Wednesday, November 29, 2006

O Tannenbaum

This weekend saw Val and I putting up our first Christmas tree, a real life Fraser fir that smells great. It's about 6 1/2 feet, tall enough that our angel sits just below the 8 foot ceiling. Below are lots of pictures of us decorating! See if you can figure out which ornaments are Val's and which are mine. Hint: Not difficult. Not seen: Me covered in sap while putting the tree in the stand, or the fact that the colored lights are all twinkly (and with NINE settings!).

Click on the thumbnails for the larger photos:

Kibbles

- The military dubs its three options for Iraq "Go Long," "Go Big" and "Go Home." Other names turned down: "I'm Rubber, Al Qaeda's Glue," and "Suck THIS, Terrorists!"

- In Al Gore "We're all going to die!" news: Apocalypse called off - Greenland is colder, Antarctica sees LOWERING sea levels and the Arctic is "fighting back".

- For those others who listen to Ronald D. Moore's "Battlestar Galactica" podcasts, give me some support: His wife is annoying. She's like the "peppy best friend" in 80s teen movies whom you hope fall into a pool of gators.

- Stealing from Tim Ellsworth, my favorite choices from TV Land's 100 Greatest TV Quotes & Catch Phrases:
      "Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")
      "Good grief" (Charlie Brown, "Peanuts" specials)
      "How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")
      "If it weren't for you meddling kids!" (Various villains, "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?")
      "Live long and prosper" (Spock, "Star Trek")
      "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! (Jan Brady, "The Brady Bunch")
      "Nip it!" (Barney Fife, "The Andy Griffith Show")
      "Norm!" ("Cheers")
      "Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")
      "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" (Grey Poupon ad)
      "Well, isn't that special?" (Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, "Saturday Night Live")
      "Yeah, that's the ticket" (Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, "Saturday Night Live")
      "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Arnold Drummond, "Diff'rent Strokes")

I'd also like to give a big "up yours" to the people who compiled the list, since there are several quotes in favor of liberal agendas. Seriously, "Read my lips: No new taxes" makes it, but "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" doesn't? Up yours, TV Land.

- Golf ball DESTRUCTION! Watch this wicked awesome video at Nike.com of testers firing their new golf ball into various objects like Jell-O, a lava lamp, a ceramic bunny, etc. How fun was this to "test?"

- Ultra-liberal Democrat Rep. Charlie Rangel, who thinks the draft should be re-instated just because he believes politicians won't fight wars if their kids are in the military, thinks people who do volunteer are idiots who don't know any better. Oh, and his reasoning is crap.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving

Pictures from last weekend's Thanksgiving festivities with my new young wife are now up!

Can you believe that today Val and I celebrated our one-month anniversary? Wow. Has it been that long? And doesn't it seem like yesterday?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Consider the steam blown

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required - use this):

- I have always thought that people who wait in long drive-through lines must be driving nekkid.

- Before you put government in charge of your health care, you must first list three things the government does better than the private sector.

- Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other person is the husband.

- Life should not be a safe journey to the grave in an attractive, well-preserved body. One should skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, screaming, "woo hoo what a ride!"

- The Chinese names are beautiful, but the Atlanta-born panda should be named Scarlett O’Bear-a.

- I saw a story on plastic surgery for pets. We are truly living in the end times.

- Anna Nicole Smith doesn’t just have issues….. she has a subscription.

- I am afraid I shouldn’t be drinking alcohol with my prescriptions. But I refuse to read the labels to find out.

- People who think that giving the world a timetable for our withdrawal from Iraq is the way to go probably also put a sign in their home or business window declaring they have no guns on the premises.

- The shameful firing of Donald Rumsfeld brings to mind the old adage that Washington, D.C., is a town where your friends stab you in the front.

- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid released a statement regarding the new Martin “Luthor” King Jr. National Memorial. I always thought Luthor was Superman’s archenemy.

- Why is it that drivers who are dangerously determined to get in front of you immediately slow to a crawl as soon as they get there?

