Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It pays to plan ahead, but perhaps not too far ahead

The Baer and I would like to take a moment to remind you that the wedding is coming up on Aug. 4, 2007. We can't stress the year enough, because we'd hate for any of you to do the opposite of what Dave Barclay did.

Barclay flew from Whales to Toronto for a friend's wedding, only to discover he was a year early, and now $1,015 short.

It was only when he had flown into Cardiff from Toronto, Canada, and rang the bridegroom seeking details of the venue that he discovered the wedding was in 2008.

"I am a year early -- yeah, my mates are loving it, aren't they," he told BBC Radio Wales.

My friend Darren once had a flight booked out of New York's JFK, got up, and drove to the airport in Newark. When confused airline workers finally figured out what happened, they got him on a flight to Detroit. The problem was, his return flight was to JFK -- and now his car was in New Jersey. He lived in Brooklyn at the time.

"I'm sure people do this all the time," he said.

"I don't think they do," I said. "You didn't just to go to the wrong airport, you went to the wrong STATE. It's like you had a flight out of Detroit and drove to Toledo."

"Shut up," he said.

I do think Mr. Barclay should get to go to A wedding, and I've got a solution. Steve Lavin used to coach basketball at UCLA. He's a very nice man, if not necessarily the best basketball coach ever. He's getting married Aug. 17. The plan was to have the wedding at a resort in Southern California.

However, The Los Angeles Times got hold of an e-mail that went to guests, and there's a problem.

"Unexpectedly we have received a stunning 95% RSVP on sent out wedding invitations. As a result, our wedding guest list has far exceeded the maximum capacity for a traditional ceremony and reception at The Montage Resort.

"After giving serious consideration to alternative plans we have decided the best option at this late stage is to head to Europe to create a magical wedding day."

They say they'll send everyone photos, but I think they should invite Mr. Barclay. He'll be back in Europe. Seems like a win-win.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Picture perfect

The latest in the on-going saga of one man's attempt to find laughs in the planning process.

The Oregonian Staff

Like Ryan Seacrest's success, or the fact that wheatgrass is good for you and SweeTarts aren't, the division of labor as it pertains to the planning of a wedding is not fair.

The bride-to-be is expected to do it all, and by "all," I mean: hall, catering, flowers, wardrobe (hers, plus requests to take care of mine), officiant, invitations and about two dozen things I probably don't even know about.

Unfair. Someone should look into that. Maybe do something about it.

Done in a flash (The Oregonian)

And, as a bonus, an on-line only treatise on The Bachelor Party.

The Oregonian staff

LAS VEGAS -- Dogged for a day and a half by some stomach bug he'd dragged across the country, Gary had mapped his route back to perfect health. It was a plan hatched near the blackjack tables at Imperial Palace. Elvis was dealing cards.

Being that this was a bachelor party, and he was telling his plan to a bunch of drunk guys, it seemed like a brilliant plan. He was going to try to kill that stomach bug.

"With tequila," he said.

In hindsight ... he should have tried mescal. The worm (in bandoliers, armed with pistols) could have gone to war with the bug (being evil, it'd have a goatee) in an epic Godzilla-like battle to the death. Possibly Gary's.

Have you ever seen the desert sun rise over the Eiffel Tower? (

Monday, June 25, 2007

Said my dad, "I've never been anywhere this hot in my life -- including Vietnam."

LAS VEGAS -- Please meet 100-percent weapons-grade Cow. At some point there will be pictures and a semi-full recap of the bachelor party weekend (though Baer's not yet posted bachelorette photos, so maybe I should hold out), but for now let's focus on the Cow, capital C.

After running up something like a $360 bar tab at the pool at Paris on Saturday (easier than you'd think), dinner for the group of 13 was reserved at BOA Steakhouse, nestled gently in the side of Caesar's Palace, not far from where Pete Rose seems to be signing autographs in perpetuity.

