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The Wedding Planning Update - February 2001

78 days to BE (2/26/01)
I May Need to Change My Pants.
If a thousand monkeys typed random keys on typewriters for a thousand years they may end up writing the bible, but they couldn’t possibly put together the A&A all-star wedding database. Thanks to a fine, but aging, scanner and a right-proper OCR program, I was able to suck the names off the lists of the more computer-handicapped wedding financiers. However, A. and I are still going through all 1.6 million couples on our list to get rid of the capitalized ‘ANDs’ between the various Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss, and Dr. titles. I guess some of our computer-challenged friends are fond of the shift key and caps lock.

On Sunday of this week, A. and I were surveying all of the land and subjects in our dominion. Though our dominion spans but a 2-window wide row house on Aliceanna Street, we realized we have an awful lot of stuff. Since the prospect of getting even more stuff is likely to hit us like a MTA bus in the very near future, we have decided to implement the “’Buy Yourself a Gift’ Gift Program”. Here’s how it works:
1) Go to a store and look for something you like.
2) Pick out something you want and buy it.
3) Wrap it and give it to A. and I for our wedding.
4) On the next major holiday you celebrate receive the same gift back from A. and I

This is a win-win-win situation. You get the satisfaction of buying us a gift, we get the satisfaction of giving you something you want, you get something you want as a gift for a major holiday, and we don’t have to deal with actually owning (or having to find a place for) the stuff. We sure are clever, ain’t we?

Of note this past week, A. and I took a day trip to NYC to see The Music Man commonly subtitled "The only musical Adam Weinstein can freely tolerate without nausea, vomiting, or spastic paralysis or palsey." While there, we also brunched with a number of characters who have graced the pages of this fine web site, including woman in waiting Jenn Altmann (whose birthday is 2/27!), some guy named Brad, and our inside source to the world of musical theater Jeremy Desmond. Jeremy took us to a little diner-like eating establishment called VYNL, which played lots of Beatles music while I ate my fritattatatata and drank my watermelon-lemonade. They even had a bust of Elvis on the counter. it was so hip and cool in that place I felt like I was back in middle school wearing some new clothes my mother bought at Sears. Ouch.

This week also marked the florist finally getting back to A. about the cost of the flowers. Keeping in line with the negative wedding discount, the florist was able to give us a price tag of nearly $7000, even after having a 2 hour meeting in which the importance of sticking to a number less than half her price was discussed. Apparently we were speaking Russian. Or maybe we just dreamed the whole thing. Either way, our opposing realities will soon meet like a speeding car and a brick wall. Either the florist is going to be receiving a hefty pay cut or we are not going to be having flowers. Or we could compromise (but it would be boring to write about something so undramatic.) Perhaps we should can the flowers all together and decorate with vegetables from Safeway instead. I can see A. lobbing a beautiful bouquet of cauliflower and radishes as our flaming cucumber-avocado-parsnip centerpieces light the dance floor which is surrounded by hanging parsley and leeks. I’m getting that warm fuzzy feeling. I may need to change my pants. Over and out.

86 days to BE (2/18/01)
Welcome to Our Happiness!
Grace Slick isn't the only one who knows which pill makes you bigger and which pill makes you small. In fact, I spent 9 hours getting asked about such matters this past week. Luckily, I survived and hopefully passed. As a bonus, I will be down to one big test a year for the duration of residency and fellowship. Maybe I could appeal for a presidential pardon from my exams. I hear there are some for sale on e-bay.

This past week also saw your faithful author inking the wooden blocks in a little Guttenberg-esque desktop publishing action. The goal: A.'s shower invitations. All I can say is said invitations are now in the care of the US postal system. If you have the right chromosomes (think XX) and know the right people, you may be receiving one soon. Given that the shower will have the theme of "synthetic long-chain polymers in a post-nuclear, pro-hybrid automobile age," you may want to get your cellophane outfit together now.

We also received our invitations from the printer this week. However, this was a "rough" draft, so we will be receiving a "more perfect" invitation sometime next week. Unlike the shower invite though, any of the gender-determining chromosomes will allow you to receive one (XX, XY, XO, XXY, XYY) when, like carrier pigeons, we set them loose to deliver the message requesting the honour of your presence. The wording of our invitation will be based on Engrish, the poorly translated English from Japanese that has provided me with near-suffocation fits of laughter in recent weeks. Here is a brief excerpt of our invitation:

Welcome to our happiness!
The happiness of us would be exceedingly if your attendance would be present to the wedding of the daughter for the parents Craig and Barbara Johnson and Charles Tamres. The happy places will be the Belvedere. The daughter is happy to be had by the joyousness of the parents of the groom! Come to the happy place on May 14th with Linda and Walter Weinstein. Briefly, after discussing the vows, much delight would be given to you when food will be served. A nice wedding is enjoyable to all. The flavor of your reply is requested prior to the date May 3, 2001.

While my words can't possibly mimic a true piece of freshly translated Engrish, I am proud of my attempt. Either way, I promise our invitations will be just as confusing and nearly as content free as real life Engrish! No raughing at my wolds!

