Category: Cassandra's Earlier Blogs
I'm reading "The Great Influenza" by John M. Barry right now, and it is a remarkable book about the influenza pandemic of 1918. It describes the background of numerous factors that went into the pandemic's occurrence, including the history of medicine in the US, military history, the events of the "Great War" that affected the movement of troops (and therefore the movement of the virus), virology, etc. It's a fascinating account of a virus that affected nearly every family in the US (and worldwide). Roughly half the population became ill, and 10-20% of those who fell ill died. According to the book, approximately 675,000 Americans died from the 1918 flu pandemic, and that was with a third of the population we have today. In current population terms, with ~287 million Americans, that would be equivalent to losing 1,750,000 people to the flu.
Some people fell ill and died remarkably quickly - one man asked for directions in a perfectly normal tone of voice, and then fell over dead. One man got on a streetcar for a three mile trip and while on it, the conductor, driver, and 6 passengers died, and they'd been perfectly normal until moments before they died. He walked the rest of the way home.
I highly recommend "The Great Influenza" - it's a fascinating and frightening read.
We returned last night from 8 days on the road. Ugh. Driving through the Southwest in the middle of July is not what I call a vacation. In fact, it's downright inhuman.
We had a good time, though. We spent only 2 nights in hotels, and then spent the rest of the time with various family members. Gordon and Mom seemed to like each other, which is good. Gordon seems to get along with most anyone, though, so I wasn't too surprised that they liked each other.
Food-wise, I did okay, considering that there's really nothing an O can eat alongside the highways between here and Texarkana, TX. A fair amount of fast food was consumed, and I had heartburn a few times, but civilization is creeping up on even truck stops. A few of them had STARBUCKS in them, so I had my beloved chai tea lattes almost daily during our trip. - It WAS a vacation, after all!
We saw most of my family, and went to a party at my dad's cousin's new house, which was fantastic. It was shaped like a horseshoe, with a pool inside the horseshoe, so you could see the pool from EVERY room. It also had about 5 bedrooms, and the laundry room was bigger than our bedroom! It's a GREAT house. They're going to build a BIG garage to house her husband's classic car collection and other assorted toys. We had a ball playing with kids and eating junk food at the party, and then headed west for home the next day.
So we spent 8 days on the road, averaged 6 hours per day driving, and never slept in the same place two nights in a row. I don't recommend it, but I did get my grandmother's china cabinet home, and my husband and mother finally got to meet, so it was worth it.
I got home from our honeymoon and got sick with some kind of crud as well as conjunctivities, and was flat out in bed for about 10 days, and ended up on antibiotics for only the second time in 12 years. I've been functional since then, but still have not felt like myself and have had a sore throat (and ears and nose) for the last couple of weeks. So I'm still fighting some little buggies. My chiropractor also suspects that I might have picked up a parasite or three in Mexico, so now I'm on ProBerry, Grapefruit Seed Extract, silver water, probiotics, a parasite cleanse and a colon cleanse. Fun stuff! My body is not exactly handling the dosages very well, so I have to ease up on the colon cleanse and parasite stuff and take half the usual dose for now. We'll see how that goes!
Foodwise I'm at 98% compliance now, partly because I'm not eating much at all, and partly because that's all my body seems to want right now. I had my usual protein shake yesterday around 11 am before I went to the gym, and then had a Starbucks soy chai tea latte around 2pm, and a soy strawberry banana yogurt at 5 or so. Lamb, rice, and salad for dinner. We went to see "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" last night and I ate a few dark chocolate M&Ms during the movie. They're better than regular M&Ms, but still have dairy and corn syrup in them, so I'll only eat them if I'm desperate for chocolate.
We got the proofs back from the photographer - they are amazing! We're so glad we went with this photographer! We have an appointment with her week after next to start putting the wedding album together.
Next week we are supposed to head to Texas to pick up my grandmother's china cabinet and to introduce Gordon and my mother to each other.
I am finally recovered enough to be mostly functional today and post about our wedding. No pics yet, though! Gordon hasn't put the pictures on the web page yet - there are a few from various cameras on this website: http://bigred.firemark.net/gallery/ This is also where wedding pictures will be once Gordon gets them posted, so keep checking back!
The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner went off without a hitch, except that my dad didn't make it in - he says Travelocity screwed up his reservations. He made arrangements to fly in on Sunday instead. Two of my uncles and Gordon's aunt made it in, and our wedding party was there, and a couple other friends of the family.
After the rehearsal dinner, Gordon went to Howl at the Moon at Universal Citywalk and kept partying, but I was really tired, so Pam and I went back to our place and got ready for the wedding day. I didn't sleep very well - there was lots racing through my mind and I wondered if we'd handled all the details that needed to be handled.
Sunday morning I woke up and Pam dropped me off at Burke Williams for a massage. I relaxed and used the spa, jacuzzi, etc. and she picked me up about 11:30am to go to the Ebell. www.ebellla.com I had two messages on my cell phone, one from the makeup artist - how do I get there? and one from my dad, whose travel arrangements got screwed up again. He wasn't able to make it to LA after all, and apparently was very angry about it. I was actually very zen about the whole thing, figuring that whoever was supposed to be at the wedding would be at the wedding. My mother decided not to attend at all, and Dad had travel issues. Hhmmmmm. Not sure why neither of my parents were meant to be there, but I was more than okay with it, which surprised Pam. What will be will be, right? I wasn't going to let ANYTHING ruin my wedding day.
