Monday, March 27, 2006

The End of All Things

I promised that Chosson Found would go on and so it is - at least somewhat. Soulmate and I will be blogging here from now on - our new joint blog about life out here on the edge of the North American continent. The content will be different, but we'll both still be here.

AnySara and Soulmate

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Questions from SoulMate

Okay loyal readers, I have a couple of questions to put out to you that came up on our trip so far. First is what is the difference between a cataract & a water fall? The next is that there is a bird in Idaho & Oregon that looks like a jay, but with a long black tail (with white at the tip). The body is grey, black & blue.

Oh, and on a different note, I discovered that AnySara doesn't like the idea of me taking pictures of bridges while driving over them, even if it was done 10+ years ago. She is absolutely adorable & I love her so much.

- SoulMate

P.S. She has been indulging my desire to wear a streimel, especially when it was snowing in the heart of the Oregon highlands.

Husband of the Year

It's 5:30 a.m. here on the West Coast and my body must still be functioning by East Coast time - I'm wide awake.

Where do I sign Soulmate up for the "Husband of the Year" award? We rolled into Astoria, Oregon (not really on our way to anywhere - just a fun place to stop) last night. The hotels are busier than other places we've been so far (since my last posting we spent the night just over the Wyoming-Idaho state line) due to Spring Break. Soulmate found us a room that would not only take the dog, but which has an in-room jacuzzi, free high-speed internet (hence the blog), AND one of those cheesy (yet delightful) gas fireplaces. Ahhhhhhh the romance of it all.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Wyoming and Other Large and Empty Places

We spent last night in the lovely city of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and tonight we are in Salt Lake City for Purim. State capitol count: 4. Wyoming was beautiful, if somewhat austere. Leaving Cheyenne we expected to spend the day driving in the Rocky mountains. Instead, all of southern Wyoming rides on a high, rolling plain, nearly devoid of trees.

We have to leave in a few minutes to get to megilla reading on time. We did take pictures today and will hopefully post them later tonight.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Soulmate in the Midwest

In about two hours we will leave Omaha, Nebraska, and head further west. While Omaha isn't as bad as I had expected, it certainly hasn't been overly nice. It's much hillier than I thought Nebraska would be. We went out last night in search of kosher food. Omaha has a small Jewish community and, of course, a Chabad house. We were able to find a variety of Mon Cuisine and MealMart options to chuck in our cooler to see us through the next two days when we will pass through states that have no kosher food options. We also stocked up at the Krispy Kreme - the only official kosher establishment that was open at 11:00 last night. Every roadtrip needs a donut.

So, Nebraska has been, er, lovely, but I'm ready to get the heck out. Oh, and I also seem to have acquired yet another nickname (the first from my husband): L'Wanda. Will post more on this when I know more :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Where in the World Are Mr. & Mrs. Soulmate?

As has been reported on many other blogs, Soulmate and I tied the knot on Sunday night at what has subsequently been dubbed the "Wedding of the Century". More on that later. Since then, we've been busily packing up the house. We blew town yesterday after many lengthy and tearful goodbyes. I can honestly say that I will miss the frum community terribly, but I won't miss the midwestern suburbs. West Coast here I come!

So, the answer to the title question is currently Chicago, home of my mother and stepdaddy. We'll leave in about 10 minutes (or whenever I'm done blogging) and try to get a few hundred miles under our belts before stopping for Shabbos. Soulmate's rav is hooking us up with meals for tonight and tomorrow.

Today we will cross the mighty, polluted Mississippi. It will be my first time crossing it in a car. What's the protocol? Logic tells me we should stop and spit into it, but Soulmate is unsure about this.

Gotta go. Chicago traffic is a nightmare and we have to get the heck out of Dodge.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Live from the West Coast

The wedding is closer and closer. I've finished work and am now enjoying a well-deserved week on the West Coast with Soulmate.

Will keep you posted.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wedding Madness

Weddings are a scam.

Well, at least attempting to pay for them is a scam.

On Thursday, I went for my dress fitting. All went well, they took measurements to create sleeves and a tznius neckline, and I paid the balance on the dress itself independently of the alterations. Let me note here that the dress was Very Expensive.

When I asked for an estimate on the alterations, I was presented with a figure that was nearly half of the price of the Very Expensive dress. Now, this didn't include any material - I already paid for that. It did, however, include the cost of steaming and bustling the dress.

Perhaps I'm crazy and blissfully out-of-touch with the bridal industry, but wouldn't one assume that every dress sold needs to be bustled and steamed? Why are these extra fees? If I've already spent a Large Sum of Money, shouldn't these services be included?

On Friday, I called to put in the final order for my cake. Wedding cake is not something found at your typical frum wedding (at least not in this community), so I knew getting someone to make one that was actually tasty and pretty was going to be a hard job.

My caterer uses a kosher bakery in town whose cakes have the reputation of being dry and tasteless. I wasn't interested. So, we attempted to hire a woman in the community who is renowned for her cake-baking expertise. She initially agreed, but then thought better of the idea. Back to square one.

Someone suggested I call another caterer who had his own pastry chef to see if they would do a cake for me. I explained all the circumstances (including that we were using another caterer), but the man in the office said yes anyway.

Fast-forward to Friday. I was chatting away with the man in the office about what kind of cake, when it had to be delivered, etc. I was about to give him my credit card number when he asked if I would mind holding for a minute. Moments later, a second voice came on the line identifying himself as the owner of the catering company. Very tersely, he explained that he most certainly wouldn't do my cake and how dare I even ask him if I wasn't using his catering company. I

I was stunned.

I said, "You're bringing me to tears. There are special circumstances. Please let me explain."

He replied, "I don't care. Even if I hadn't found out about this until the day before the wedding, I would've cancelled the cake."

"I'm surprised to hear a frum person saying such a thing," I said, my voice shaking.

"Your surprise doesn't concern me," he said.

I was so enraged at this point that I told him I wouldn't give him my business anyway and I hung up on him. I'm not proud of this - I never hang up on people (well, not on purpose anyway). It's Monday morning, and I still find myself wanting to write him a scathing letter. At this point, I don't give a flick about the cake - it's my honor that has been offended.

Back to square one.