Speaking of content free, having just celebrated St. Valentines day, I am still recovering from my efforts to find an appropriate card for A. That is to say, as I meandered the isles of the local card shoppe, I noticed that the sentiment expressed in the cards was some sort of idealized and consumerized version of feelings that I am told I'm supposed to have. And they were cliché, to boot. How can someone from Hallmark or Blue Mountain or wherever possibly begin to put into words and pastel colors the feelings I have for Andrea (or for anyone on any holiday for that matter)? Why do we allow such companies to tell us and sell us the feelings we are supposed to have? In fact, I think cards are only appropriate for people who I don't know and/or have only a superficial relationship with. Thus, I can imagine truly feeling that I wish some couple who I am acquainted with "All the best for the future." But to give such a card to a close friend or sibling strikes me as an emotional copout, allowing me to avoid any meaningful or even uncomfortable feelings. Of course, all this leaves me in the position of having to buy blank cards in which I must write overwhelmingly articulate and appropriately sentimental thoughts. Quite a challenge given the number of holidays for which I am reminded by the greeting card industry to send cards for (remember, February 26th marks the beginning of the Baha'i faith's Ayyam-i-Há holiday)!

Did you hear that noise? That loud bang? That was my foot falling through my soapbox. I may need the jaws of life to free my ankle after that rant...

Over and out.

96 days to BE (2/8/01)
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!
Like sands through the hour glass, the little months on the navigation bar (at the top and bottom of this page) have slowly turned to the happy shade of internet-link blue, with an underline. There are less than a hundred days till the wedding. That's less then the president has to show some success in getting his proclaimed policies on track. Nevertheless, we still have a list of things to do including finishing up the guest lists, looking into personalized vows (which I vowed to do), and training the organ-grinder monkeys to do the Hora. (Nothing like cheesy computer-generated Jewish music!)

Speaking of organ grinder monkeys A. and I have recently traversed the mine field of wedding invitation etiquette, like a blind man with one leg and no sense of feeling in the foot. See, A. has about 18 parents and we had quite the challenge getting all the appropriate names (Johnson, Johnson, Tamres, Bittel, John, Jacob, Jingle, Heimer, Schmidt) on the invitation without making it sound like she had two gay men and a law firm giving her away. Then there was the word "and." According to the Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, "and" is "A particle which expresses the relation of connection or addition. It is used to conjoin a word with a word, a clause with a clause,...a sentence with a sentence [or a parent with a parent]". Thus, the word "and" was a major layout and design decision. In the end, I believe, we will be giving it it's own little line right at the top of the page. When you see it there say, " hi" as it will probably be lonely all by itself.

By the way, I was disturbed to learn that there are no more words to the song John, Jacob, Jingle, Heimer, Schmidt than those in the first verse. I spent years wondering what the next verse was and in the process of doing research for this article, I found out this dirty little secret of the childrens' camp song world. What the hell kind of song is that?

Yesterday, we received our honeymoon official documentation with a description of the bikes, the area, and of course a basic medical questionnaire According to our tour group, this trip is not recommended if you have 1) frequent or active chest pain with moderate amounts of physical exertion or 2) frequent periods of dizziness or blackouts. Based on my medical training thus far, I would concur with this advice. However, they neglected to insist on all tour participants having at least two functioning limbs.

I also learned this week that I may be just as desirable as "The Other Adam Weinstein". According to the unsolicited letter below, I have been offered a chance to win the Darwinian race for the greatest number of offspring. In fact, I was so taken by this letter, A. And I may be asking all our guests to give a donation to this bank in lieu of a wedding gift. Gentlemen, start your engines!

A Division of the Genetics & IVF Institute
3015 Williams Dr. Suite 110 - Fairfax, VA. 22031

Dear Sir:

FAIRFAX CRYOBANK, a division of the Genetics & IVF Institute, is looking for men
between 18 and 44 years of age to assist infertile couples by
becoming anonymous semen donors. If accepted into the confidential donor program,
you will be compensated for each acceptable specimen you

Current donors in the program are earning an average of $200.00 per specimen.
Success in this program will be determined by your semen
quality and commitment to the program. Total monthly compensation from semen
donation can exceed $2000.

As you can imagine, this program is not available to everyone. There is an
extensive screening process that begins with the completion and return of
an application. After we review the application, you may be contacted to schedule
an interview at which time we will review your application
together, discuss the program in its entirety, and answer any questions you have.
Following the interview and initial semen analysis, you will need to
schedule appointments to complete the semen analysis and subsequent blood, semen,
and urine testing.

This program requires a six month commitment and each donor is expected to produce
one specimen per week on site. We are conveniently located
in Fairfax, VA near I-495. If you are interested in becoming an anonymous donor,
please contact FAIRFAX CRYOBANK at (703)698-3927 or
e-mail: to receive an application.

Lastly this week, I want to pontificate on the issue of the "wedding mark-up." This is the negative discount applied to a good or service secondary to the fact that said service or good is provided for the purpose of celebrating or provided in relation to a wedding. Let's play "Price is Right." If you were renting a hall, how much would a chair cost to rent? $2 a chair? $3 a chair? EHHHHHHHH! Sorry, chairs provided for weddings are $5-$7 a chair (for the non-folding, padded chair that is). While I'm not directly paying for the wedding, I have been shocked at the near monopolistic prices of florists, photographers, and caterers. Basically when it comes to weddings, the relationship between the service providers and the families is much like that scene in Pulp Fiction, the families are bent over the pommel horse with the plastic ball in their mouths...

The wedding planning update is to Adam and Andrea's wedding what The National Enquirer is to news. While other sections of this site contain actual facts, this part is mostly opinion. Feel free to contact us if you find yourself on the cusp of action based on what you read here and are wondering what the hell I am talking about.

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Wedding Update Articles
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