- When Republicans lose, it’s because voters want a change. When Democrats lose, it’s because the voting machines malfunctioned.

- I’m thankful the Pilgrims didn’t celebrate with prime rib.

My Vent:

- Every Bush-hating venter acts as if they are the first to cleverly slip by the nets of the Rovian Anti-Dissent Defense Forces.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thankful

Obviously I have MUCH to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday, especially since eight months ago I couldn't have told you that I'd be spending the day with my wife and her family!

Val and I will be driving to Millington at 8 tonight, right after I get off work, and spend Thanksgiving with her father's side and Friday with my mother-in-law's side before returning Saturday.

Hope everyone has a blessed, food-filling holiday!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Kofi's arrogance

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose term ends at the head of the global body ends Jan. 1, said Tuesday that the war in Iraq, and the failure of the U.N. Security Council to prevent the invasion by U.S.-led forces, was the biggest regret he had from his 10-year tenure.

Really Kofi? You couldn't think of something other than the removal of a tyrant from power? Let's see what Kofi has decided is less bad than the U.S. ousting Saddam and letting 25 million Iraqis decide their own path:

- Iran and North Korea becoming nuclear powers.

- The U.N. oil-for-food scandal, in which Kofi's own son was caught.

- The genocide by the Sudanese government against the people in the Darfur region of the country.

- Widespread sex abuse and trafficking, including rape of women and children, by U.N. "peacekeepers."

- When PLO thug Yasser Arafat died, Annan called it “a grave day for the world,” and instructed headquarters in New York to especially fly the UN flag at half-mast. (This is despite the fact that Arafat did not represent any UN member state, and the UN doesn’t usually mark the death of leaders of even its member states in this way. The UN didn’t fly its flag at half-mast when, for example, Ronald Reagan died a few months before Arafat.)

- In 2003 and 2004, the Israel Defense Forces captured documentation showing how the U.N. Development Program was regularly funding two Hamas front organizations.

- The United Nations Human Rights Council includes China, Cuba, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

- Bungled relief aid for tsunami victims.

- A Google search for "U.N. scandal" had 182,000 results.

- "Kofi Annan" "corruption" came up with 1,010,000 results.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bondapalooza!

It's another edition of Jeff's Top Fives, and we'll keep with the Bond theme of the weekend and make this a bonanza of Bond!

My Top Five Bond Films:

1. Goldfinger - I know. Too easy. I have absolutely no originality whatsoever. But this was obvious, so we'll debate the next four ...

2. GoldenEye - Pierce Brosnan's only good Bond flick is also his first. I should also point out that while everyone else was focused on the Va-Va-Voomosity of Famke Janssen, I found the other girl to be cuter.

3. The Man With the Golden Gun - Okay, this has turned into a "gold" theme instead. I promise this wasn't on purpose! My favorite Roger Moore Bond flick, every time this one's on, I can't turn away. Christopher Lee is smoother than Bond as Scaramanga, and the little guy from "Fantasy Island" is one of his henchmen!

4. The Living Daylights - Yep, I'm a Timothy Dalton Bond fan, and I'm not ashamed! I challenge anyone to tell me why this isn't a rollicking action-packed and entertainingly worthy addition.

5. Thunderball - Can't get out of here without another Connery movie, and this is his most fun.


Top Five Bond Girls:

1. Ursula Andress - When Honey Ryder emerges from the ocean in that white bikini in Dr. No, well, that pretty much set the standard for all Bond girls to follow.

2. Jane Seymour - Live and Let Die is in my bottom three Bond films, but Seymour's turn as Solitaire is delicious.

3. Lynn Holly-Johnson - Ice skater Bibi isn't the main Bond girl in For Your Eyes Only, but doggone is she a sexy, sassy little minx!

4. Maryam D'Abo - Her Kara Milovy doesn't have a double entendre name, but she's as important in The Living Daylights as Timothy Dalton in his first Bond movie, and yeah, pretty hot, too.

