How’s Things?

I’m back, sorta, but basically 2013 was just a crappy year.
I just noticed, though, that it is 2014, and I am committed to it being better.
If so, I need to get on the case then, since it is already well-started.
Today, though, isn’t that great a day.

To being with, the dishwasher just died.
It’s lasted 19 years, with only one service call that I can remember, so I don’t think I can really complain.
(But I guess I am at that.)
I am basically replacing it with the same thing, but still there goes two day’s fussing that I hadn’t planned on, not to mention $$$ flying out the door, just to maintain the status quo.
On top of that, the house has somehow acquired a small population of flies that are driving me nuts.
I’ve gotten about half of them.
Even Habibi is sick of them, and won’t chase them anymore.
And I think I put Tom’s disabled parking placard into a mailbox, bundled in with a bunch of bills.
That kind of day.

On a happier note, I am off now to see whether I can find a reservable picnic space in Tilden Park that has redwoods or water or preferably both.
The reservable spaces I’m familiar with up there are mostly just meadows, but there are lots and lots of them so maybe there is one that will do.
I’m taking a camera so that I can send off photos and other people can decide.
I have been discovering that most of the pretty outside places where one (read Sair) could have a marriage ceremony are run by entities who want to have you have a real wedding, with processions and fancy clothes, and charge you upwards of $1200 just to be there, with hidden charges galore.
Sair just wants a pretty place for some photos and a party.
I think the suggestion of face painting was a joke? but that is a good measure of the degree of formality they are seeking.

Oh, so, yeah, Sair and Alex are getting married in August.
They are both in Canberra until mid-June, and the groundwork on setting things up pretty much has to happen now, pretty much by me.
What they’d really like would be something like a ceremony on the Marin Headlands, or Muir Woods or the like.
But (as Sair ought to remember as an August baby!) August in the Bay Area is generally foggy and cold, especially at the coast.
Besides which, we have a high proportion of people from here who don’t even have cars, not to mention a bunch of Alex’s Australian family members who will be jet-lagged and driving on the wrong side of the street and probably want to drink things too.
In addition to which, getting from Berkeley to the coast on a Saturday afternoon in the summer is hellish to begin with.
So that’s why I’m hoping Tilden has some good possibilities for us, even if it lacks an ocean.
The fallbacks are maybe the UC Botanical Garden, which will be pricey, and definitely not at all an informal venue, or possibly the Berkeley Rose Garden, which is a city park in Berkeley itself on a Saturday.
My sorta plan is that there is an early afternoon pretty outdoors thing with maybe champagne (snacks?) there, then back to the house (much cleaned) with a lot of food and more drinks, and hanging out with no bugs or time limits, and with real bathrooms and plates and such.
If this is okay with them, since it is their thing and they should have something they like.

And – good news! – apparently any resident of Alameda county can now take a short class and then be officially allowed to perform one ceremony.
So we wouldn’t have to go by some county office on the Friday to do paperwork, and have the celebration on Saturday.
And their marriage certificate can even have the day they want, and not the nearest weekday.
I don’t think it would be fair for me or Tom to do this, but there are a couple of people I can think of who would do a really good job.
I think they even have a good notion of who they want to ask, and that could be really nice.
This could actually come off.



11 responses to this post.

  1. OOohhh Sair is getting married!!!! congratulations! -and sorry you have to deal with the stress of organising and planning it all, but how COOL!!


  2. Sounds like some good stuff going on soon! Lots to think about and plan. I do hate when I have to pay money out and have nothing really change. incidently, i am going to muir woods, I hope tomorrow!


  3. Oh that is wonderful! Congratulations to all of you!
    I have to admit that I would hate to be in charge of planning…it’s just not my kind of thing…but I could see where wandering and taking pictures of parks and lovely areas could be fun! Ashlee had her friend from high school take the online course to marry them and they called him Friar Jeff. He did a fine job! Later the county clerk just nodded and said “Ah, Unitarian.” It was a good laugh.

    Best of luck! I like your plan of service, snacks and champagne then back to the house to celebrate.


  4. Congrats on the wedding! I’m sure a lovely time will be had, and that is really all that matters 🙂


  5. Ooof! Exciting but also headache-making. I think this was why I got married in my sister’s living room. All the planning was on me and I couldn’t stand the hassle. I’m sure that you will do fine in locating a suitable place and making arrangements. How lucky they are to have you to do it.
    And welcome back!


  6. Mazel Tov!
    happy for Sair and Alex and everyone…it will be marvelous.


  7. I’m very happy for Sair and Alex — underneath all the hassle you will have to go through to set it up, you must be over the moon.


    • Yeah, that I am.
      Alex is a really fine person, and so good with Sair….
      When I was a kid, my mother always said she’d be happy if all of us had been twins, as long as it happened when we were five.
      Makes sense to me now.
      I feel as if I’ve gotten a grown daughter as a present!


  8. Congratulations to the brides-to-be! But choosing the Marin Headlands as a venue in August is asking for memories of a cold, windy ceremony with little sunshine. Muir Woods in August, ditto. (Though I argued with my oldest daughter when she expressed interest in holding a ceremony there in September. “Oh honey, how on earth are you going to persuade a caterer to drive all the way out there and not charge you a fortune?” Fortunately, she deferred to her sister-in-law and chose a winery in Monterey County, where it was actually sunny and very pleasant.)

    If she and her intended insist on an August date, they may be better off choosing Napa Valley or Geyserville or even Santa Rosa, as these places normally have sunshine all through the summer and fall. I hear you on trying to transport guests without cars to the selected venue, however. We had to pick up a number of people at SFO and drive them down to Monterey, which was a royal pain in the butt. I was even more irate when I found out many of these people had cash aplenty and could afford to rent a car or even a limo to drive them down there, but I digress.

    Tilden Park—don’t they have the Brazilian Room? I went there years ago and thought it was quite lovely. Also, can’t Tom get a discount for the UC Faculty Club? I attended two weddings held there, and thought those were both classy and charming in a UC grad student kind of way. But then I wished I had a reception at the Claremont. Which is not at all cheap, but I had visions back then of being a famous novelist with flunkies I could snap my fingers at and voila, dinner for 100 at the Claremont.


  9. From the sound of things, they don’t really want a venue.
    So not a place with people being seated, or employees herding us about?
    It is still a bit unclear to me….
    I’m thinking a caterer of some kind at the house.
    (Tom has an old student who has done this kind of thing.)
    But I think otherwise they want it pretty free-form and probably chaotic.
    We’ll see, she says, trying to sound competent and having a clue, somehow.


  10. I went to a lesbian wedding in the summer in either Tilden or Roberts. Pretty sure it was Tilden, but there are so many parks up in them thar hills that I forget. Maybe Redwoods?

    It was just the reception, but there were picnic tables and BBQs and we sort of milled around with burgers and s’mores and beverages. Lots of women in sensible shoes and men with purse-sized dogs. It was pretty sunny.

    You have to get reservations in early. I forget how far in advance the BFFs had to reserve their picnic/BBQ space at Quarry Lakes, and that’s not nearly as popular as Tilden. But they allowed booze.

    (Clicking on maps, I think maybe it was Roberts. It was a long time ago. One of the brides is a dude now.)

    It will all work out. As an old minister I once knew said, “As long as at the end of the day, the couple gets hitched and nobody ends up in the hospital or jail, it’s a success.”


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