On the menu, that piece of meat to the right is listed as Premium Japanese Wagyu. Price: MKT. MKT = $16/oz., "minimum 6 oz.," our waiter said.

Why so much? The Wagyu cow is well taken care of. It's raised in a mansion, given only the best beers and bourbons and massaged three times daily by Geishas in possession of the Orient's most flavorful oils.

Then it's slaughtered and shipped to the desert.

To the right you'll see 8 oz., of Premium Japanese Wagyu. That's $128 worth of Cow.

And it was worth it. Man, was it worth it.

I mean it was really, really worth it.

As for the rest of the weekend, here's a photo of my friend James holding a banana in front of the Eiffel Tower. That's pretty representative.

They came from far and farther last weekend. Some were sick. Some were in trouble with their wives. I can't thank them all enough.

Okay, two more photos. From Friday's tour of the Neon Sign Graveyard. On the left, my dad, me and my brother. On the right, the reason we were all there, sort of. Not pictured: My hangover. (Click on pictures for clearer images.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

T-minus six weeks and counting

OK, big deep breaths. We're going to make it. Six weeks til the wedding. Whitey lit out for Vegas this morning--a big weekend with the guys.
This is good! The house is nice & quiet. I've got a little time to get things done.

Had a fitting today for the dress, it looks great. Terri didn't even flinch when I asked for some minor changes: a new color, different fabric, a silhouette like Monica Belluci...
Knocked off the new registry at Macy's (see links to the right for more loot links). (Note to self: call Macy's downtown and ask if they have a section of stuff that will help me clean everything I just registered for.)
Ordered our wedding bands--Whitey seems to be adjusting well to the idea of wearing a piece of jewelry.
The Talent Quest is lurching into Round 2. I recorded my entries today, more on that next week.

Best of all, our insurance company has approved my request for elective surgery. I'll schedule it as soon as we can find a compatible donor octopus who can spare me a few arms.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Baer's Big News!!!!!

And I don't use exclamation marks lightly.

As many of you may know, Ms. Baer entered what amounts to American Idol, but for people who read the books that were assigned in high school and college. It is the Public Radio Talent Quest. They're looking for the next great public radio host. More than 1,400 people entered the first round, 10 continued on.

April's one of the 10.

Read all about it here

My fallback position for the dress

Target has introduced a new line of wedding dresses. And ya know what? Not bad. Certainly not compared with most other off-the-rack stuff I've tried on this year. Prediction: David's bridal is going DOWN.

What a relief!

Whitey's employer, the Big O, is reporting today that State Senator Vicki Walker of Eugene has proposed a bill that will make it easier for newly-married men to change their names. And that's what's nice about living in Oregon. Because I know Whitey really won't feel we're a family until he's surrendered his identity to mine. And really, he's doing it for the kids.

In other stories we're following... the rehearsal dinner's coming together nicely00looks like we'll be having a mass picnic at Goodale Park--all early arrivals are welcome! first fitting for the bridal rigging is this Wednesday! We're flying out Thursday afternoon so Whitey can meet my Cleveland mafia. Back at Michigan Control, Whitey's cousin Lisa is in final stages of prep for her wedding (we think Diane & Alice deserve a trophy for dealing with both of us this summer). And something very big & exciting is threatening to divide my attention to wedding planning. (Bad bride! This is supposed to be the center of my existence, right?) Watch this space for updates!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

At least we won't have to worry about this

The things we do for love

It was a trick question, maybe.

"That guy who flew with drug-resistant tuberculosis?" Baer said. "He was going on his honeymoon."

"I saw that," I said.

"That's a bloggable item."

I said, "I promise if I have drug-resistant tuberculosis, I won't go on on our honeymoon."

Then I paused.

"Or is the right answer that I'll go on our honeymoon anyway, because that's commitment?"

"That," Baer said, "is a good question."