5. Denise Richards - Just kidding.

5. Izabella Scorupco - I don't know what it is about her Natalya Simonova in GoldenEye, but she sure is adorable.


Top Five James Bonds:

1. Sean Connery - Yes, again, too easy.

2. Daniel Craig - Maybe too soon? But I did have a non-sexual male crush on him after seeing Casino Royale this weekend. Let's move on.

3. Timothy Dalton - Contrary to popular belief, he was witty, had some good one-liners, plus he could pull off all the athletic demands and looked the part.

4. Roger Moore - He was always charming if not particularly athletic (seriously, it was like trying to imagine the relative you always see asleep on the couch competing in the X Games). Also, it wasn't his fault that a few of his Bond movies are just awful.

5. Pierce Brosnan - Like Moore, it's not his fault the movies became so forgettable. I was excited when he was hired in the early 90s, and it's because he's got a great style, full of panache that made "Remington Steele" so enjoyable on the telly.


Top Five Villains:

1. Jaws - Not even a mastermind yet my number one, Richard Kiel doesn't get to say much of anything in The Spy Who Loved Me or Moonraker, but that doesn't stop his steel teeth from making him the most intimidating and yet likeable henchman of the series.

2. Scaramanga - Christopher Lee made a career out of being evil, so it's no surprise that he steals The Man With The Golden Gun from Moore.

3. Auric Goldfinger - I have never heard of nor seen actor Gert Fröbe anywhere else, but I have no doubt that he's had a great life off this classic role.

4. Ernst Stavro Blofeld - The SPECTRE head might be higher if he was played by the same actor in all seven of the Bond films the character has been in. Donald Pleasence was my favorite in You Only Live Twice, while the others are serviceable as the cat-cradling crackpot genius.

5. Max Zorin - I still haven't decided if I like or hate A View to a Kill, but I do know this, any time Christopher Walken is your villain your starting from a good place.


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Previously we looked at my top five Minutes Of The Weekday, Secular Concerts, Best and Worst Jobs, my cars, LPGA babes, movie scores, TV theme songs, Brat Pack flicks, Favorite Movies of 2005, ”Important” 2005 Films I’m Avoiding, Things I Think About The Upcoming 2006 Red Sox Season, Reasons for Losing Weight and Lovey-Dovey Films.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The new Bond flick

If Casino Royale proves anything, it's that I'm apparently very, very hard to please.

After a decade of groaning through the last three Pierce Brosnan Bond films (strangely, I'm one of the few who enjoyed GoldenEye), I grew weary of where the Bond franchise was headed. I was a fan of Timothy Dalton's Bond flicks, so there's no telling what delights me most in the franchise. My big bro, Scott, is the big Bond fan, and he’s read those book thingies by Ian Fleming of the Fleming Fine Furniture stores.

(Okay, I made that last part up.)

So going in to Daniel Craig's first go-round at 007 I hoped that this Bond prequel would focus more on the man and how he became the MI6 bada** we adored, and less on big bangs and insanely impossible action. Craig is actually investigating and spying, he stumbles frequently, he has to learn on the job, he doesn't always get out of situations with his velvet voice and charm, he can't figure out what kind of martini to order, his ego gets in the way and his cold heart gets too warm.

I’ve enjoyed these get-back-to-basic approach in Batman Begins, so I can’t complain when there’s not enough boom, can I?

Yet, because of the last half-hour or so, I left a teeny tiny bit unsatisfied. The movie felt anticlimactic when the final action sequence was taking place. During his entire lovey-dovey romance, you knew something had to happen, and then it doesn't for a long time, and by that time you're thinking, "Is this movie over yet?" During the entire last act I’m aware of my bulging bladder and the fact that my 6’4” frame is crammed in a full theater without room to stretch, no matter how good the movie is in front of me.

