Friday, January 30, 2009

I hate the federal government

Specifically, the post office. Let me recount my day:

Debra, Jeremy and Kara plan to go to the post office tomorrow to hand cancel the wedding invitations and send them out. I have been told by other brides that this entails asking for the stampey thing (or so I naively called it) and standing there, stamping them ourselves.

Kara asks Debra if she can find the phone number for the post office, because they make even that, difficult to find. Debra sends said phone number to Kara.

Kara politely calls the post office to ask if she can come in tomorrow to borrow the 'stampey thing' to hand cancel these invitations. She is RUDELY greeted with a ..."NO". Not a maybe, not a, "not at this location, but at a different one". Rather, a, "NO". He also corrected her, informing her that it was called a "Roundator". Kara, astounded, hung up.

Now, pissed off, Kara says -- lets drop these things in a mailbox somewhere, this is ridiculous.

Kara then gets even more pissed off and wants her way. Per usual. Kara calls another post office to see if they have a different attitude. No such luck, but they do give her the number for the "postage requirements department" (are you kidding me - and these people need to make budget cuts - lets start at the POST OFFICE!). Kara contacts the mailing requirements department and they tells her, in all honesty, that it is a matter of personal preference weather they will allow you to hand cancel them or not. Truthfully, he said, it depends on their mood and weather they want to let you do it or not. He then gives Kara the name of the downtown post office manager and says to call her.

Kara makes phone call #756 to the Minneapolis post office manager while her mother tries to take them to the Saint Louis Park post office. Apparently the Saint Louis park postal employee forgot his Prozac today and would not allow her to do this. At the same time the Minneapolis post office manager calls on the other line while her frustrated mother is standing in the Saint Louis Park post office. Kara gets the other line and Kristie (the only nice postal employee employed by the federal government), informs her that if she shoes up tomorrow morning at 9:00am she can see 'Marty' in the Stamp Shop and she'll let them roundate the invitations in his office. Shady, but okay.

Outlook invitation was sent to Jeremy and Debra. Meet tomorrow morning in the stamp show with a roundator in hand. We have work to do.

I hate the federal government.

(like the 3rd person thing!?)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meeting with the florist

Now we're doing the fun stuff!



We met with the florist yesterday - and a little shout out to them because I think they're the greatest http://bastianskoog.com/

I will not give away everything, but just to share a little - it is tulip season in early April - so our centerpieces on the tables will be masses of warm tones of tulips in monotone colors. So...one table will have masses of pink tulips, the next will have masses of red tulips, then orange etc... They have amazing taste, I am so excited to see it!!!!

That is all I will reveal :-) Okay...so if pressed, I'll tell you more!

Next week we have to pick out linens. We're going to stay simple, likely use theirs with something over to make it a bit more exciting - but this is not an area I intend to spend much money. And the nice thing is that we don't have to cover the chairs because they're brand new and not super ugly. There is nothing I hate more than chair covers. It just creeps me out thinking...ewww, what is UNDER there! Mark my words, next time you sit on chair covers, you will be a bit creeped out too!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Crunch time...please help!!!

I need two things blog readers...HELP!

#1. Shoes for my wedding dress are turning out to be the hardest part of planning a wedding. I found some that I loved, and decided to wear them out on Saturday night to test them out. 10 minutes into the night my toes were numb, and I was 3 inches taller than Jeremy.

I NEED COMFORTABLE SHOES! Ideally, I don't want white or ivory because they're so ugly. I really want pink, but can't find anything with a lowish heal that is feminine, cute and COMFORTABLE. Please help. Please!!!!

#2. Transportation. Does anyone have a conversion van?! okay, slightly kidding, but really only slightly. Maybe someone does! We're trying to figure out how to cart everyone around all day from the hotel, to my parents house, to the synagogue, to pictures etc...and I'd like to do it in one vehicle to avoid the stress of a million cars. Married people, how do you do this? To rent one for the entire day is ridiculously expensive - maybe we'll just take cars. Thoughts??? Does someone just happen to have a 15 person van in their garage? :-)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wine and Cheese with the neighbors

The much anticipated update: Please note that I mean this all in the nicest way, as these are truly two of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. I might adopt them as a 3rd set of grandparents.

We arrive (after waiting in the hallway for about 25 seconds saying..."you knock, NO, you knock. Fine, I'll knock, but you have to stand there when the door opens"). Yes, we're mature.

