EMWed 2007

This is the semi-secret behind the scenes blog for the Eric Whitmore and Mikaela Renz wedding in Albuquerque, September 29th.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Umea Approaches

Anyone out there?

Been a good and crazy busy time... Moved into the new place back in October (I keep thinking it was September), and finally had a housewarming/baby welcome event a week and a half ago.

"Baby welcome"? That's right, and if you're only hearing that now, we apologize.

We're at 38 weeks now, with an expected arrival date for Umea of 30 March, but she could come any time.

Umea? Yes, somewhat based on the Swedish City of a similar name -- we liked the sound, the connection with place and the loose connection with my family heritage.

We've been very lucky, Mikaela's been great (and not too much discomfort), and the baby's room is looking full, welcoming and very baby room-like. Meanwhile, the car seat is installed, we're somewhat packed, and... waiting nervously.

More to come...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Bigger Boat Event...

While not a wedding or honeymoon related event per se... this did involve a metaphoric boat.

Mikaela now has two new books out, editing both "De Veras" and "A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene" for UNM Press.

Check out the publication event for A Bigger Boat below...

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Transportation: The New Word in Sexy Honeymoon Style

Our other theme, lest you think we're having a horrible time, is transportation. We didn't really set out with this intention. Our focus was more narrow: we thought only of trains.

Day 2 in Vancouver, however, we woke up not quite knowing what we would do that day, where we would go, or how we'd get there. We wandered to the concierge desk and asked where we could go for a day trip by ferry. Our fleeting thoughts of Vancouver Island vanished with the words "3 hour one-way." We latched on to a closer day trip by ferry to a place called Bowen Island, which necessitated an hour-long bus trip and 20-minute ferry ride, with stunningly beautiful views during both.

Now we've taken plains, trains, busses, and ferries. And walked all over Vancouver (some of it intentionally). Today is more walking, potentially more buses, a sky train, and one locomotive heading east. Other than the coffee (and the food, which has also been not so stellar), not a bad trip!

Bad Coffee

Of course, one of the reasons to visit the northwest is the coffee. It's a little unbelievable, but absolutely true that Starbucks has a shop every block or so. But since Mikaela and I are responsible people, we refuse to go (especially when I'm with her).

Sadly though, the less than palatable coffee we've been drinking has become kind of a theme. (And since it's real early as I write this, I'm thinking about popping into the Starbucks that is, you guessed it, right across the street.)

Seattle's Best Coffee
Admittedly, we were in the Denver airport. Perhaps that's why this bitter rough edged cup was the way that it was (I'm writing about the coffee, not the cup). Barely drinkable.

In the hotel in Seattle, and early, we made a small pot from one of those ubiquitous coffee pouches. Aren't they kind of wonderful? If you're going to use a disposable filter, these are very handy, and... some folks know I'm incapable of measuring coffee. So, what's the downside (I'm sure there is one)?

This was almost acceptable, but the powdered creamer is never really satisfying. It seemed okay, though, because we were headed for a coffee shop by the train station we'd scoped out the night before to make sure it would be open before our departure...

What a cool looking coffee shop -- Nice Branding! Ideally located, in a great building with stylish decor, rough and functional. No credit cards, though, which causes a scramble to find a pre-packed wallet.

The pastries look delicious, but I'm hankering for a real bagel (still difficult to find these days in Albuquerque), so I get one. But at Zeitgest, the customers toast the bagels themselves -- swell, in the interest of efficiency and the ability to get the level of toastiness desired. And the fine containers they have for half and half are designed so the center of gravity shifts suddenly when the liquid is finally flowing into one's cup.

A small mess ensues, and we're surrounded by the next wave of customers as we try to doctor and clean up our coffees. Which need a lot of doctoring. My lid doesn't seal properly, leading to another small spill, and the bagels are difficult to remove from the toaster without burning one's hands. (The pre-packaged Philadelphia Cream Cheese too, seems incongruous.)

I barely remember the coffee. Mikaela's was... creamy. Mine, uncreamy. Both smooth to the point of... not really tasting like coffee.

The bagel, though, was really good.

Didn't I say we wouldn't have Starbucks?! But it's hotel room coffee! Yes, our hotel has those little pouches in the rooms, and we had the forethought to get some half and half. Good coffee, really, though barely enough sugar.

Tim Hortons
Okay, you don't go to Tim Hortons for coffee -- or shouldn't. For close to two years I've been pestering Mikaela with tall tales of a mythical donut place north of the border. I'd speak reverently about my personal holy grail of donut eating: Tim Horton's Chocolate Sour Cream donut.

