without me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stupid Wedding Traditions

Allow me a second to be the unhelpful, ungrateful groom and rant about all of the things that anger, baffle and confuse me about planning weddings.

1) Inviting people that neither Dee or I know. There is a whole group of people that landed on our invite list that we don't know. Dee doesn't know who they are and I don't know who they are, so why are they on the list? Well, they are friends of our parents that they insist we invite. If not invited, they will be offended. Will they be offended when we see them at the wedding and say, "Who the hell are you?" The worst part is that these people were invited at the expense of some of our friends. You know, people we actually like and would enjoy spending time with.

2) Other people matter too much. We come to a consensus on a decision only to have it overturned a day or two later. We have to run it by the moms, the grandmas, the friends. If they don't like it or have another idea, our decision is changed. The decision that we made together to put our own personal touch on our wedding is no longer ours. We should be able to do our wedding our way and not give a damn about what anyone else thinks.

3) Seat covers. Man, those things are expensive - especially for something that no one notices. For the price that they cost they should do a whole lot more than cover chairs that don't look that bad in the first place.

Next up, the happier, looking forward to marriage Jeff.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Random Goodness in a Crazy Week

The week leading up to your wedding is always crazy and high-stress. However, there have been some good moments and things popping up this week to keep Dee and I from going over the edge. Here are a few.

Naked Juice - Green Machine flavor
This is probably the most disgusting looking beverage ever created. It's green. It's thick. It looks like someone put a bunch of grass in a blender and hit the "puree" button. It's not visually appealing at all, but it is freaking delicious. It's a blend of apples, kiwi, banana, pineapple and mango. Shake well, close your eyes and take a big gulp. You'll love it.

Gardetto's Roasted Garlic Rye Chips - "Special Request"
I discovered a bag of these hanging in the convenience store in my building and was shocked. Everyone that buys Gardetto's always says that they should make a bag of just the rye chips because that is their favorite part. Of course, that never happens. But it did happen. Gardetto's stepped up and made a bag of everyone's favorite. And I love it. I hope they stick around.

Free* Security System Offer
Last night around 9pm a pink envelope slid under our front door. I went over to retrieve the envelope and find out what kind of interesting information comes in a pink envelope. Apparently, offers for a free* security system being sold by a man named Richard Nixon are what come in a pink envelope. Yes, Richard Nixon is trying to sell me security. Whoever is responsible for this fantastic practical joke deserves kudos.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wedding Week

Five days until my wedding. It's crunch time - or as the French say: Avez-vous du Grey Poupon? We've decided that Wednesday is our Go-No Go day so I'll be able to give you more definite information then. In general, I'd say things are looking good for Saturday. The skies should be relatively clear and the temperature won't be cold enough for the o-rings to freeze. Barring any major disasters, I think we'll be a go for launch.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Grammy's

Because I don't pay attention to these kind of things, I just discovered that the Grammy's are on tonight. Of course, Dee wants to watch them. So I'm stuck watching another crappy, over produced awards show. Man, this shit really baffles me. Why would anyone want to watch this? What is the appeal? It like one long Super Bowl Halftime show, but there's no football game (or interesting commercials) to keep people interested. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Big (Name) Week

It's quite a week here in Americaland. Lots of high-profile days.

Sunday: Super Bowl Sunday
Tuesday: Fat Tuesday, Super Tuesday
Wednesday: Ash Wednesday, National Letter of Intent Signing Day (first day high school football recruits can put their school choices in writing)

It's not too often that you have three "named" days in the same week - and one of them was named twice.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Vote!

People of Illinois (and all of the other states slated to vote on this Super Tuesday) go vote! Let your voices be heard.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Bowl Follow Up

I read Bill Simmons' article this morning and was pleasantly surprised by his reaction. I thought there would be more whining (there's none at all). It's a good column and all of the arrogance and confidence that he displayed in his podcasts (yes, I occasionally listen to his podcasts) when talking about the Pats did not turn into bitter complaints but into introspective thought.

Well done, sir.

On a completely different note, can you believe this?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl Highlights

Here are a few highlights from the Super Bowl party that Dee and I had at our place this evening.

-Everyone we invited showed up. (Me and Dee)
-After Bradshaw's run early in the first quarter where he dragged a tackler about 5 yards, Dee said, "It's the effing Super Bowl, that is how you DO!"
-In what I can only assume is an homage to Dee's Fat Girl in a Little Sweater, Bill Belichick is wearing a tight red hoodie with the sleeves cut off.
-Beer floats. Not root beer floats, but beer floats. We got a nice raspberry lambic from Sam's and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a chilled glass. It looked like this:
-The huge light penis sexing the heart shaped vagina during the halftime show.
-After the 12 men on the field penalty that gave the Pats a first down instead of the Giants the ball, Dee said, "It's the effing Super Bowl, you can't DO that."
-The only big wow moment in the whole game: Manning somehow breaking away from what looked like a sure sack only to make a wild throw to Tyree who made an amazing catch by pinning the ball against his helmet. Dee had no comment as she was sleeping at the time.
-Dee woke up just in time to see the Giants' final touchdown and was suddenly wide awake.
-Gotta love the chaos of the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. Of course, the media will make Belichick out to be a bad sport because he didn't stick around for the final play. As much as I want to hate on him for that, I don't think I'm going to buy it in this situation.
-Can't wait to read the next article from Bill Simmons.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Irish Updade

Charlie has done it again. He's added another top notch personnel to the Notre Dame football program. He's already got the top ranked recruiting class in the nation (who are less than a week away from signing) and now he's scored one of the top defensive minds in the nation as an assistant coach. Jon Tenuta was just announced as Assistant Head Coach/Defense for Notre Dame.

For those of you who don't know, Tenuta was the Defensive Coordinator for Georgia Tech until the end of this season when Georgia Tech's head coach, Chan Gailey, was fired. Tenuta ran a fierce and aggressive defense at GT that gave everyone fits. They completely dismantled ND last year (I know, not that impressive) and were the only team to keep Brady Quinn from throwing a touchdown pass in 2006 (slightly more impressive).

If nothing else, Charlie Weis has done everything he can to put himself in a position to turn the ND football program around after last season's 3-9 failure. He's got talented players, smart coaches and he's claimed to have learned his lessons from last season (plus a favorable schedule). There are no excuses for the Irish missing a bowl game next year. If that happens, there's only Charlie to blame.