Guest List Folly

Wedding planning is hard. Guest lists are hard. Budgeting is hard.

I wish I could just skip the reception, just have the ceremony and say “Thanks for coming. Peace out.” Inviting people, or not inviting people, is such a touchy thing. Of the people I wanted to invite, I couldn’t invite half of them. Some got really upset and two ended our already-rocky friendships.

There are family members that simply didn’t make the cut and there’s been a lot of unnecessary uproar about that. What part of “My Day” do people not understand? I invited who I wanted there, who I felt would be part of our lives. A cousin I’m not close with shouldn’t get a spot on the list ahead of someone I’ve been close with for 12 years. Am I crazy in thinking that? Her mum is now saying that if her daughter can’t come, she won’t come.

Now, I haven’t asked for this. Her choice to not come is entirely on her and I refuse to accept responsibility for a choice I did not ask her to make. Apparently, this is an issue I need to fix; however, I simply don’t agree.

Honestly, it’d be easier to just nix the reception and just have a BBQ after our honeymoon. I’m beyond done with all this drama surrounding my damn day.





Wikipedia, Meet Your Match

Birthdays are great, aren’t they? You get to see your friends, they bring you presents or beer (or both!) and you get pie! If you’re not related to me, you probably get cake. I don’t like cake. The band is pretty cool, but the food is dry with icky icing. Since it’s someone’s birthday everyday, I’ve taken to posting these birthdays on Facebook. No more. I’m just going to post a bunch here to get it out of my system. I can’t help it — I love trivia!

    13 April

1519: Catherine de’Medici, great-granddaughter of Lorenzo de’Medici (one of my favourite Italians) & wife of Henry II of France. Died 1589, 70 yrs.

1570: Guy Fawkes, British would-be executioner of the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605. The plan was to detonate gunpowder below the Parliament buildings to kill King James VI (the British call him King James I, but he was Scottish and we’d had a few Jameses before him, hence the VI. So… most documents refer to him as King James I & VI. So stupid). Guy Fawkes’ face appears in V for Vendetta as V’s mask and his name is the inspiration for referring to a man as a “guy”. 5 November is Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night in Great Britain. Died 31 January 1606, 35 yrs.

1743: Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Died 1826, 83yrs.

1866: Butch Cassidy, my favourite outlaw. Born Robert LeRoy Parker in Beaver, Utah, Butch was the leader of the Hole in the Wall Gang and member of The Wild Bunch. He robbed trains for a living with his fellow gang-member and friend, The Sundance Kid (born Harry Longbaugh). He was delightfully portrayed in 1969’s semi-fictional biographical film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, by the incredibly blue-eyed Paul Newman who starred alongside Robert Redford as Sundance. The two fled south to Bolivia where they are believed to have been killed in a robbery-related shootout with Bolivian police. He was immortalized again in late 2008, when I named my computer “Butch Cassidy”. Died 1908, 42yrs.

1885: Georg (György) Lukács, Hungarian Marxist philosopher named, for all intents and purposes, George Lucas. I thought it was fun…? Anyway, he looks nothing like the director. In fact, I think I know where George Lucas got all his chins from — Georg Lukács! Died 1971, 86yrs.

1899: Alfred Mosher Butts, American architect and inventor of Scrabble!! Unfortunate name, though. Died 1993, 94yrs.

1931: Jon Stone, creator of Sesame Street! Died 1997, 66yrs.

1950: Ron Perlman, actor. He played Hellboy, enough said. This one’s still kickin’, clocking in at 60 yrs old.

1974: Sergei Gonchar, Russian hockey player. Currently plays defence for the Pittsburgh Penguins. You know how much I love the Penguins…! Clearly, still alive, at 36 yrs old.

1975: Lou Bega. Yeah, Lou Bega. You remember him, his white suit and Mambo Number Five! This German-born singer is 35 today.

1976: Jonathan Brandis, that kid from Neverending Story II. Well, he became a director and screenwriter after that, and guest-starring in lots of shows I’ve never heard of. Then he kinda hung himself. Not so fun. Died 2003, 27 yrs.

On that note… Who died today in history? Let’s take a look….

814: Krum of Bulgaria. I’ve no clue who this is, but his name is Krum and he’s from Bulgaria, so clearly he’s from Harry Potter.

He’s the only “person of note” that I “noted”, so let’s move onto tomorrow, shall we?? Historic Events, here we go!!

    14 April

966: Christianization of Poland!

1775: Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush establish the first abolition society in North America. The “Society For The Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage” raised awareness in Philadelphia, PA.

1828: Noah Webster copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary. Back then, “muggle” and “bootylicious” were not entries.

1831: Soldiers marching on a bridge in Manchester, England, cause it to collapse. Ohhh, Manchester!

1849: Hungary declares itself independent from Austria.

1865: President Abraham Lincoln is shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC only six days after the surrender of the Confederate army. He was the first president to be assassinated. No, Mary Todd Lincoln did not enjoy her viewing of Our American Cousin that evening. Lincoln was succeeded in the White House by Vice President Andrew Johnson.

