Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How and Why I got married a month after we got engaged (with $23 in my bank account)

It hasn't been five weeks since I asked my now-husband to marry me, and in two hours I can go pick up the marriage certificate that means I have changed my name and my life.  Yes, I asked him.  He made me.

Dear Husband (DH), as he now is, agreed a few months ago to come back to South Korea with me this time.  I think he's hoping it'll get it out of my system.  I'm hoping he'll like it enough to stay an extra year or two.  We looked into tourist visas for him, which would require a trip every 3 months to another country to renew.  And then the M word came up.  I jokingly said we should just get married so he could piggy-back on my visa.  Then I really thought about it.  We love each other deeply.  We've been together almost 5 years now.  I knew he had serious reservations about marriage; I told him I didn't think it'd change our relationship, how we feel about each other, just how we're legally seen.  He said yes, and I pointed out that neither of us had actually flat-out asked the question.  So he told me to do it, and he still said yes.  People ask how he proposed.  I tell them I did, still wet from a shower, in our bed.  Conventional we are not.

The why of the rush to get married is mostly the moving to Korea--it takes about a month to change your passport, and I need to get a bunch of other stuff corrected as well in that time.  It's also because I will be working in a city two hours away through much of the summer, and didn't want to get married and then not see him most of the week the day after.  So we have one week, and then we're a weekend couple.  But that's how it goes sometimes.

But here's the thing: I wouldn't have wanted more time.  The only thing about this crazy, simple, perfect wedding that I would change is, because of personal stuff, his brother was able to make it but his brother's family couldn't.  We're visiting them at the end of the summer, before flying out to Korea.  Otherwise, it was perfect. 

Most women, I guess, when they think about their wedding day, have plans.  I didn't, and that helped a lot.  For rings, we got wedding bands on Etsy.  I didn't want to spend money we didn't have on an engagement ring for, quite literally, 4 weeks, so we went to one of the cheap jewelry stores at the mall and found one no one could distinguish from a $2000 ring for $10.  My dress, my parents paid for.  We got it at Dillards, and it was not what I pictured but exactly what I wanted.  They also agreed, as per tradition, to cover the reception: we barbequed and potlucked and had a ton of food left over.  His dad helped pay for his clothes, and we got a free vest for the best man, who spent not a cent on what he wore.  His mother helped me with buying the flowers, which I couldn't have done financially or conceptually without her.  My maid of honor was able to fly out from Seattle, and she brought a few dresses we had both picked out online so I could choose.  (Incidentally, I have never had so many people ask me what they should wear.  I have trouble dressing myself, and you want me to dress you too?)  The intent for her dress and, indeed, even mine, was that they be things that could be worn again. 

Last Saturday, May 25, our friends and families came together to watch us get married.  My younger sister flew out from South Korea, for two days, to be there.  One of our friends recently took up photography, so took pictures as his gift to us.  I'll post a couple once they're up, but even the ones he showed me were amazing already.  My ex, who DH and I have lived with off-and-on for about two years during our relationship, was the officiant, and he cried more than either of us during the ceremony.  We combined our dice-bags, in true nerd fashion, and had heady literary readings.  We said our own vows, we kissed.  We ate a ton of great food, played Rock Band and Cards Against Humanity, smeared cake in each others' faces.  It was, as I said, perfect, with everything we wanted and the way we wanted it.  It felt like us, rather than us pretending to get married the way you're expected to.  We got married within our means, with friends and family building the wedding with us, and we're both just so happy it's sickening. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Because Spartans shouldn't wear high heels

I am not on Twitter, willfully so, but I occasionally become aware of a thread and check into it.  Because of what my computer throws at me while I'm on it, I have come across, repeatedly, #1reasonwhy.  (Today's title comes from @GooseChecka's tweet.)  This is a response, spawning #1reasontobe and #1reasonmentors , to the question of why there aren't more women involved in the gaming industry.  I've gone into the blog posts some people have provided, reading stories of harassment of women simply for getting a job within the industry.  I play videogames, sometimes, but I have little intention of entering the field; it is an analog however for where I want to go.  And let's be honest, it scares me.

