Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weddings After Marriage



I've been thinking about weddings a lot lately (which may not seem very odd, I mean, I do write for a wedding website), but it actually is a bit strange for me at the moment. Because honestly? I've felt completely checked out of the wedding world for a little while now (which is one reason why even though I've mostly finished my recaps, I haven't gone back to finish up the few more posts that I've been meaning to write).


One of the reasons, I think, is that I haven't gone to that many weddings recently. B and I were at the tail end of a lot of our friends who got married right after college or law school. And B and I ourselves got married over a year ago (holy cow, seriously?), and then my sister got married last September. But those are the only weddings I've been to for awhile. And since I was an active participant in both of them (bride and maid of honor), neither gave me a lot of time for reflection, especially during the ceremony.


I've started thinking about weddings again since my cousin is getting married soon. And I'm really, really excited to have the chance to attend a wedding as a married guest. B's best man told him that after he got married, there was just something different about attending weddings. Not better or worse, but different. Perhaps a deeper feeling, now that you understand what it's like to stand in front of your family and friends and say your vows to your spouse. You understand all of the time and energy and emotion that's gone into the day, and you know exactly how excited the bride and groom (and their families!) are.


While my cousin and his fiance are looking forward to starting this next phase of their family, I'm excited to sit with my husband and watch them take this step. To see their extended families welcoming the two of them, and to see everyone who will be there supporting them along the journey. I can't wait. Especially since it was only a few months ago that we gathered to say goodbye to my grandmother. It feels very good to have a much happier occasion to celebrate.


Did anyone else feel this way about weddings after they got married? 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Loved it!

I absolutely loved the Hunger Games movie. Really, I think it might be one of my favorite movie adaptations of a book that I've seen yet. And since I loved the books so much, I'm really happy they did such a great job! My only very slight quibble has to do with the end of the games. I don't want to say much for those of you who haven't seen it yet, but I thought the filmmakers made an interesting choice about the very end of the games that changes how I think those actions are perceived (versus the way it happened in the book). But that is such a minor, minor issue compared to how much I really enjoyed the movie, and I don't think it's necessarily bad - just different from the books.


Now I can't wait for the next ones to come out, though I think I read somewhere that they're creating 4 movies out of the books? B and I spent last night trying to figure out how they're going to do that, and I'm honestly not sure. I had a pretty good idea of where the break would be when they announced that the last Harry Potter book would be two movies, but I'm really not sure about these books. Which clearly means I need to go re-read the last two right away so that I can figure it out. Which I'll do as soon as I get them back from my best friend!


And seeing the movie at the 21+ theater was such a great idea. We'll definitely be heading back there for future movies, as I have to say, no teenagers and beer during a movie is the way to watch a show! The whole lobby area is like a bar that just happens to have a movie theater attached to it. And also? You can pre-order drinks and they'll deliver them to you at a specific time in the movie. That is awesome.


I only had two annoyances, and only one of them was an issue because of the theater (and it was pretty much our own fault since we'd never been there). See, the theater is fairly small (it probably sat about 100 people, but it honestly felt smaller than that), and the rows were broken up and staggered so that each row had two sections of 4 seats and one section of 2 seats. B and I sat in the 2 seat section, but apparently we managed to sit in the main aisle for when people brought drinks in (or if people had to get up and go to the bathroom). So while it wasn't that often, we definitely kept getting people walking in front of us which was kind of annoying when I just wanted to watch the movie! But we know where not to sit next time.


The other annoyance was that the girl across the aisle from me kept looking at her phone the WHOLE movie. WHO DOES THAT? Besides a phone actually ringing, I think the most annoying thing a person can do in a DARK theater is to constantly be turning their phone on so the glow can annoy everyone around them. I'm pretty sure she was texting someone, because I swear, every 20 minutes she was checking that thing. Now, I have to ask, if you're so excited to see a show that you go see it on opening day, WHY don't you just watch the movie instead of texting with people who aren't there? Lame.


But other than that, seriously awesome. The movie was fantastic, the theater was great, and I love getting to go on dates with my husband (after the show we had a drink at our favorite bar and then pizza. Great night!).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games!

Moving on to a slightly lighter topic, as most of you are probably aware, The Hunger Games opens today! And for the first time in a (VERY) long time, I am actually going to see a movie on its opening day. I was probably in high school the last time that happened (well, there was this time that I tried to go see a midnight showing of one of the Star Wars movies, but that didn't work out very well...).




I loved the books (including the third one that I've heard so many people say they dislike, and my only response is, seriously? How did you expect it to end? With sunshine and roses?). And I am so happy to see the good reviews that the movie is getting, because I'll admit, I was really nervous about how many ways they could screw this one up.