1912: RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the northern Atlantic at 11:40pm. I could go on forever about this beautiful ship, but I’ll keep it short and simply say that she sank in the early hours of 15 April and took 1,517 souls with her. To this day, it continues to draw treasure hunters, writers and the historically-curious.

1927: Swedish engineers introduce the first Volvo in Gothenburg, Sweden.

1958: Russian satellite Sputnik II falls from orbit after 162 days.

1969: The Academy awards the 1968 Oscar for Best Actress to both Katharine Hepburn (The Lion In Winter) and Barbara Streisand (Funny Girl).

1999: The Human Genome Project is completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced, to an accuracy of 99.99%. A genome is what’s inside DNA; it tells our DNA to give us blue eyes over brown, red hair over blonde, etc. I think. Anyway, finally sequencing it is a huge deal in the Land of Science.

Birthdays, yaaaay! Bring on the party hats!

1866: Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher. Died 1936, 70yrs.

1941: Julie Christie, actress. You guys all know her, she was Brad Pitt’s mum in Troy; Kate Winslet’s mother, Madame Emma du Maurier, in Finding Neverland; and Madam Rosemerta in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She’s been in loads of other films — she was HUGE in the 60s — but that’s pretty much all our generation would know. More recently, she starred in Away From Her, a Canadian film that garnered much attention and many awards (including Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay). Born in Chabua, Assam, British India, Julie Christie is now an exceptionally beautiful 68 years old.

1951: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s little brother. I call him this, not Julian, because it is hilarious that this is how people probably refer to him, despite his being a very accomplished and renowned cellist. Happy birthday, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s little brother! You are 59.

1977: Sarah Michelle Gellar. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is 33.

1980: Win Butler of the Canadian/American delight, Arcade Fire, is 30.

1996: Abigail Breslin, everyone’s favourite child actor. You know this adorable kid from film’s Little Miss Sunshine, No Reservations, Definitely, Maybe, and My Sister’s Keeper, and TV’s NCIS (season 2, ep. 1), and Grey’s Anatomy (season 3, ep. 3). This talented young lady is a whopping 14 years old!

Time to call Death down to the disco… (that’d make sense if you’ve seen the t-shirt I bought my brother for Christmas)

1578: James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell (b. 1534), “consort” to Mary, Queen of Scots. I quite like her… but what’s a “consort”? It’s what royalty call their spouses. It’s stupid, I know. Anyhow, Hepburn died in Denmark, where he was imprisoned by King Frederick II for one-night-stand-ing some Dano-Norwegian noblewoman one too many times. He was 44.

1759: George Frideric Handel (b. 1685), German composer. He died at 74 years old.

1941: Guillermo Kahlo (b. 1871), father of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, 70yrs.

1995: Burl Ives (b. 1909), the narrator from the 1960s Christmas film, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the one with the “Island of Misfit Toys” and that yeti. And Yukon Cornelius, the miner looking for “goooooooooold” and “siiiiiiiiiilverrrrrrrrrrr!”. Burl Ives is the one who sings that infernal “Silver and Gold” song, along with the rest of the songs in that movie. Why do we love it so? It’s disturbing, when you really look at it. Anyway, he was once accused of being a Communist in the 50s and that’s probably why he ended up being the snowman in Rudolph. He was 85.

Can you tell I get bored? But seriously, this is what I get excited about.

Another Microsoft Mishap

Recently, an 11-year-old boy was featured on the Q13 Fox news in Seattle because XboxLIVE has branded him a cheater.

He is autistic.

According to this article and the aforementioned Seattle news station (which is not to be confused with Fox News — this station reports on real things with real facts), this child was too adept at their games, which raised red flags at Microsoft, Xbox’s parent company. He is often able to master games in as little as three days. Convinced the boy was using “external aid”, XboxLIVE administrators tagged him. Like in real life, no one in the gaming community wants to have to play with someone an authority figure has marked a cheater. They have effectively cut off the only stable connection to our society this boy has.

Autism affects how nerves and synapses connect in the brain, altering thought processes, social capability, comprehension, and, in many cases, verbal abilities. Those with the disorder display repetitive behaviours, which can develop into skills used to excel in certain areas. Video games are an excellent example. The continual pressing of buttons appeals to their need for repetition and tapping out the combinations becomes a calming rhythm. Something like XboxLIVE opens a door, socially-speaking, into a world where the players interact with each other without visual contact or required conversation. This kind of setup is perfect for any autistic person like this child – he can interact with other people without being made uncomfortable and within the four walls of his home.

Now, Microsoft has made it nearly impossible for this boy to connect with anyone. His mother has contacted the company about the situation and their reply (all three replies, actually) was no better than an automated email. The short version is that they won’t remove the label, which shows up below his username on his gamer card online and in game forums. Administration claims this won’t affect his gaming experience because he is still able to play.