I am analytical, and my interests mean I invade the "male geek culture" with my analysis because I can't (and don't want to) turn off that part of my brain that says "Hey, what's this doing?"  I play League of Legends, and get frustrated constantly by the women whose body types are either 1) buxom, thin, long-haired, or 2) childlike, while the men range from childlike to thinnish young adult to muscular and fit to non-humanoid to grotesquely modified by SCIENCE!. (I may go into this more one day.)  I analyze comic books.  I look for how they represent positively and negatively the women portrayed within, and I hate that any conversation about women in comic books seems to start and end at how large Power Girl's breasts are, and I hate that in trying to find the story about those breasts on Wikipedia (Wally Wood, her initial artist, assumed Marvel wasn't paying attention to his work, so he enlarged her breasts each issue to see how long it would take them to notice: 7-8 issues), I instead found out that, canonically, Batman suggested that they were one of her superpowers.  But most of all, I hate that #1reasonwhy seems so necessary, even now, and that as many tweets I've read scare me as encourage me.  Why is my appreciation of art and storytelling, and the expectation that it actually represent the reality that it provides, seen as invasion?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I've been back home just over two months.  Well, home being the general state of Colorado, rather than the exact building I was living in previously.  My former roommate/landlord is planning on getting day, and wanted to live with his fiancee.  So DB and I moved out of that house and into an apartment with my ex.  It's wonderful, and so not like the sitcom I've been told it sounds like. 

I'm getting there on the thesis.  I sent the last round of edits to my adviser (pending major issues with those edits) before it gets sent on to my other two committee members.  Today in one month, I should be completely finished with the thesis process.  COMPLETELY.  And taking the GRE subject test so I can apply to a doctoral program.  Because I'm a masochist who never wants to leave academia.  For the moment, I'm not working and not really looking for a job, though I would take something if it fell into my lap and seemed reasonable.  Between my class, my thesis, and that test coming up, plus prepping the applications for grad school (again!), I can manage a little easier without, especially since returning from Korea is often like being showered with money for a little while.

In knitting news, I'm producing.  I'm currently working on (shhh!) making a Where the Wild Things Are hoodie for my ex's son, and I have the yarn to make one for him as well.  Because the Boyfriend Sweater Curse seems silly once we've already broken up.  Also, I've been using an iPad for...I guess about 6 months, which has done neat things to my knitting productivity in two ways.  1) I can always read and knit, so I can do homework while knitting.  2) I downloaded KnitCompanion on the recommendation of a friend, and love the crap out of it.  There's something of a learning curve on putting new patterns into it, but once the pattern is set up, it's incredibly easy to keep track of where you are in both a main pattern and a chart.  I kind of enjoy the process of putting patterns into the program too.

I won't make promises on actually updating.  I'll try to actually get pictures eventually.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Six months, no waiting (I warned you!)

This year is flying by. This surprises me, given how rough it has felt. I guess that's how things go sometimes though. I've been thinking about this blog, and coming back to it. I love the idea of sharing my knitterly creations with ....anyone, really. But fact is, I get distracted mid-project and don't finish it, or take a long time, and then forget to take a picture when it is finished. So I've been thinking about other stuff I'd like to write about. Like book reviews. Since I've sent off my thesis to my advisor for its first draft review, I've devoured numerous non-thesis books. But I analyze, it's what I do. I'd like to put some of my thoughts on the things I've been reading down. Let's try this again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

In which things get personal

Things have felt...transitional for about two months, and I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting settled into a routine, settled into the job and the way I'll be living here. As is always the case with a blog or anything public/private, the question is what is too private or personal. I know I haven't been doing this very long, and I'm still not sure if anyone's even reading, but this is where things are and this is why I haven't really been talking on here:

I spent a week at an orientation set up by my employers, to help prepare newcomers to teach and live in South Korea. And everything was fine and I was excited to see my school and was meeting other foreigners and networking some new, albeit probably temporary friends. Then the orientation ended, abruptly as it so often does, and I was at my new school. And depression set in. I went through a fairly bad bout of it in high school, as I know so many teenagers do, but it just hit again, worse than I'd had in a long time, and settled. It's still there, in the background, and I feel like I've been running for the last month trying to stay ahead of it.