B and I are also going to be enjoying our first time at a great theater in town which is 21+, which means that not only do I get to see the movie on opening day, but I get to enjoy a beer at the same time. This week has definitely not been sunshine and roses, so I'm really excited that we're at the end of it with a great movie to kick off the weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Physician's Perspective

Because I have been waiting to hear from doctors about their point of view on the issue of forcing women to get a trans-vaginal ultrasound prior to getting an abortion, I really appreciated this post.
"Our position is to recommend medically-indicated tests and treatments that have a favorable benefit-to-harm ratio... and it is up to the patient to decide what she will and will not allow. Period. Politicians do not have any role in this process. NO ONE has a role in this process but the patient and her physician. If anyone tries to get in the way of that, it is our duty to run interference."


Please go read it. Now.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I am a woman and I have rights. Stop taking them away.

Ok. I usually stay far away from political thoughts on this blog (which is fairly ironic given that I have a BA in Politics and at one point really wanted to work in politics) (what, West Wing is my favorite tv show, pretty much ever). 


The main reason that I tend to stay away from political issues is because often I don't see the point. If you know me in real life, you know where I stand. And if you don't know me in real life, you may or may not be able to figure out where I stand on most issues based on what you've read here. If you agree with me on those issues then you agree, and if you disagree with me, well, me writing anything here is highly unlikely to change your view. And that's fine. That's actually one of the things I love most about where I live and the time in which I was born - we're all free to have our own opinion. I cannot control your opinion and you cannot control mine. We can each debate our viewpoint and if knowledge is gained by that debate, that's fantastic. But ultimately it comes down to the fact that my mind is my own and no one else has the right to control what or how I think.


But apparently as a woman in this country it's becoming harder and harder for me to control my own body. And to that I have to say, are you fucking kidding me?*


There have been many more well written articles out there talking about the history of birth control and how giving women (AND MEN! Why are men conveniently left out of the discussion on birth control? As has been noted, 100% of pregnancies have male involvement**) the ability to decide when and if and how many children they want to conceive in a lifetime has increased the standard of living for so many women. The ability to go to school. The ability to start a business. The ability to climb higher up the corporate ladder. Lots of good things for women (AND MEN) have come out of the ability to control when (and if) a child will be born.


But there are so many people out there who want to take that away. Except they say they aren't doing that. Except that that's exactly what they're doing. They're saying that a woman's sole purpose is making babies. But then there is no support for the mom, dad or child once the baby is born. And beyond receiving no support, many women lose their sources of livlihood, simply because they are pregnant. Why on earth are people more concerned about a fetus inside of me then with MY life, an actual living and breathing human who has been alive for 30 years? Or why are people more concerned with a baby's well being while it's still in my womb then with how that child will fare once it's born? Why are social services being cut left and right so that 1 out of 5 children born in this country are below the poverty line, yet people want to get rid of Planned Parenthood***, an organization that does more to prevent unwanted pregnancies (including doing more to prevent abortions in the first place!)? 


I get so incredibly outraged by this entire discussion and the thought that Rush Limbaugh can call a woman a slut for wanting an insurance plan to cover birth control pills (who also pointed out the other benefits that birth control pills provide beyond preventing pregnancies). And then people cry that they shouldn't have to pay for another person to have sex. Hey guess what? First, you aren't paying for someone to have sex. Second, all of us in this country pay for something that we might disagree with. Guess what? It's called living in a civilized country. If you don't like it, you are welcome to live elsewhere. But there you might actually have to pay for a woman's maternity leave (or a dad's paternity leave)! Because in many other countries women (and men) who have children actually have paid time off to spend with their infants! You know, the ones whose right to life you were so fiercely protecting? Well, what about once they're born and that baby's parents can't survive on one income (or no income if the mother is the family's bread-winner), so the parents have to work. But don't worry, you aren't paying for any woman's maternity leave in the United States. Because there is no mandated paid parental leave. Did you know that the US is only 1 of 4 countries to not provide any sort of paid parental leave


The fundamental disconnect in all of this just amazes (and disgusts) me. The party that spouts off about family values and how important children are protects them just up to the moment they're born. And then begins a lifetime in which that child is told no one out there wants to help you, you must pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Because that's what all of the other millionaires did, so you should be able to do it, too. And if you can't, that's your own problem, so don't go looking for a handout.


You might be asking yourself what originally set off today's post? Reading these articles about Arizona's proposed law which requires a woman to submit a claim to her employer stating that she needs contraceptives for a non-birth preventing medical reason, and oh yeah, allows employers to fire women who are on the pill. Basically Debbie Lesko (the bill's sponsor) believes that we "live in America ... [and] we don't live in the Soviet Union. So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom-and-pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs."


Are you fucking kidding me? First, the invasion of privacy that this entails blows my mind. Second, maybe we should double check Arizon's schools because I'm pretty sure someone needs a geography and history lesson. Third, are you fucking kidding me? Would someone please ask Ms. Lesko if she has ever used contraceptives for the purpose of preventing pregnancy, and if she hasn't, why she doesn't have as many children as the Duggars. Perhaps we should delve into her personal life the way she wants to allow employers to delve into a woman's life.


