What a wonderful day.
If ever anyone within earshot plans on getting married by Elvis, I cannot recommend Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel highly enough. They were very professional, yet sincerely enjoying themselves. They put us at ease quickly, and we had a great time. Elvis did fairly serious vows at first, and then at the end of the ceremony he launched into the "special" part--about feeding each other peanut butter and banana sandwiches and not stepping on one another's blue suede shoes. The photographer took what I'm sure will prove to be some very cute, very sappy shots.
The only disappointment: the webcam crashed at the end of the ceremony, so they weren't able to record. No archive, no disk. This was very disappointing, but once we got back and had a peek at how many people were watching the ceremony, we realized we may well have overloaded their stream and did it to ourselves. Doubly sad, we didn't think to get a video because we just wanted the webcast. Ah well. These things happen, and they gladly refunded the money for the archive.
On Las Vegas in general: as soon as I'm home I'll have a couple cute pics to scan in--one of me sitting in the Captain's chair on the Enterprise, and one of Bill and me taking a gondola ride at the Venetian. Despite our dislike of things material, Bill and I have managed to relax and enjoy ourselves a lot here. It's been fun. Also: best cabbies in the world. We regularly overtipped because the cabbies were so personable, giving us great stories and bits of LV history.
In a little while, I'll be up to leave some Cafe Press swag with the BlogCon folks upstairs, then Bill and I will call his parents and say hello. Then, three words: Oversized soaking tub.
It dawns on me I've written this entire entry without really saying much about how I feel about being married.
Best wedding shower present ever:
Now standing in the corner of my office, over by Princess Leia.
We'll continue with that depressing topic later. Right now all I can think about is marrying my sweetie on Saturday! Even if you can't be there, you can watch us tie the knot!
At 3:30 Pacific, August 24, go here and click on Main Wedding Chapel. This requires RealPlayer. Don't like Real? Well, you won't get streaming or sound, but you can also see the same webcam at The Learning Channel or Earthcam.
Can't be at your computer on time? No worries! Our wedding will be archived for a month, and we're purchasing a disk so I can put it on the site.
Because some have asked, a word about gifts: Bill and I don't need or want much. We both have Amazon wish lists, and if you know us well enough to know our real names, then feel free to look up our lists. If you'd like to do a little something that will mean a lot to us both, send a card. I'll be making a montage of wedding keepsakes, and will include any cards we receive. The address: 815 NW Naito Parkway, #203, Portland, OR, 97209.
Finally: if you can read this and you're going to be in Vegas on the day, you are DEFINITELY invited to the wedding! Just be there a few minutes early.
Just FYI, because our families and friends are so far flung, we won't be having a reception at this time.
My first exposure to the idea of death came not from a human, but from the anonymous carcass of a cat.
When I was about eleven, I walked to and from the bus stop every day through a field near the apartment building where I lived. In late summer, early fall, the field was populated with scrubby waist-high grass, broken bottles, discarded clothing.
On this particular day, just to the west side of the path, lay a cat. Her eyes were closed, and she lay very still. I drew closer, reaching out to touch her, but she was not asleep. My fingers pressed the unresponsive, tepid body. It jiggled a little, revealing a host of worms I hadn't seen initially.
I gasped and stepped back, tears leaking out in my surprise. The difference between live cat and dead cat was so clear, so stark and unambiguous--there was no question that this was not only just a body, but that it held nothing of the cat who previously inhabited it. This was a thing.
I had no choice but to continue walking through the field that season as the carcass slowly melted into fur and bones, then nothing. I marked the spot well in my memory, and walked far over to the other side of the path. But each day, I peeked. I couldn't help myself.
I suppose I spent some time wondering where the animate part of the creature had gone, leaving only a dessicating corpse to frighten children. All I truly learned was that it left no trace, and that our human coffins held only bones.
I just spent about an hour on the phone with the delightful Marcia Gossard of Newsweek. It was about blogging in general--she was interviewing a couple bloggers as research for her article. If it runs, it will hit newsstands next week.