It’s like rooting for your favorite baseball team ... you hear that management wants to put the team in a new direction, focusing on small ball and defense, and you get excited, and then the team is in third place and 40-42 in July and only one player has at least ten home runs and 50 RBIs, and you start secretly hoping that at the trade deadline the teams trades for Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield, even though you know it will kill team chemistry and give you a headache.

Okay, a few more complaints, then I’m done with the negative, which were outweighed by the positive: Where's the car chase? There's only one time he gets to hit the gas, and that lasts all of ten seconds before it's over. No Q? Precisely because Bond is new to the double-O world, he needs to know all the cool stuff he’s got. Eva Green is sassy enough to be a Bond girl, but the first woman (Caterina Murino) we see Craig woo in the movie is much sexier.

At least I should be thankful that we got a Bond girl chosen for acting talent as well as beauty, considering the train wrecks that were Halle Berry and Denise Richards. (Seriously, Richards played a nuclear scientist. Isn’t this like me portraying myself as the World’s Strongest Man?)

Back to the good stuff. The opening action sequence was impressive not for impossible stunts but by watching these guys actually jumping and running and finding holes and tricks like nothing you've seen before, so much that a few times I was mouthing, "whoa."

I’m sure it’s part of the “back to reality” approach as a prequel, but in this Bond film you felt nearly every death and were as aware as Bond that people are killed in nasty ways and dying ain’t pretty. He doesn’t just punch a guy and that guy falls out unconscious. It takes Bond a long time to fight hand-to-hand against a few of the thugs, and he has to catch his breath and figure out what to do from there, both as a job and emotionally.

It’s easy to nitpick, so forgive me if I sound too negative overall in this review. I guess when it comes to a franchise that’s been around as long as James Bond 007, there are a lot of comparisons to make and a lot of personal preferences for favorite scenes, characters and how the hero should act.

In fact, my favorite crowd reaction was when we figured out who CIA agent Felix Leiter was, and my audience had a lot of “Ohhhh,” which is how I felt, you want to lean over and tell your seatmate, “Cool! It’s Felix!” Of course, my wife isn’t a Bond aficionado and couldn’t care less, but I had that reaction nonetheless.

Maybe that’s one way of looking at it, too. I’m a Bond fan, Val hasn’t seen most of them, and we both had about the same reaction: Good times, better that it was more character-driven, a little ineffectual in the end, but certainly worth the money.

In other news from the theater …

You know the reaction you give when one of your friends says they’re making a life-changing choice, and you know it’s doomed to fail and you can’t hide your sarcasm when telling them so? Not a good sign for the new Rocky Balboa movie: When the trailer began, the entire audience started laughing, and laughed even more after the trailer ended. Apparently the suspension of disbelief that Rocky could compete at a major level of heavyweight boxing has ended.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Time for the holidays!

Thanksgiving's next week, we're putting up our first Christmas tree next weekend, and we're already playing Christmas music, so that must mean it's time for that coolest of YouTube Christmas lights set to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Wizards in Winter!"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

No gamble to have fun here

Our Jamaica honeymoon may have officially ended a couple of weeks ago, but Val and I know that the "honeymoon" never has to end! So last week when we went back to Memphis to pick up a bunch of our things we decided to stay in Tunica for a night.

Our destination: Gold Strike Casino.


We did a little gambling, losing a little money, but we enjoyed our time playing roulette, slots and blackjack, the latter of which was actually our first time playing at a casino. Thankfully we picked a table where there was just one older lady, and she and the dealer were helpful in teaching us the "rules" of the table.


The real reason we were there? To enjoy a big comfy room and room service!


I should also mention that we were staying in a jacuzzi suite! Ooh, yeah!


This is just the sitting room we never even used, complete with its own TV and couches and amenities.

Too sexy!

So George Clooney has been named People's sexiest man alive again.

And once again, I was thisclose to my turn. Oh well. Maybe now that I'm off the market I'm out of the running.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Venty Vents

The latest quotable Vents posted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required - use this):

- I’m so glad the elections are over and all the politicians have gone back to lying behind our backs rather than to our faces.

