Thinking about this wedding thing, I've got a bit of a song from The Muppets Take Manhattan in my head: "Because you have a love so big, I now pronounce you Frog and Pig." Jon identifies with Kermit, and I've had a few hi-yahs in my day.

I've developed a to-do list, which I won't bore you with here, and I've found the colors I'd like to suggest:

orange cream and lavender orange cream and lavender

As for a gift registry, I intend to post a list of things we'd find useful and provide an electronic guestbook to allow visitors to tell each other what they're getting. We won't look at the guestbook. I think this is a pretty good solution: those who want to can be sure they're not duplicating gifts.

I'll get informal invitations out before the end of this week.

Two more movies this weekend.

Gray's Anatomy: Spalding Gray is still awesome, but he sure is a fruitbat. Stories of eye injuries are incredibly difficult to listen to. This one is enjoyable for fans, but probably a turn-off for the non-initiated. Start with Swimming to Cambodia, instead.

Meet Joe Black: I never would have rented this, but a friend from work recommended it, and he's got oddball tastes in movies. I always figure Brad Pitt will be inept because everybody thinks he's pretty. I'm amending my opinion: I think he's pretty, and he's really quite talented. Anthony Hopkins is in this, too, so--wow. It's just about three hours long, so it made itself an afternoon's event, but I'm glad I invested the time. I enjoyed the premise, the execution, and the actors. [Attn: Mild Spoiler] It ended on an all-okay-in-the-end note, which I found disappointing. It had its happy ending; it didn't need the extra manipulation to give it a sparkly, perky ending. The writer in me objects; the girl in me is quite pleased.

The sane solution seems to be to effect the marriage during the reunion trip in July. This makes me happy.

Please check out our travel itinerary to help us make this trip work, especially if I'm thinking you'll be driving us somewhere.

So, for the sake of covering Jon on my health plan, I'm researching marriage licenses. In case you're wondering, the process seems to be thus: get a marriage license from the County Clerk's Office; wait the waiting period; before the license expires, get married by a Justice of the Peace or a County Court of Law. I'll keep you posted as this develops.

And for the brides who obviously don't work and can dilate time, Martha Stewart's wedding tips.

Oh, I know, I'll just hand address all these invitations...

"Dreams are maps." -- Carl Sagan

From Space Art in Children's Books 1950s-1970s, posted to Invisible Broadcast System by Jeremy.

[tap, tap] *cough* Is this thing on? [weeeooooo]

Dell made me an offer!

As a programmer, no less. This is the opportunity I was looking for. Things are awesome. Conversations with my honey now include words like "health insurance" and "stock options" (that one has a particularly nice ring to it). This is a great chance to learn a lot (a daunting lot, at that) and tackle new challenges.

I'm pumped.

Woo hoo! I'm an actor again. Through some of our new friends, Jon and I joined a community theatre troupe, Vagabond Repertory Theatre (VRT). On Saturday, this group performed short skits and comedy improv at the Cedar Chopper Festival (chainsaw sculpture is not conducive to theatre, but what else would you expect?) in Cedar Park, Texas. I had a whole mess of fun.

Experience, harsh teacher that she is, allows me to offer this lesson: When planning to hop around in the sun all day being funny, even if it's cloudy in the morning, wear your sunblock. (ouch)

From the There's Gotta Be A Bandwagon Around Here Somewhere Department:

The lid of my Dannon yogurt brags that it "Contains live & active yogurt cultures including L. acidophilus." I know another medium that makes important words blue and underlined.

New poll! The results from the Elian poll are that the majority of you (5 of 9) think the whole thing was a government-staged plot. Everybody else believes he belongs with his dad, but three people thought the federal raid was out of line.

Jonathan tells me he can't view the poll. He doesn't even get a link, which is what the HTMLGear code is supposed to provide if it can't display the poll. Platform issue? Anybody else? My next intended gear is a guestbook, so it will be easier for you folks to answer these questions.

Now, some of the promised reviews. Office Space was better than I'd expected, and Pushing Tin was not as good.

Office Space: I keep expecting to dislike Mike Judge's work (Beavis and Butthead, which I could do without, and King of the Hill, which surprises me with its cleverness and sincerity), but Office Space does not resort to farsical slapstick—it develops its characters and tells a complete story. And Judge totally pegged working for an IT firm in Austin; he has clearly sat in the same traffic jams I have, and I've had a ghetto kid try to sell me magazines at least *three times*. It was cute; it was funny for a fellow Austinite; I think the humor will play well for anyone stuck in a cubicle farm. And it has a happy ending: What more could you want?

Pushing Tin: I was expecting a comedy, and it wasn't. It especially suffered for following Office Space. But it's still worth seeing. John Cusack again. I don't think I'll ever get bored with him. But he's playing a jerk again (after High Fidelity). Maybe he's being an anti-hero; it's easier to like the antagonist. The main thought I came away with, though, is: "My goodness, I hope air traffic controlling isn't actually done that way." But I have a nagging fear it is.

Perhaps the novelty will wear off eventually, but we've watched two more movies on our new TV and VCR this week.