Part of it is culture shock, I know. For anyone who doesn't know, the four stages of culture shock are: you love it, you hate it, you live with(in) it, you leave it and return to your home culture. First time I was out here, I got the honeymoon phase and, except for a few bad days, went straight from that to the live with(in) it stage. I hated rice for about a week, but never detested being here. This time around, it's more like I skipped the honeymoon first stage, and went straight into despising everything. And that's rough, when I'm still adjusting to a new school, to not being near my friends and the dear boyfriend (whose birthday it is, stateside, today. It's already the next day here), to not be able to see what's enjoyable about being here. I have great classes, great experiences, that don't feel as great as the bad stuff feels bad.

So I keep trying, knowing that this too shall pass. I knit, because if it doesn't make me feel better, it relaxes me. I've got multiple FOs to show off from the month I've been here, that I've entirely started and finished, and they just keep rolling out. But that'll have to wait for another day, as I'm at my sister's apartment right now, sans camera. Soon though. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm still alive!

Promise. This month has been a whirlwind of spending time with friends before I left, finally leaving for Korea, going through the orientation that the public schools have us go through, and finally getting to see my school and apartment for the next year. I'm still very much getting settled in, and looking forward to when I have a routine instead of a messy apartment. I had a rough couple days when it finally hit me that I won't be seeing DB until December and that I may not see anyone for whom English is their first language more than once a week for awhile, but I'm getting better. My little sister, who will be teaching at a private school (like tutoring) out here will arrive late Monday night, so I'll see her Tuesday. I may also start teaching Tuesday. So things are getting where they're supposed to be fairly quickly, moving towards "normal."

My plan for today is to bum around until 10:00 AM local time, when I will talk to my family. Then I'm going to take my thesis research, some knitting and a "for fun" book to Hoegi (two stops away from mine by subway) and find a coffee shop I can occupy for several hours. I'll try to do pictures of apartment and etc. soon, but I'm still working on unpacking cords.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's not what you think....

I purchased my first Barbara Walker book recently, and it arrived in the mail today. Having been an avid knit-blog reader for years, I'm well-aware of who Barbara Walker is in the knitting world, and have made at least one thing derived from one of her patterns. So imagine my confusion/amusement when I accidentally bought one of her books without noticing it. It took Amazon's handy suggestion feature, as well as a trip to Wikipedia to confirm, before I accepted it.

The book? Feminist Fairy Tales. Nothing (externally anyways) that has the least to do with knitting. This isn't so much a thesis-intended book, as one I came across in my readings that seemed worth checking out as a "for fun" book. 'Cause, you know, nothing to do with my thesis whatsoever, fairy tales and feminism...

I finished a pair of mitts for my grandmother. While she was out here for my little sister's graduation, she noticed I was wearing a pair of garter stitch mitts and suggested something similar would be good for her arthritis. I've been starting and restarting a pair for her for a couple months, and finally just went (impending departure is a good motivator, apparently.) I settled on the Nalu mitts, done with Rowan Tweed DK. I'd like it if they were softer, but haven't washed them yet, so that may help. I wanted to finish them before tomorrow, since I'm going down to my parents' house for the last time before I go. This way, I don't have to be responsible for getting the mitts to my grandmother.

Because I go soon (12 days), I realized that there are various things I wanted to make before I go. The mitts were one, but I also make a pair for DB each year because he's SO hard on them. I know I'll never EVER knit him a sweater or socks, so mitts let me express my knitterly affections without hating him and whatever it is I'd make for him. The first Christmas we were together, I made him a pair of convertible mittens that he never wears because they're "too hot," so no more fingers for him. But his hands are so big that I could fit both of mine into ONE of the mittens I made for him, but he still stretches them out when he wears them.

So my current project is making the second and third of Queen City mitts for him. I doubt I'll have any problem getting them done before I go, at the rate I've been doing mitts.Link