- Charter Cable is changing the cable TV programming lineup to “make it easier to find my favorite channel.” How does changing the lineup from what I have memorized to something new make it easier for me?

- When you read the interesting life stories in the obituaries, do you wonder what someone will write about you when you’re gone? I do.

- If you want an interesting obituary written about you, first you have to die. So, no thanks!

- I don’t care what they say in my obit, as long as they say I was 100.

- Why would an obituary state that a 98-year-old died unexpectedly? Were they expected to live forever?

- I just love this time of year, when the political signs start changing colors and fall to the ground.

- Stock market reaches a record high. Interest rates are low. Unemployment is at its lowest point in decades. The economy is sound and growing. And Nancy Pelosi wants to take us in a new direction?

- If the new Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, is ever involved in a scandal, will it be known as Gatesgate?

- Why the big fuss over Nancy Pelosi being the first women Speaker of the House? My wife has been the speaker of our house for 37 years.

- It is amazing we just had an election with no major complaints about being denied the right to vote and no major problems with the electronic machines. Could it possibly be because the Democrats won most of the races?

- It was so cold yesterday, I actually saw a couple of Democrats with their hands in their own pockets.

- Scientists have come up with a term for the longest time period imaginable: pledge week.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yep, it's still up and being used

All the pictures are now on the official wedding site, too! Click the link on the right!

The Main Event!

And now the photographs y'all have been really waiting for, our official wedding pictures!



Still to come, candids via the disposable cameras we had on the tables at the reception!

If you don't want to scroll through to find the other links, here's a quick list:

Our honeymoon photos

Pre-wedding festivities

Alan Howell's extensive collection

My Dad's collection of pre-, wedding and reception pictures

My best man, Steve's album

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Six things I learned about myself, my wife and our lives together on the honeymoon …

Not a bad ten days of marriage thus far. A brilliant honeymoon first, and now we've been getting settled in our home together here in Atlanta, trying to organize our apartment, which isn't easy between my stuff, her stuff and our stuff, i.e. things off our registry.

Tuesday, in another fabulous addition to the "things I never thought I'd be doing six months ago," Val and I added her to the rental agreement, added her at the bank for a joint checking account, and went shopping with our gift cards and gift money to Target, IKEA and Bed, Bath and Beyond, and we still have half the things on our list as we wanted to buy. We had a blast, finishing off the trip with a celebratory dinner at Longhorn, complete with big filling desserts. Because calories don't count when you've been shopping all day. Look it up.

Our favorite purchase, however, had to be Sunday when we bought a super duperly comfortable comoforter for our new bed. No more cheap covers that were handed down; we decided we're adults now, so we can buy things that a) Cost a lot and b) Coordinate.

After months of nothing but planning and fretting and enjoying our dating period, engagement era and preparing the pre-wedding, wedding and honeymoon, it's unbelievable that Val and I are married. She is my wife. My number one priority. Which leads me to the first thing I’ve learned in the past two weeks …


1.Being married rocks.

One of my co-workers just came in and was giving us the scoop on his "swinging single" life. Let’s just say that I don’t miss that one bit. He’s a handsome guy but he is unlucky in love. When most of his dates end when the woman says she doesn’t kill hitchhikers "anymore," it makes one feel incredibly lucky to have someone so special, my One And Only forever.

Most fairy tales end with the protagonists overcoming adversity and getting married, with the "happily ever after" flashing at the end.

With absolutely no intentions of sounding overly sentimental, I can happily proclaim that my and Val’s “happily ever after” has begun. We have been blessed beyond measure, and if that's cheesy, then pass the nachos.

Having her there when I get off work late and slip into bed and she’s waiting for me to curl up is awesome. On Sunday we woke up, took our time getting out of bed, went to lunch, went shopping, came home and ordered Chinese before I left for work. It’s what I’ve been looking forward to most, “normal” days. Tonight I just want to sit on the couch, Val leaning up against me, watching our shows and talking about our days.