The things we do for love. As some of you know, we had a small medical drama here in the house of White-Baer, about 10 days ago. The night began like any other, a couple of folks came over to watch The Sopranos and Entourage. Pizza was consumed. And ice cream. And some beer. And grape Crush.

It was a cool, rainy night, but a cool, rainy night late enough in the season that we allowed ourselves to think that perhaps it would be the last cool, rainy night. One fake log left next to the fireplace. We made a fire, curled up on the couch under a blanket and fell asleep watching a Harry Potter movie.

About an hour and a half later, I woke up, warm. I woke Baer up, because it was after nine, the sun was nearly down and without question it was time for bed. We pulled ourselves up from the couch; I headed into the bathroom to get ready for bed.

Ever fall asleep in the afternoon and wake up after dark? You awake disoriented. Is it morning? Night? What did I sleep through that I'm going to pay for now? And where in the hell am I?

One minute I was getting ready for bed, the next I felt like that last paragraph. Where was I? On the bathroom floor. How did I get there? I don't know. What's that voice? April, asking if I'm Ok. Why does my head hurt.

I sat up, about the time April walked in and saw blood on the floor. I reached behind my head and found the source of the blood. Bad news. Not too long after that, we're in the ER, I'm in a neck brace and the local Fox affiliate is on the television, passing crap off as news. Seems ol' Brit Spears had thrown a temper tantrum on a United flight. No leather seats is a real bitch sometimes. Life's tough all over.

Eventually we get seated, took about an hour, should have had reservations. Left behind in the waiting room was a woman in a nightgown, curled up on two chairs, a couple dealing with a sore tooth (she had a tattoo on her face), and various other bumps, bruises and obvious ploys for painkillers.

A nurse led us back. Later, a friend would suggest this was a lousy way to check out nurses. This nurse was going about 6-foot, bald, tattooed and a former Marine. Bad ass guy. He'd been in the first Gulf War, turned down invitations to this one because he'd promised his daughter he'd be here. Did a stint in Italy after Iraq I. Bragged about how good he was with a needle. The guy was good with a needle.

I got an I.V., and an EKG, and blood disappeared into vials. The doctor, guy named Campbell came in, asked a lot of questions. I go for a CAT Scan. The ride is cool. Neck immobilized on the bed, I got a view most people only ever get when they're watching television medical dramas: ceiling tiles, rounded mirrors, quick flashes of passing faces. There was a heart-rate monitor taped to my finger, glowing red. My neck was stretched by the brace. I felt like E.T.

April helped a guy named Todd lift me on to the CAT Scan table. It's mechanized, and it whirred me toward the working parts, a thin cylinder. Inside, parts turn. It was like being in the middle of a centrifuge, or one of those amusement park rides where you stick to the wall. While April was looking at pictures of my brain -- and feeling a little better about this marriage thing, once she saw I had one -- I'm thinking like James Bond.

"Do you expect me to talk?"

"No, Mr. Bond ..."

Everything check out, A.O.K. One of those things, the doctor says.

"Now we'll staple up the back of your head."

"Can I watch?" Baer said.

"Can you watch?" I said.

She could. She watched them staple my head at about 20 to 3 a.m.

At home, about 20 minutes later, she said, "I guess we can get married now."

I guess we can. And I know for a fact I'd chase her across the Earth with a head wound. Maybe not tuberculosis. Or maybe. We're still not sure what the right answer is. More likely than not, though, that guy with TB probably just didn't want to deal with the airlines and changing the tickets.

Wedding columns archived

My employer has archived the wedding columns done to date -- all four of them. The fifth is being written right now, and we're planning at least one, hopefully two more before the wedding. Plus, a special, web-only, post-bachelor party column.

The O's archive.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hotel Deluxe

So you're coming to the wedding in Columbus??? That's excellent news! And here's the best part: you don't have to stay at our place, enjoying Ryan's inimitable housekeeping, and April's treasured collection of Phillip Glass music.

Get the low-down on Columbus Accommodations right here.

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