I'm an idea person. If I followed through on half the things that pop into my head, I'd have to quit work. There are a couple of ideas I'm glad I implemented.
A few years ago I finally rented the movie Strictly Ballroom. I thought the lead, Paul Mercurio, needed a spot in my Crush section, so I looked around on the web for some info. I found very, very little. What I did find was intriguing. So I kept digging. While I'd occasionally stumble on to something substantial in an archive, there was no comprehensive fansite for him. I thought everyone had a fansite. I decided this interesting career needed a spot on the web. Thus was born Paul Mercurio Online. In the process of creating the site, I contacted people who happened to know Paul. Naturally, when I informed them that the site was live, they passed the news along. Paul was in contact the day after launch. Since then we've become web friends, and he even has his own blog on the site. I'm glad I took a chance at putting PMO together, as it turns out Paul is a truly nice person. It was great to have a hand in giving him a voice on the web.
The next story I'm guessing everyone knows: On July 29, 2000, I decided to blog for 24 hours straight. I did it, posting every 15 minutes for the whole time. I still get a kick out of reading the entries from that day. When July 2001 came around, I wanted to do it again--but not alone, and not for nothing. I asked around to see if anyone would join me in blogging for charity. Go for 24 hours, collect sponsors, have them donate to the charity at the end. As a result of some unexpected publicity the 'thon took off like a shot, attracting over 100 bloggers and raising over $20,000 for charities worldwide. With success like that, it had to become an annual event. Blogathon 2002 just ended, with double the number of bloggers and a total of over $58k raised. We're already planning for next year.
Also this year I did a very fun project called Random Valentine. Bill says he doesn't mind if I do it again next year. He's not the jealous type.
What will the next big thing be? This one is a group project I'm doing with the Portland Bloggers, and it will be unveiled in the next few weeks. I'm very excited to do something for my hometown.
I do not remember precisely how I stumbled on to blogs. I used to read Wired avidly, so I suspect I may have seen an article there, or in another magazine. I do remember (after giving it some thought) the first blog I ever read. I also read Andrea at Girlhero, though she seems to be gone.
It was a revelation.
I'd been poking around at making my own site for a while, but this was it. This was the format I'd been wanting. In May 2000, I signed on with Blogger got going. This is what it looked like. Years later, one of the nicest things anyone ever said to me about my site was: "when I think of frykitty, I think of Chuck Taylors." I still have those shoes. I'm wearing them to my wedding.
Next: up to the present.
Poking around in '99, I had a couple of hangouts. Places where I probably got far too involved.
Soon after its launch, I jumped on board at Fragx, an interactive, collaborative, experimental writing site. The 200 word limit was a creative springboard. I wrote quite a bit, but as the site became more popular, the usual happened. Problem children. Back then, I just wasn't of a mind to deal with it. I tried to bail, but curiousity about how my work was faring kept me returning. In order to concentrate on other projects, I finally had to pull most of my work and walk away. It was sad.
In researching this, I decided to see how the old site was. I found it missing! I went through my old addresses and found John Casler, the founder, with whom I had become friends while I was fragging. I wrote him a quick hello, and he responded with an odd coincidence: he just happened to be bringing the site back. Joy! It was good to talk to Cas again, and it feels like a second chance. I think I'll have another go.
Coming on the heels of Fragx was the deeply involving puzzle game, The Stone. We "stoners" spent hours on end hacking at complex and difficult puzzles, and forming a tight community. For a while, I organized something of an underground group looking for the underlying meaning to the puzzles. Then all heck broke loose. The people with the initial idea had a falling out with the people doing the writing. The idea people won, but much of the intrinsic mystery was lost, gone with their brilliant craftsman, J. I might have stayed still, but the politics became more than a mouthful. Yes, the secret site is still up somewhere. No, I'm not telling you where.
Next: The birth of blog