I should note that I originally wrote this post on Wednesday, but thought I should sit with it for a few days. And then I read this morning that Georgia wants to force women to carry a stillborn fetus until she "naturally" goes into labor, because that's what cows and pigs do. After I picked up the pieces of my exploded brain, I hit publish (there's a lot of other really good stuff in that article, so you should go read it!). 


The rest of the world is pretty sure that the United States has gone freaking crazy. Comparing my body to that of a pig or cow? No. I am a woman. With certain fundamental human rights granted to me by my status of being a member of the human race. Now, to all of our representatives, kindly stop making laws because your version of morality requires women pregnant and in the kitchen. The wonderful freedom of this country allows you to hold and believe in that opinion and adhere to whatever rules you want to in your personal life. I do not share those beliefs, but do you see what I just did up there? Even though your beliefs don't jibe with mine, I recognize your right to believe whatever you want. Kindly extend the same courtesy to me, and stop trying to make your beliefs law.




*Apologies to my mother for swearing. But these issues make me so incredibly angry, and some swearing is apparently necessary.


**I read that line somewhere and I can't find where anymore. But that line resonated with me deeply. Why are women to blame simply because nature requires that they're the ones who have the kids? No woman can have a child without the contribution of a man at some point along the process.


***Though Romney did point out in that article that he doesn't want to "get rid" of Planned Parenthood, but just make sure they don't receive any federal funding. Ok then. Stripping an organization that does more for preventive health in this country (especially for those who can't afford the high costs of health insurance) of the majority of its funding seems like a really great move.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Well

I love saying that I'll write more and then *poof* the week disappears and I'm just now writing again. Sigh. At some point I will regain the balance that allows me time to write as well as time to spend with friends and family (and, you know, work, too). 


I actually did write a long post the other day, but I'm still trying to decide if I'll publish it. It's more political in nature than I generally get on here, so I'm not sure. That might just be a weekend treat if I can polish it up a bit more.


In other news, not much is going on with me. We're flying out for a family wedding in a few weeks, and I'm really excited about it. We all gathered together in January back on the east coast to bury my grandmother, and it'll be really good to see my extended family again so soon for a much happier occasion. All of my cousins and I grew up together on the North Carolina coast for two weeks every summer. It's been harder as we've all gotten older to do that anymore. So for now we use weddings (and unfortunately funerals) as the reason to gather.


I'm also particularly excited to be in the south for a few days because it will be WARM (and hopefully sunny!). Every year about this time I start to go nuts - it's still cold and rainy in Seattle, but friends in other parts of the country start talking about how warm and great the spring is. I'm ready for spring! And I know that it's still a ways out. I love Seattle, but even I have my breaking point!


Any fun weekend plans out there? I'm looking forward to relaxing on the couch and watching some basketball. Love March Madness! (and so far my bracket hasn't cratered yet - but of course that could all change with the next game!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Whoops

Nothing like relaxing a little too completely after a huge stressor is off your shoulders to make you forget you haven't updated your blog in awhile!


The bar exam is D-O-N-E! Now I just have to wait until the end of April to find out whether I passed. It's funny, this time around was a very different experience than last time, not only for the way I studied and the fact that I didn't know a soul in the exam room (of a couple hundred people) unlike last time when it seemed like practically half my graduating class was in the exam room (of many more hundred people) with me. It was also very different in what I came back to after the exam was over. In order to understand what I mean, first you should know that, generally speaking, law students (at least the ones I know) are a very superstitious bunch, especially when it comes to the bar exam. You don't talk about it once it's over. You don't ask someone how they feel or whether they think they passed. You just don't. Because at that point, there's nothing you can do. The questions have been answered, the essays turned in, all you can do is wait.


This time, all of my law school friends still followed that routine (lots of "Congratulations on being finished!", but no "So, how'd it go? Did you pass?"), but every single person at work asked me how it went. And whether I had passed. And how I thought I did. And was it hard. And on and on and on. Before you think I'm a total jerk, believe me, I absolutely know that they only ask because they're friends of mine who know how stressed I was before the test and were happy for me that it was over. And they don't understand the superstitious nature that I have surrounding this test. But it was actually really hard for me to talk about it so much after I was back at work last week! Which just makes me incredibly thankful that I was able to stay out of the office the day immediately following the exam so that I had a bit more distance before dealing with all of the questions.


But as we are in the middle of the waiting game now, I am doing my best to simply put it out of my head. And I'm doing that by spending much needed time with family and friends, which I've been neglecting far too much the past couple of months. This weekend B and I had a game night with friends on Friday night (and didn't get home until 2am), had drinks and dinner with other friends on Saturday and then dim sum with yet another group of friends on Sunday morning. My heart is full knowing how many wonderful people are in my life, and I'm trying to make sure they all know how much I love them (even if it means I am exhausted this morning!).


And of course, I'll have more time to spend here with you all. I have a lot of things I want to do around here, and now I actually have the time to do some of them. I'm looking forward to it, and I so appreciate you all for reading and encouraging me through these last couple of months!
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