We are greeted with champagne flutes, which are very soon filled with champagne (very tasty champagne I might add). Jane, the 1 legged, 1 eyed, drug addicted (to pain narcotics from the surgeries) hostess is busily cooking in the kitchen. She was whipping up 'snacks' for us to have with our wine and champagne. We sit down and they toast our engagement, albeit 8 months late. We begin chatting, and they give us their life story of how they met, and the many, many homes they have lived in throughout their lives. Steve is an artist, and Jane has the brains they told us. They both started out as teachers, but got involved in real estate and spent their careers selling real estate. Steve would do the showings, and would paint the houses they sold for their clients. Jane was the business woman and did all of the financial dealings and went to all of the closings. I can imagine, between the two of them, they'd make a great team. He is about the cutest, sweetest, most flattering guy you'll meet. She is smart, and witty, sharp and still kind.

They begin asking us questions about our likes and dislikes, and they share some of theirs. They happen to love the show Momma's Boys. Why? I HAVE NO IDEA! I think it is the most horrible show on TV, but they went on to recall every detail of the episode where the 'crazy' mother didn't like that her son was in a hot tub with some African American woman. They told us how much they love the 'gays'. I say that as a direct quote, and in the most flattering way. They informed us that their favorite clients are the gays, and they are the people they trust the most. okay. They followed it up by informing us they also liked the Jews. oh good.

They filled us in on the fistfights that have occurred on the rooftop of the Groveland during the 'drinking parties' as they called them (Happy Hour to the rest of us). They know just about every single person in our building personally. And, they were more than happy to fill us in on the rivalries, and relationships within the building... Life on Groveland Avenue, almost as good as Wisteria Lane. And in a moment of conversation, Steve pulled IT out. And he asked. A picture of their bicycle built for two and asked if we could want to buy it. Again. He left Jeremy to explain why we didn't want to buy the deathtrap of a bike that almost killed his wife. Jeremy, in his best deer in the headlights impression, stuttered, stammered, and said "uh...we don't ride bikes".

My favorite moments were when Steve decided to imitate Jane because he thought she shared too many details. Not all that different from Jeremy and I actually. Jane would tell a story:
"Last summer we visited our home in Nantucket with our children. It's next to a white house, in the white house lives a man, who was once an extra in this movie. You know...I love movies. Have you seen Top Gun? I love Top Gun"
To which Steve would mumble under his breath:
"Jane, you forgot to tell us what style home it was next to ours, and what your favorite movie was..."

I love old people! Seriously, they are my favorite. As the 'snacks' which turned out to be several appetizers she had prepared just for the two of us dwindled, she pulled out a cake she had baked for us, with home made whip cream! No lie. We then proceeded to finish up the evening with cake and coffee and some more chatting by the gas fire.

This will not be the last of our evenings with the Chases. They are seriously fantastic. Wine and cheese with the neighbors really couldn't have been any better!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The last anniversery

So today is our last anniversary. Well our last until we start all over. Which I find quite unfair. Three years ago this evening I found myself awkwardly wandering into Dunn Brothers Coffee to meet Jeremy (followed a few minutes later by Stacy, who was secretly chaperoning our date). Three years is a long time! Imagine the difference between a newborn and a toddler. A 15 year old and a 18 year old. You get the idea...it's a long time!

Envelopes have been stuffed, stamped, addressed and we will send them out next Saturday. We're going to make a trip to the downtown post office to 'Hand Cancel' them. Wouldn't want any nasty red lines on my beautiful IVORY (not green) invitations now would we!? Ali and Debra ensure me it is just a thrilling task.

Now on an unrelated side note. We all know what each other does for a living, but do you really UNDERSTAND what they do. Not necessarily. I know Jeremy stares aimlessly at a computer all day and eats pens, I know Robyn yells at the computer and gets annoyed with her coworkers about insurance things, I know Stacy fixes grocery aisles filled with Cereal, and Debra makes UTube videos - right everyone!? I nailed it! I know exactly what you all do! But do you know what I do? Well below I have included a clip from an email a tenant just sent to me. A little taste of what I do everyday.

Email #1
Hi Kara:

We have a bird on the west side of our building who bangs into the window repeatedly hour after hour. It is driving us nutz!!! It’s hard to concentrate on our work.