Well... maybe's it's been discontinued. They still have sour cream donuts, and the chocolate donut really is... quite good. There's a strong possibility, I'll be sneaking 40 Timbits or so on the train later today.

The coffee, though... was barely acceptable. Medium Bad Coffee (as opposed to Good Bad coffee, often from a Diner or Bad Good Coffee, from, say, the Flying Star in Nob Hill), but... in the interest of efficiency ("No Worries") they doctor it for you behind the counter -- making it difficult to get more sugar or creamer or something to stir with.

The rapidly spoken pan-Pacific Canadian dialect mixture from the person behind the counter was almost unintelligible to me (with only that small cup of hotel coffee earlier), or I might have said... "light and sweet" or... "six sugars please!"

Mikaela manages to get hers to the almost Good Bad state, and we're off.

As am I... more to come.



Friday, November 9, 2007

Photo Craziness Continues

Alright, people. The flow of photos seems to have stemmed...

So we started a flickr group so that now everyone can upload their own!


Or just send them to me...

Your choice!

Find photos here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/emwed/

You'll need an invitation to join, so I can add you if you request or if you send me your email (or put it in comments).



Monday, November 5, 2007

Story Gift from Mystery Train

Sept. 21, 2007

I’ve been on all of them that let you. The blue ACE, the grey L, the green 456, and the greenish G, which connects different boros. And the others. I’ve seen the ones for repair, for construction, for money, and for garbage. Earlier in the spring, too, when they resurrected old ones to run some of the regular lines, with rotted leather handles and wooden window frames, precarious door locks and clear warnings to prevent leaning here or there. I read all the old graffiti and collected all the fliers. I rode from end to end, dangling from the crusted straps, standing up front with the opened, folding window, and sitting in the rusted train’s deep olive green and aquamarine, patterned, and thinly spaced chairs for thinner passengers. I never used to like public transportation. Now, how special a private car on a public train can be, as much and as different as a uniquely abhorrent or fully populated one.

Yesterday at that small nexus under Atlantic Avenue where almost a dozen of them meet, I noticed a beautiful young woman in unseasonable garments—a bodice and light blue gown with silvery jeweled buttons—and an envelope with a torn wax seal, an invitation perhaps, pinched in her soft white hand. She was definitely anxious. She ambled back and forth across the south wall, killing time with advertisements, but skipping the only two trains serving that track. I, of course, was becoming a bit of a villain, calmly obsessed with her beauty and her nervousness. I had nowhere to go just then, so it was no problem to wait, looking absent-minded leaning against the column.

She noticed me though, and I sensed some annoyance, so I made my way out of her periphery, faking an exit by train, stepping in then out the next door, to behind the column, quiet and narrow like the time I hid and spied that other event, which makes me sick when I think of it. I felt the sickness now, but I’ve learned the beauty of it, no different from growing accustomed to some foreign taste or texture, which can quickly become one’s secret desire days or weeks after being one’s plain disgust. And so my surveillance now incompletely satisfied a desire that did not exist before that first sickness.

She dusted the right edge of a movie poster and dragged the back of her right index finger on its outer edge. She found, I guess, an irregularity with her fingernail, turned her hand, and clawed at the frame. Totally puzzling to me, I was uncertain of her sanity when suddenly the whole poster and frame opened forth like a sidehatch to an attic. And like those wooden stairs you’d expect to descend from the ceiling, an arm of metal and wood extended from behind the hatch, revealing a cobwebbed, irregular panel of dials, lights, buttons, and switches.

With the minorest frown, she made an adjustment and tugged lightly at a choke, turned a dial and pressed a button. She rubbed the lights along the top edge to reveal their colors, and there were two blinking lights, two shades of red. She toggled something between them, turning off one and turning solid, the other.

Just then another train could be heard on approach, and she swiftly packed the movie poster compartment with its controls. When the hatch shut, a puff of dust squeezed out the sides, and she sneezed and smiled.

That train had no passengers and was marked with a dark red disc. She stepped aboard, settled on a seat, and when the doors beeped before shutting, I joined her.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Emwed Pictures

Thanks to my mom, Rob, and Aaron, we've got a substantial number of pictures documenting the weekend that was EMWed 2007!

Take a peek here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjrenz/sets/72057594069775121/

Looking especially for Friday night pictures and actual ceremony pictures from Sat night if anyone has them. And of course, great Volcano disaster pictures always welcome!

In a few years, we will have a hard time believing that actually happened, and that all of you were there to ruin your best outfits (sorry about that!).