We got to the Ebell shortly after noon, and Rachel and Alison were already there and the makeup artist had already started working on one of them, and the hair stylist was working on the other one. The scene in the bridal suite was fun, calm, and quietly busy. Pam and I got the car unloaded and I was at loose ends for a few minutes until my hairstylist could start working on my hair. We got my hair up in rollers and then I was hungry again, so there's a great picture of me with my hair in rollers, no makeup on, chowing down on a chicken leg. Then there's another one of me hair still in rollers, still no makeup, brushing my tongue. I don't have copies of either of them yet, though!
My friend Julie and her mom and husband stopped in at one point to say hello, and it was good to visit with them before the wedding started. My sister EDenise came a little early, too, and she came up to visit, too. My hair and makeup was done by 3:30, and Pam helped me into my dress. I was then sent downstairs to see Gordon for the first time and we took lots of pictures. I got pictures with my uncles, my aunt, my sister, and of course, my groom.
Then we went inside and signed the ketubah, which is the Jewish marriage contract. This is what ours looks like: http://ketubah.com/engine.cfm?i=33&dID=085-003
Gordon and I then had to part ways until the ceremony started. I went upstairs and had a few minutes with EDenise, and then she went to sit in the audience. The assistant wedding coordinator told me to wait until the music (Trumpet Voluntary, on trumpet!) started to descend the staircase. The only moment I was nervous was when I heard that beautiful music start and I realized I had to get down that staircase and ALL eyes would be on me. My only thoughts were about getting down that staircase without tripping. I did have a TINY slip, but no one noticed, and I made it to the altar unscathed.
Gordon looked amazing, and it was wonderful to walk up the aisle and see so many friends and family who were there for us. The ceremony itself was brief and entertaining, which was what we wanted, and Gordon broke the glass, everyone shouted "Mazel Tov!" and we walked up the aisle as husband and wife.
We had some appetizers sent up to the bridal suite, and we cleaned the plate and caught up on the events thus far. Gordon helped me change shoes (ceremony shoes were strappy heels, reception shoes were silver ballet flats!) and then we had to go get more pictures taken. Fortunately, that didn't take long, and we then joined our guests for the cocktail hour.
We went back into the main room, danced our first dances, and then danced the hora. Now, I'd never danced the hora - I'm not Jewish, and had only been to one Jewish wedding, and I don't remember dancing it at that wedding. Let's just say it was a TON of fun, and I got to dance part of it with Booa (which was perfect since she'd said I had to marry Gordon so she could dance the hora at my wedding ). Then I had to sit in my chair and get lifted up above the crowd as they danced around us. Very fun, a little scary!
Dinner was a beet and arugula salad followed by either lamb porterhouse on mashed potatoes or chicken on polenta - either one was delicious! As we ate, they were setting up the chocolate fountain, which was a HUGE hit - Pam's 92 year old grandmother left with chocolate ALL over her mouth! Everyone loved it! I had ONE marshmallow with chocolate on it, and then never got back to that end of the room all night! We had bananas, strawberries, two different kinds of cookies, and marhsmallows with the chocolate fountain. YUM!
Everyone had a GREAT time at the wedding - at one point I looked around and hardly anyone was sitting down - everyone was either on the dance floor or at the chocolate fountain! Even our parents generation - in their 60s and 70s were up and dancing all night!
My favorite moment of the reception was after the speeches, when Bob announced that we had a special guest and asked us to come up to the stage. I asked Gordon if Neil Clark Warren was there - we met through eharmony.com, and our minister is a friend of Neil's and had asked him to come to the wedding for a few minutes, so I thought it was him. Gordon said that he knew what this was, and that wasn't it! A chair was placed in front of the stage, and I was told to sit. Then GORDON got on stage and sang "It Had to Be You" to me! I had tears streaming down my face the entire time - not only was it an incredibly sweet and moving gesture, but my husband can SING! He'd never sung in public before, either!
We wrapped up the evening and arranged for our bags to be put into the cab, and we headed off to the hotel. We get 2 minutes away, and asked the cabbie if our bags were in the back. They weren't, so we went BACK to the Ebell to find our bags, which had been put in the limo that Gordon's mom and sisters were taking back to the house. Oops. Wrong car, guys! Then we went to the hotel and ordered room service because we were both starving!
Literally. Not figuratively.
Gordon and I spent 13 days at Club Med Cancun, and had a marvelous time. I’ll post lots more in a few days, but we both came home with some kind of crud and both have a fever. I’m only posting now because I can’t sleep. I seem to be a couple of days behind Gordon in my symptoms, but my temperature started climbing in the last couple of hours. He’s got a temp of 101. Ugh.
I’ll also post a link to a wedding web page with tons of photos of the wedding day. It should be up in the next week or so – once one or both of us feels well enough to put it together and get some photos up there.
I will say right now that we both ate everything we wanted regardless of whether or not it was BTD appropriate, and we enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. Did fun touristy stuff, too. I will elaborate more when we recover.
PS – My grandmother is still hanging in there, and they are talking of releasing her to the assisted living place (at a higher level of care than she needed before). Remarkable!