Why didn't you married people tell me how cool it feels to have a partner like that? It's all your fault. Maybe I would have asked Val out in college. You have only yourselves to blame for the wait.


2. The Jamaican system of driving can only be described as based on the game of "Chicken."

Imagine being in a bumper car ride with three dozen other people, you drive around fast and reckless, and yet you always seem to pass without colliding despite being six inches from each other.

The shuttle ride from the airport to Ocho Rios and back took approximately two hours both ways, and passengers would be well advised not to actually look ahead to see what was happening. It didn’t help that being a former English colony they drive on the wrong side of the road, so you couldn’t figure out exactly which car/bus/shuttle/bicycle was in the wrong lane at any given time as they passed each other at high speeds.

Half the drive on the so-called scenic highway wasn’t even paved, mostly due to construction but partially due to all the goats, methinks. At least between the mountains to the south and ocean to the north there was some scenery to look at when we weren’t wondering just how close the shuttle could get to people gathered on the side of the road or the cars in front of us. It’s amazing how fearless Jamaicans are considering traffic is all over the road and made up of mostly cars that are held together by rubber bands, duct tape and old covers of Reggae albums.


3. We can eat us some grub.

During the reception, Val had one bite of our cake and half a meatball. After eating literally nothing from the time I woke up, I had three meatballs, a weenie wrap, a bite of strawberry from the chocolate fountain and two bites of cake. That was it. Otherwise we were all over the room and enjoying the congratulations of our family and friends.

Let me tell you how much we made up for that on our honeymoon …

For starters, when we got to the Peabody downtown the first thing we thought was, “Let’s order room service.” And that was in addition to the care basket the kitchen staff made for us at the behest of Val’s mom that included chicken wraps, fruit and a few other items in Tupperware. But we sure did have a hankering for the Artery-Clogging Hamburger and Thigh-Enlarging Fries!

Once in Jamaica, it appeared that many of the other couples there were drinking enough to cover the cost of the all-inclusive vacation. We ate enough to cover it. The French restaurant had a big breakfast buffet and lunch buffet, and then we’d eat more formally at night there, the Italian restaurant (Casanova) and the Caribbean restaurant on the beach (Bella Vista).

Since those restaurants are all fancified in the evenings, two hours later every single night we were ordering room service for burgers, fries, tortilla chips and salsa, jerk sausage, chicken, fillet mignon, several bottles of Diet Pepsi and water, and that was just Monday. Okay, that last part was a lie, but that doesn’t include dessert!

Thankfully we didn’t have to worry about gaining weight. Little known fact: Calories don’t count when you’re on vacation, out of the country or on your honeymoon. And we hit the trifecta! Heck, we might have even lost a few pounds!

My only regret is that I wish we'd sampled all the liquor and beer before we left! Just to be able to say, "Yeah, I tried Red Stripe. Hooray, beer!"


4. Jamaica is hot and humid.

I know, I know, and the beach is sandy, and water’s wet, and Democrats eat the heads of dachshunds. All of this is established. All I’m saying is, it was nice that the temperatures were around 85 all week and comfortable at the beach, but doggone if I didn’t sweat like Bill Clinton at a Promise Keepers rally whenever we’d walk around and then go inside to the air-conditioning.

At night, though, the weather was generally pleasant, enough so that we enjoyed room service on our balcony and at the Caribbean restaurant on the beach and were perfectly comfortable. During the day, Sunday was cloudy and Monday was cloudy with light rain once in a while, but at least it was still warm, and by Tuesday the skies were blue for the rest of the trip. All in all, by January I’ll be thinking, “sweat be darned, I really, really miss the 80 degrees and slight breeze of Jamaica!”


5. No one will mistake us for social animals.

The resort is pretty big, but I swear we never saw more than 10-15 other couples at a time, and only then at restaurants. We had the beach and pools to ourselves several times. It was like a private paradise with our own service staff! And yet we still had to wipe our own bums. Oh well. A man can dream.