The Muse: Skip it. Sharon Stone and Andie MacDowell are as delightful as always. Jeff Bridges is weird, but I like him. Albert Brooks whined a lot, but he made it work relatively well. But the script... There are lots of topical (read: "soon to be obsolete") references to the film industry, and there are some fun cameos that you need to be really in-the-know to get (I wouldn't have recognized Martin Scorsese if it weren't for Animaniacs). And then there's the ending—or lack thereof. The film is strolling along, then some twists and conflict are introduced, and then the credits are rolling. --wha? It ends so abruptly I can only guess that it suffered from thought-of-the-ending-first syndrome: The writer gets an idea for a twist ending, tries to craft a plot that leads up to it, realizes he's meandering far too slowly, and quickly dashes through the last steps to the brilliant and surprising finish. There's a brief shot of Sharon Stone's well-crafted behind, and that's about all there is to recommend this film.

Run Lola Run: Oh, yes. Yes. It's about entropy, it's about choices, it's about quantum physics—all wrapped up in a visually captivating and admirably aerobic sprint. It's German, with subtitles, which I didn't realize until the opening credits rolled by, auf Deutsch. The style is clearly not-American, which I appreciated. Australian films (such as Muriel's Wedding and Strictly Ballroom) have their own signature feel, as do the French films I've seen, Delicatessen and City of Lost Children (granted, same director); Run Lola Run was my first glimpse at a German movie. And I liked it—kept my heart rate up the whole time.

Many things to review... Before the nose-wrecker, we saw American Beauty. Then, on Saturday Jon and I bought a TV and VCR, if you can believe it, so we have, in the past two days, watched Office Space, Pushing Tin, and Shakespeare in Love. Tuesday, we saw Delicatessen. I will post reviews of these bit by bit over the next few days.

I created a profile for myself in GradFinder, linking myself to Penn State and Dieruff High School. The service is free, so I recommend signing up, provided you want to be found. I get a kick out of such things.

Adrenaline is incredible stuff. (My mom will probably be miffed if she hears of this here first, but oh, well. Hi, Mom.) I was a passenger in a car accident last night. I'm not particularly hurt—I just got my nose royally mooshed. It's not broken, and I doubt I'll even get black eyes from this; it just hurts to do those cute little Sharon-nose-scroonching facial expressions that my friends find endearing.

Morbid fascination drives me to share the tale. There were four of us in the car (big SUV, which I think contributed to our level of non-hurtness), and we all recounted the thoughts we had during the crash. I'm always amazed at how lightning-quick one thinks during such things.

I've long thought that being involved in a car accident is inevitable as long as one is living in Austin. During our first few months here, I had a definite premonition that I would meet my fate in a horrible wreck on this city's streets. I'm not sure I'm off the hook, but if last night was my requisite accident, then I really couldn't have asked for a better one (I would have preferred less nasal involvement, but I can deal.).

It was raining, and we were on the Thoroughfare of Death—a.k.a., IH-35. Our driver was changing lanes, and he failed to see one of those stupid nigh-invisible cars. Have you seen these? These idiots get a black car, tint the windows, and shade the lights; they're hard to see in the best of conditions. They piss me off. So Driver didn't see the car, and we alerted him to its presence, and he swerved.

In a town that hardly knows rain, roads are never washed off. Rainy days in Austin are more treacherous than snowy days in PA. ...Partly because Austinites have no idea how to adjust their driving for the conditions or how to recover from a skid. And SUVs have a lot of mass to try and convince to change directions.

We spun at least 360 degrees. Earlier on that trip, we'd passed a few tractor-trailers; where they all were at that moment, I don't know, but some higher power loves us. It's worth pointing out that, although IH-35 is a highway, it is never empty; it's the main north-south artery of the city. Nobody hit us.

We did, however, hit the guard rail head-on, and that's what did in my poor nosey. I knew the impact was coming, so I just relaxed (Jon kept his eyes open and detachedly watched the highway spin by. *shudder*). When we did hit, it was like a champagne bottle being opened: a pop, and then a sense of released pressure. Here's where adrenaline comes into play: it was blessedly pain free for many minutes.

Our driver reacted commendably quickly and got us safely onto the shoulder. Some nice young men witnessed the crash and stopped to see if we were okay, which we were, all in all. We pulled off and bled our way into a Taco Cabana. And then I stopped being in shock, and it hurt a whole freakin' lot.

But after ice and pain-killers and comforters and friendly conversation, even that subsided, and I have depressingly little to show for my ordeal.

Which is just fine with me, really.

I posted this on Invisible Broadcast System, but this is too important, so I will repeat it here.

Public Service Announcement

I'm really tired of panaceas, and now I find I have good reason to be skeptical. USA Today reports that St. John's Wort, the trendy herb touted as an over-the-counter seratonin re-uptake inhibitor (it makes you happy), has been shown to interact with a number of medications, including oral contraceptives, possibly reducing their effectiveness by 50%. Yikes! The FDA has published an advisory about it.

And, while I've got your attention, may I add that self-medicating mental illness is unwise? Psychoactive drugs may well be a needed cure for depression, but they only have a place as part of a supervised therapy. Quit squawking: If St. John's Wort makes you feel better, then it is either a placebo or a psychoactive drug, so shush. And go get real help if you need it.

With my handy poll, I was able to determine that, among my grand readership of four, 75% of you wanted a meatier question. I hope this Elian Gonzalez poll satisfies that desire. As for that one soul who wanted more orange: Here ya go!

'Sides, it's quality, not quantity, that matters, right?