Is there anything maintenance can do? Relocate it? Kill it??

Email #2
Kara: I realized I probably didn’t give you enough information. The bird lives in a pine tree outside our building. There are two of them—a male & female and a nest in the tree so I’m thinking there may be babies. We really don’t want to kill it, but thought you might have some ideas as to keep it from banging into the window.
Barb

Just a little taste of my beautiful career choice. But a least it's always something new!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wine and Cheese with the neighbors

I believe a while back I mentioned that we have some neighbors in our building who have taken a liking to us. Not in a swingers type of way, they are approximately 75 years old, and named Steve and Jane Chase. Jane has been the subject of many unfortunate incidents lately including being hit by a bus while riding on their bicycle built for two, losing an eye, and becoming addicted to narcotics. Now, we may joke - but these are seriously the two nicest people you will ever meet. Steve is a painter (and a really good one), and when our first puppy, Lucy died, they offered to paint us a picture of her to remember her. So sweet. But no, I didn't want a picture of my dead puppy in my living room.

Anyways, they've been wanting to have Jeremy and I over to celebrate our upcoming wedding, and have been calling and calling. Well they really are wonderful people so we finally made plans and will be going to their house for 'Wine and cheese' on Thursday night. Full report Friday. Jane did mention that she has just purchased her first swim suit for physical therapy (did I mention that they like to share lots of awkward details with us!?), maybe there will be a fashion show. LOL.

In wedding news...invitations are being stuffed today (report to follow). OH...good story to share. Marriage license.

We went to get it on Saturday, arrived, waited in line to get our number to wait in line. Got our number - and went to Dunn Brothers in the lobby to get coffee. Upon ordering the coffee I noticed that I had forgotten my wallet at home. With my driver's license in it. I didn't think they'd be to apt to issue a marriage license to us without ID. So..I said, "Jeremy, wait here, I will be right back". NOTE: We were at the Ridgedale Service Center - drivers license was at home (approx 10 miles away). I FLEW home, got my wallet and came back - and literally, to the second, three minutes later they called us.

Then, we had to fill out a form, which we should have done in advance - but we didn't. She gives it to me, I fill it out, review it and notice that under Groom, I had written, "Kara Weinblatt...", and under Bride, "Jeremy Frank..." So now, we had to get out of line, wait in another line to get a new form, have JEREMY fill it out, and wait some more. After all of that we have the license and we're good to go. April 4, here we come! From now on, Jeremy will be filling out all forms.

Friday, January 16, 2009

problem solved

So if you tried to book a room in the past few days, there was a computer glitch and it was quoting the wrong rate. It is now fixed.

Go ahead and book!
http://www.starwoodmeeting.com/StarGroupsWeb/booking/reservation?id=0808063135&key=42D95

p.s. who knew you would need 2000 cocktail napkins for a wedding!?!?!?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kara's Bootcamp

I am a project manager by nature. Therefore, I may have been bewildered along the way, but I have really enjoyed the process of planning our wedding. Note: I said project manager. I am fabulous at farming out jobs and ensuring that they are done correctly. In fact, this is essentially what I have done for my chosen profession. I am a project manager. Fitting. A room needs painting, I know the guy. A toilet is leaking? Plumber is on speed dial. I get it done, quickly, and correctly. But I do not do it myself. usually.

Therefore, when it came to addressing the envelopes for the wedding I said: I know the gal. Pearl Berdass. Josh's mom. Let me call her now! "No, no Jeremy replied, I think I'd like to take a crack at addressing them myself". Now I must note that Jeremy has better handwriting than anyone I know, however, I did assume this one would be an uphill battle. The reason I take on tasks which I then farm out is because I don't actually like DOING them, but I do like managing them. I do not like painting a room, but I like having a painted room, and having it done right. A little while later, in conversation with our wonderful friend Debra, she mentioned, "You know, I'd really like to help too - I want to address some".

And so it goes...






Kara's Boot camp. After weeks of whining that I really wanted Jeremy to get started if he was going to take on this project: they day arrived. He and Debra spent a Sunday afternoon addressing 215 wedding invitations (though they're not quite done). And me? I relaxed on the sofa with the dog. I NEVER SAID I WANTED TO DO IT. I said I am a project manager, not a project doer. Nor do I have handwriting which would impress anyone.