As someone with a neuro-developmental disorder (call it a learning disability if you have to — but I learn just fine), I am absolutely infuriated with Microsoft’s handling of this situation! As a human being in general, I’m shocked and appalled. The word “heartless” comes to mind, actually. The Live Team’s reply to the child’s mother implied that they couldn’t remove the “Cheater” stamp on his profile or restore his previous scores. Really?! This is Microsoft we’re talking about. An international, multi-billion dollar corporation. How can they NOT remove the label? Can they not find the “reverse label” button? Oh, wait, if it were that simple, they’d be using a Mac operating system. The admin team probably can’t find the right function in the program because it’s hidden in irrelevant menus. As for the little boy’s scores, the information has to be stored somewhere, so it’s not like they lost it. Again… Microsoft. They have backups of their backups. Those backups have backups. Their systems probably autosave every few minutes. They built the technology, so why not?

Treating a unique case such as this like it were “just another situation” is just plain gross. This kid can’t integrate socially, and XboxLIVE is putting up a roadblock on the only path he has to society. And it’s all because they refuse to, as the article puts it, “negotiate with cheaters”. Who do they think they are, the US State Department? This isn’t an act of terrorism we’re talking about here. It’s a very plain and clear case of wrongful classification. Obviously an autistic child isn’t cheating at video games, so you can relax, Xbox. Cheating is probably something that would drive him into a tantrum-like frenzy — his way of saying he disagrees with what’s happening because it doesn’t follow what he perceives to be the correct way, or his recognised way, of doing things.

In today’s world, it’s so easy for corporations such as Microsoft or Telus to treat our situations and issues with a black-and-white frame of mind. You either have problem A or problem B, which can be solved by solution 1, 2 or 3. If your issue, request or inquiry doesn’t fit into their cookie cutter, any resolution becomes a thing of dreams. Problem C has no solution; it’s not one of our choices on our automated menu. Forget talking to a real person who can listen to you and assess your situation. Unique circumstances need not apply. Machines are efficient, yes, but lack empathy and the ability to think outside the box. Give them an un-programed third option and their system shuts down, becoming useless and infuriating. Think of the last time you tried telling the Telus voice menu that your mobile doesn’t work and you don’t know why. Did it say “That must be frustrating! Let’s see if we can’t fix that for you.”? NO! It probably said “I’m sorry. Did you say ‘TV and Internet Bundling?”. Best part of my day, let me tell you.

But for Microsoft and Xbox to continue such a detrimental action is yet another ding on the warped car door that is their reputation. They’re claiming the labeling is to keep the XboxLIVE community “fun” for everyone. And everyone loves a hypocrite, am I right?

What a freaking joke. No wonder I’m a Mac.

Movie Remakes & Adaptations

He Said/She Said had a post about movie remakes, specifically about the new Karate Kid (in which the Chinese Jackie Chan teaches kung fu to Will Smith’s kid), and in a “What If” moment, asked “Would there be an uproar from our parents’ generation if some jackass in Hollywood announced a new Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid starring Nicolas Cage and Ashton Kucher?”

If they remake Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (especially with Nicolas Cage & Ashton Kutcher), there will be mass casualties. On set. Never again would Nic Cage attempt to woo us with his uni-expression and so-called talent. The man hasn’t been truly decent in anything since Moonstruck in 1987. I mean, really?! What would they be THINKING?! You don’t mess with the wonderous chemistry that exists between Paul Newman and Robert Redford! There are few better ways to make me angry, world.

Promise me this will never, ever happen.

The Goonies is another one. Josh Brolin, Sean Astin… that Asian kid, the Fat Kid… Too much epicness to change it! You couldn’t get that kind of goodness from today’s films.

Almost Done October…

So, nothing’s happened this month, really. Still sleeping poorly. So… that’s not good.

I’ve been diagnosed with “severe depression and matching anxiety,” which explains why I can’t go to class. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t make myself walk to that classroom and I’ve no idea why. I’m going to fail that damn class if I don’t get over myself and just GO ALREADY!

I’m knitting/crocheting everyone’s gifts this year. If you’re my family and have discovered this by some unhappy accident… SPOILER ALERT!

Mum’s getting an iPod cover, my brother’s getting a wristband with kick-ass buttons, Dad & my aunt are getting scarves & my grandparents are getting potholders. Now I have to think of what to make my paternal cousins & grandparents… last year, we gave everyone photos of Michael & I that I had photoshopped. They were AMAZING!!

New topic: I’ve had enough with being single. Can somebody find me a non-socially awkward nerd who can fix my computer, appreciate my quirks and love for lego, hockey, Battlestar Galactica, cheesy music, and making strange faces/speaking in strange voices? I want to marry this man and bear his children.

That said… end scene.

Sleepy Confusion!

I woke up this morning to find that I had missed my 9am interview and I had 20 mins to get up, be hygenic, dress and eat before my 1pm class started.

I jumped out of bed and ambled upstairs to the kitchen, only to find that the lights I left on for my aunt were still on. I looked outside the door and saw that it was dark out.

I went back down to my room, found my phone and was made aware — finally — that it was quarter to one in the morning. My interview was 8 hours away and my class was in 12. I was so sure that it was noon that I even called the store my interview was at and wondered why the hell they weren’t answering… I thought it was either busy in there or it was a communal lunch.

I couldn’t fall back to sleep on my own, so I threw on some NCIS and then my speakers’ batteries died.

“That’s a great story, Linds. You should tell it again sometime!”