Parental Figures

While in Littlefield this past weekend I had fully intended on having a discussion about the upcoming wedding with my parents. Benjamin and I had even prepared them an invitation which I was going to give to them and convey that they were invited if and only if they would be happy for us and not make a scene during the ceremony. The long and short of it is that I chickened out and never addressed the issue. My family is notorious for avoiding hard topics and confrontation so this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or my family. I was disappointed in myself but Benjamin was supportive saying that if I didn’t feel the time was right then not doing something was exactly what I needed to do. So unless my parents read my blog (doubtful) they are still clueless about the wedding. If they do read my blog (hi mom!) they still won’t say anything because of the aforementioned habit of ignoring hard topics.

Benjamin’s parents however are now in the know thanks to a well-meaning but loose-lipped relative. That was cause for Major Drama on Sunday during my drive home from Littlefield. Benjamin gets a call from his mother where she ends up saying 5 coherent words and then just screaming for several minutes. By the time I arrive home (about 5 hours after the drama unfolded) the issue has been hashed out and an agreement made between he and his mom to be more open about what was going on in his life but that his mom and dad would not be attending the wedding because they would not be comfortable being there.

What I love about his family is that they have these screaming, dramatic moments where everything gets said and out in the open and eventually psudo-resolved. Quite a contrast to my family where nothing gets said and nothing gets resolved.

Since the cat is out of the bag, I’m unlocking all wedding-related posts for the greater world to see … not that I think they’ll bother :)

Little Rock, the Food Tasting, and Littlefield

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Little Rock, AR the last several weeks. I was shipped out there to help a large telecommunications company with some critical LDAP problems they were experiencing in their production environment. Since it is a production environment they have strict change management controls which dictate that we can only make “atomic” changes in their environment between 11pm and 5am. This made things complicated as we had about 10 changes that needed to be made and were told we could only make one of them a night. When I left last week (on the 5th) they still had about 5 changes to get in. The change window was a pain as well. I’d work from around 8:30am until 6:00pm monitoring their systems and determining what other problems existed and how to best fix them. I’d head out to the hotel, then to a restaurant for dinner, and back up to the customer site at 10:45pm to make the changes needed and with luck I was back at the hotel and in bed at 2am. This went on for about a week (Mar 31 to Apr 5). The flip side is that I identified many many areas in their environment that needed to be changed to better stabilize their systems — most of which we were able to accomplish before I left. Based on an email that was sent to the IBM account team, the customer loved me and my work which is always a nice reward.

During that time Benjamin and I had our food tasting for the wedding. Once a season the Barr Mansion has a buffet dinner for several dozen couples to allow them to get an idea of what menu options are available for their upcoming event. Since I simply could not miss this (according to Benjamin) I flew back to Austin from Little Rock on Saturday evening, interpreted at church on Sunday morning, attended the food tasting Sunday night, and was back in Little Rock by 9am on Monday morning. Talk about a whirlwind weekend! The tasting itself was fun. We weren’t the only gay couple there although we were greatly outnumbered by our heterosexual brethren. We by chance picked an excellent table as the two other couples at the table were very cool and gay-friendly.

I finally made it back to Austin from Little Rock on Wednesday the 5th only to turn around on Thursday and drive up to Littlefield. As my role of Computer Guru for my dad, I had several computer-related tasks that I needed to be present for in Littlefield. Over a month ago I had decided to take off work and get it done over a long weekend. The trip didn’t start out well when the Mustang began to overheat when I reached Leander. Thankfully it was Benjamin’s half day so he was at home and was able to meet me in Cedar Park and swap cars. The Fusion is a great car to take on long road trips I’ve decided. Beyond that the trip went well. I accomplished about 95% of what I went up there for, and it was the important 95% at that. As always it was good to see the parents and grandparents.

Soy update – Benjamin shows some leg

Ok, so maybe he didn’t show some leg, but Benjamin got an amazing discount on the soy candles. He called It’s A Soy today (yes, that’s actually the name of the business – how bizzare is that) and the $30/table candles we obtained for $20 a table! They even offered to ship them via UPS to us for a flat rate of $15 instead of per-pound. We were able to get all the candles needed sent to us for under $300! That’s my man!

Soy candles suck

For the wedding, the venue we’re using requires us to use soy candles as to not discolor the venue’s thatch ceiling with soot. The problem is that soy candles are harder to come by than regular candles. The old “supply and demand” concept thus tells us that they are more expensive than regular candles. None of this is a particular problem until you add Benajmin into the picture ;)

Continue reading Soy candles suck