Please note the range of styles. Debra, a more formal, flowy, traditional style. Jeremy, a crisp, modern style. Kara, a horizontal style. :-)

I told you I was a good project manager!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Airfare

So we're airline nerds, I know. Okay, so Jeremy is - and he's making me one. But I thought I'd just share that airfare has been going down and is quite reasonable for the weekend of our wedding:

Based on April 3 - 5
NYC to Minneapolis:
$258 nonstop on NWA

Chicago to Minneapolis:
$139.19 nonstop on NWA
$139.20 nonstop on Southwest

LAX to Minneapolis:
$338.00 nonstop on NWA
$314 with 1 stop on American

San Diego to Minneapolis:
$306 nonstop on Sun Country

London to Minneapolis:
$662 with one stop on Virgin Atlantic
$829 nonstop on multiple carriers (see Orbitz)

And the hotel is just $129/night, so you should all stay. Because it will be much more fun that way. If you want to reserve a room go to:

http://www.starwoodmeeting.com/StarGroupsWeb/booking/reservation?id=0808063135&key=42D95

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shoes

So I know you've been waiting on pins and needles. Unable to eat or sleep. But we have been forced to make an unexpected decision. We had to go with the "Wedding Stamp". With the envelope liner, it pushed it over the edge into wedding invitation domain - so we had to go with the oversize stamp. Never fear, we chose the heart for the reply cards. Contain your emotions.

I have scheduled a dress fitting for later in January - but did not realize that I would need my shoes at that time. My weekend was spent on the hunt for comfortable, cute, non frumpy wedding shoes. As with other decisions in which I have had control, I have gone for a non-typical option. Guess you'll just have to wait and see. Though likely I will return them and re-buy 7 other pairs between now and then!

Envelope addressing and stuffing will begin this weekend. That's a big step...they're goin' on out! We're gettin' hitched! Seriously, I'm still thinking of running off to Vegas. Or the Sheraton Buganvillias Puerto Vallarta. I wonder if they need a spokeswoman, I should inquire.

Otherwise things are going along smoothly. Showers are being planned, tuxes are being fit, flowers are growing that will be used for our wedding (okay so that one's a stretch).

On the general life front I did have a mishap with a man who lives in my building. He does not appreciate my new car and has called our management company requesting that I buy a new car. Did I mention that my car is 3 weeks old? I don't think I'll be buying a new car anytime soon. Crazy man. So anyways, I saw him later in the day and he yelled some profanities at Jeremy and I in the elevator. This means war. AND...did I mention that the guy has 2 cars - a Subaru and a Range Rover? Seriously, those are the 2 most oposite personality cars. Subaru - earth loving, bumper sticker toting, practical minded folks. Range Rover - earth killing, too cool for bumper stickers, image conscious people. So who is this fool anyways? War, I say this means WAR!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time for a vote!

This one is riveting, thrilling, edge of your seat stuff.

WHICH STAMPS DO WE CHOOSE FOR THE INVITATIONS!!???

Here are the contenders...
#1




#2




#3



Or...any other one that you see on this website:
http://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductCategoryDisplay?beginIndex=0&pageSize=10000&langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10152&categoryId=21902

Really, really exciting stuff. In other news, the guest bags for those staying in the hotel are really cool - so...if you live out of town. Stay at the Westin. If you live in town. Stay at the Westin. It will be a lot of fun - we have the hospitality suite to hang out in. We'll be there. Come on, it's where all the cool kids will be. And at $129.00 a night - not half bad for an awesome brand new hotel.

Monday, January 5, 2009

3 months from yesterday!

We are less than 3 months away from the wedding! Excited, yes! Nervous, no. Wondering how everything is going to come together? Absolutely, but that's normal.

Aside from a few minor freakouts I think I've been doing pretty well handling this wedding stuff. As most of you know - my sister is also getting married, so the family interest in this one is about at the 75% level. They're interested, to a certain extent, want to help - or so they say...but they've got their heads in other places. Oh well, guess that's how its going to be. And I'll try to remain calm and continue planning the wedding solo (well including Jeremy...so duo)

This week we will meet with the hotel again to review the event, and start talking specifics. That should be interesting, and will give me a better idea of what else I need to do. Our ketubah is being finished and will hopefully be sent to us very soon. Things are coming together, slowly but surely.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/New Years - looks like it should be a pretty fantastic 2009!