There were social events scheduled every hour from 7 a.m. to midnight, but Val and I largely stayed to ourselves. If we had been married a few years, we might have ventured out more to join in reindeer games, but on our honeymoon this was a vacation for two. At night, we preferred to stay in the room and curl up in bed and watch the satellite feed for TV and movies. Yes, that’s right, we kept up with our favorite shows. And loved it!

Not that we were complete hermits. We did meet a lot of nice couples on the trip to Dunn’s River Falls and traded pleasantries with other couples in passing or when swapping cameras for pictures of each other. Enough so that we could engage in that favorite pastime of being a couple: Secrety judging other couples and declaring them not nearly as cute and perfect as y'all are.


6. We’re big fans of being pampered.

No one's ever said, "That Jeff, he's not spoiled at all." I'm okay with that.

It’s amazing how great it feels when you don’t have any responsibilities. And based on our treatment by the staff of The Peabody and the Couples resort, when you travel upscale and pay big bucks the staff treats you like royalty. We could get used to that.

Val and I wore our wedding attire in the limo to the Peabody, and when we walked in all heads turned and it was great to see people smiling at us and hearing people (workers and patrons both) tell us congratulations. One lady asked us if we just got married, which we thought was odd, until we realized she was headed to a Halloween party and wasn't sure if we were in costume!

Every time we’d round a corner and see someone who worked at Sans Souci they’d ask if our stay was going well, if we had any questions, requests or problems. “We’re great,” was all we could reply because, well, we were doing great! I like to see my wife get treated right, and I think we managed.

Since we were on our honeymoon, Couples offered a complimentary couples massage for a half-hour, which we extended another half-hour for a few extra dollars (the spa is not part of the all-inclusive package). It was totally worth it, lying side by side getting a full-body treatment in a little hut that provided nothing but a view of the ocean, and while our heads were buried in the little pillow on the table, the only sounds were of the surf against the rocks below and our moans of pleasure.

It was so pleasant, in fact, that a couple of days later we decided to get facials. Me, I got a Gentleman’s Facial, for “the man on the move.” Okay, sure, I was only moving down the buffet line, but still, it was a fun experience. Val went for something I’m sure was more feminine. Afterwards I really felt a craving for chocolate, shopping and the rippling abs of Matthew McConaughey.

The entire week was nothing but pleasure, and not just the food. We enjoyed the Jacuzzi tub every night in our room, had our favorite hammock made for two that hung between two tall palm trees and overlooked the beach and the ocean, sat on chairs on the beach and soaked in the sun or floated in the ocean enjoying the warm waters.

That was perfect all week, on our honeymoon. Just the two of us. Completely at peace with the world and giddy about the next 80 years or so we get to spend together. The literal honeymoon is over, but it really won’t end unless we let it. And I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

More!

The wedding day was just the culmination of a week of fun! Here are my photos from gatherings at Pig-n-Whistle, birthday parties Thursday night at the hotel, the guys' bowling outing Friday morning and the rehearsal Friday night.

This one's from the Pig-n-Whistle Thursday for lunch as everyone started trickling into town to see the big event:

More pictures!

These are from my new uncle, Alan, of pre-wedding preparations, the rehearsal dinner, morning of the wedding preparations, the actual ceremony, and the reception. Great work. I'm so glad he sent us a copy so Val and I can share these with y'all!

Dad also posted his pictures from the wedding week festivities, and I'd enjoy having some of everyone's if y'all can email them to me. If I can post those, plus all the ones from the disposable cameras we had on the tables, it would be a grand time for all!


UPDATE 10:48 a.m. - Links should be fixed.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

We're home

The good: Val and I are officially in OUR home, here in Atlanta.

The bad: This means the honeymoon is over, and I'm back at work late Saturday night while my lovely bride is home alone, faced with the daunting task of organizing all our stuff.

The very good: For y'all, I put all our honeymoon pictures on the Kodak Gallery site. Enjoy!

Here's the kind of view we miss the most: