So I figured I would put in a brief synopsis of the last couple months (and the events which occurred therein) just to make sure everyone is on the same page. I’m pretty sure this is information everyone should already know, but hey–why not do a quick recap just to be certain?

Andy and I are finishing up our final semester at SUNY Albany–him in bio, me in Asian Studies and English–and getting ready for the big adventure ahead. Most people know we’re doing a planned elopement, so we’re finalizing those details (paying for our honeymoon, figuring out who’s going to perform the ceremony, etc., etc.). We’re registered–for those who are feeling particularly generous (since we’re not having an actual wedding, there’s no gift-giving required, but it’s always welcome if you feel so inclined) at Crate & Barrel, and also at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
 
I’ve been asked to do the English commencement speech (I don’t think I’m the Valedictorian–at least, if I am, I haven’t been told so) by the head of the English Honors program at school. This is a little humorous, because I quit the Honors program last semester. Apparently I made a good impression, despite leaving. Andy’s finishing up his last requirements for his bio degree, and his one last requirement for Western States Chiropractic College (Psych. 101).
 
Andy’s been accepted to his top choice for chiropractic schools, WSCC in Portland, Oregon, so that’s where we’ll be heading by late summer. We’re both really looking forward to it, as the Portland area looks absolutely beautiful, and offers both lots of biking opportunities (for Andy), rock climbing gyms and outdoor locations (for the two of us), and has more than a few Chinese/Japanese culture centers with gardens (for me!). It’s also supposed to have a great music scene, which Andy is hoping to spend at least a little time in here and there playing bass. I’ll be trying to get a job out there in order to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads! ^_^ 
 
That’s it for the brief overview of the last few months, but that should get you up to date on the most important developments, anyway.

 
Now, we’re on Spring Break until Sunday, and we’re relaxing for all we’re worth! Andy’s grandparents are up, so we spent the evening at his house yesterday. It was a great visit, and very comfortable. We attempted to burn their old Christmas tree (seems about time, all ready ^_^), which took a lot more effort than we anticipated, but eventually (after a lot of lighter fluid) it went up in a blaze of heat and glory.
 
When I went home, I pretty much got ready for bed and then watched a few episodes of Sex and the City in bed. I’ve never really gotten into the show, but my sister had seasons one and two, so I thought I’d watch it. It’s very fun, though occasionally it makes me depressed. Granted, this is the first season, and I hear it gets better as it goes on.
 
As for today, Andy and I did some of the errands we’ve been meaning to do. We went by the bank(s) and checked our account balances to determine whose card should carry the weight of the honeymoon cost, and then deposited the money Andy’s earned helping my roommate Tracey count newspapers at school. It felt really good to be putting some money in rather than taking it out for once. We’re starting to feel the squeeze of future expenditures, and every purchase is just a little painful.
 
After the banks, we dropped off a letter at the post office for his mother, and then headed over to the Pheasant Lane Mall to look at wedding bands. This is something we’ve been meaning to do for a while, but just haven’t had the time. So we head to Zales first, because that’s where Andy got my wedding ring, so it has symbolic significance. You may not be aware, but having had parents who have run a cart in the mall for a number of months, there is apparently a really fast turn-over of jewelry store employees. As in, they often work at one place, then quit, and go work in another jewelry store (usually within the same mall). As my mother would say, “it’s a cut-throat business.” Well, apparently whatever nice clerk had sold Andy the engagement ring was long gone. The moment we stepped into the store, we knew we were unwanted. You know that look that the people at Toadstool used to give (they have since changed, also, for the better), that “Teenagers Steal Things” look? Yeah. So we moseyed over to the wedding bands and just started looking around at what they had. No big deal. If anything, we figured they’d take us more seriously once we got over to the wedding bands, because we were both there (not just a girl fantasizing about what she’ll want in the future), and I’ve got an engagement ring on. So it should be pretty obvious we’re serious customers. 
 
Well, apparently, the lady didn’t feel that way. She finally came over–begrudgingly–and asked bruskly if we wanted to see anything. We said we weren’t sure, but that we were looking for wedding bands. She pulls out a few and shows them to us–by no means giving us any impression that she thought this was worth her time. She told me that I shouldn’t fuse my engagement ring and my wedding band (though this is what my mother did, and what I still plan to do, for convenience sake and because my mother has never had a problem with her rings) because there would be some occasions where I wouldn’t want to wear my engagement ring. I’m pretty sure I can’t think of any situation where I’d want to wear my wedding band but not my engagement ring. Then, she tried to tell Andy that he really needed two rings, because he’d want a “work ring” and a “dress ring.” Right. Neither of our fathers have ever done anything like that, and they seem plenty happy. Like Andy said afterward, it felt like she was trying to scare us off, knowing we probably couldn’t afford two rings (which is true). Anyway, she finally quotes us the pricing on the two rings we finally sort-of pick out, and warns us that the prices she’s put down aren’t going to stay that way. That’s only for today. Tomorrow they might change, what with the price of gold rising so quickly. And she didn’t do it in that nice salesperson kind of way, where you know it’s a pitch to get you to buy from them today rather than to wait, but they seem like they’re honestly concerned about you not having to pay more than you have to. It was just weird. So by the time we left, we were pretty certain we were not going to get our rings from Zales.
 
So we headed upstairs and stopped by Belden Jewelers. What a breath of fresh air! They were so nice, so personable, and just so helpful. Even if the rings hadn’t been cheaper than they were at Zales, I might have considered buying from them just because they treated us so kindly. It didn’t take too long to pick out the ones we wanted, and it was such a pleasant experience, especially following the catastrophe of earlier. So we got our rings! We’re going to have them sized later, probably towards the summer, since it would be about a week until they came back, and we’ll be back in Albany by then.
 
From the mall, we headed over to Newbury Comics, because I wanted to pick up the new Shiny Toy Guns CD (they just hit me the right way when I was patrolling iTunes for new songs–I liked enough of the songs from their one CD that it felt silly buying just one song from the album when I’d ultimately end up getting the whole thing. So this is a saving money technique… sort of… ^_^). Andy’s been wanting to get a Killswitch Engage CD, and he’s been playing with the idea of getting one of Rush’s CDs, also. So we went to NC, because they always seem to have everything so much cheaper than elsewhere. Andy was only going to get a used KE CD, but then he remembered he had eight dollars in change from cleaning out the car (he got to keep whatever was found), so he ran back in to get the Rush CD. All of this was paid in cash, which means it won’t impact our bank accounts (visibly), which is what we’re basing all our cost estimates off. A little bit of a splurge, but we’ve really reigned ourselves in a lot these past few months (plus we had some $$ from a survey and Andy’s occasional psych. test-subject work at school. XD!). 
 
Now, I’m back home relaxing. Andy had to go pick up his tire from the garage (it went flat, but it went flat at home in the driveway, luckily–not when we were driving home Friday), and I just finished the last episode of Sex and the City: Season One. Junking out on candy from our slight Easter celebration, and updating this blog. ^_^ It’s been a good and productive day!
 
Writing Related:
 
Inbox:
DM Zero Draft–currently at Chapter 9 summary.
 
Not too much else to add under here. I’ve been so swamped with keeping up on school work I haven’t had nearly the kind of time I’d like to work on short stories. I’m just glad I’m getting some writing done, even if it’s only a zero-draft (summary draft). I’m stealing time when I get a chance, anyway. I’m also working on Chapter 15 of “The Thief Dilemma,” but that’s fan-fiction, so I don’t count that as seriously in my “inbox.” That’s just for fun. ^_^ 
 
Outbox:
“The Tinselmaster’s Extended Ten-Day”
 
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