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2008-07-24 - 7:07 p.m.

This week has been hectic so far, but productive. On Monday I left work a little after 5pm, drove to Pymble via Homebush and Lane Cove and picked Jo up from the station, before continuing on to Avalon to see a celebrant. We pretty much decided to go with him on the spot (or after we left and had a chance to discuss what we thought). Really my criteria was just someone not too eccentric. This guy was confident, professional, helpful and would sound good on a wedding video. Neither of us saw the point in seeing another couple of celebrants for comparison purposes. The cost of a celebrant compared to the cost of a reception- it's almost insignificant. Photographers on the other matter...

I left work at close to 5.30pm on Tuesday (remember I start at 7.30am), picked Jo up from Sydenham station and continued on to Redfern to see a videographer. Once again I was instantly convinced. I'm not that much of a pushover- we'd seen their website and it was way better than anything else we'd seen (and way more us- none of this groomsmen tying each others' ties in double time and Blair Witch editing). We haven't settled on a photographer yet, so it would make sense to hold off on the videographer in case we find a good photographer/video package, but I'm pretty sure that these guys are exactly what we want, so we're just going to go with it.

Two from two- kind of sets up unrealistic expectations that everything will be that easy. Last night we had a photographer come to us. The photos were great, she was helpful and nice, but there wasn't the instant rapport we felt with the celebrant or the videographers. That wasn't the issue though, it's just that... with video you can sit down and watch for 15 minutes and know that it doesn't matter what else you get shown, you're going to be happy with this; but with photos, you can't really judge one person's work without seeing someone else's for comparison. And we have been told that rapport is very important with photographers, seeing as you spend so much time with them on the day- so I guess if we'd clicked instantly it might have been different. But she was also quite expensive (I mean relatively- all wedding photographers are expensive), so alas, we must get some more frames of reference.

But that was my crazy wedding planning half a week. This Sunday is the Sutherland to Surf (11km Fun Run) and the weather has been so miserable and I've been so exhausted that I haven't had a chance to have a good run in the week leading up, but I went for a short one tonight. The last couple of weeks have been so cold, I've gone running in T-shirt and shorts, and warmed up pretty quickly on the outside, but I think my muscles haven't liked it so much because it's just been that little bit more difficult the last month.

So how about the rest of July? Actually I need to go back to the last day of June to update completely. It was a Monday night after work, and we had dinner at a Spanish Restaurant in the city (Encasa) for my Mum and Dad's birthday, with the whole family including Jo and my sister's boyfriend (my brother's girlfriend lives in Canberra). I got Dad a tie (a nice $50 silk one mind you) as threatened on the way back from work (I mentioned a couple of entries ago that he always asks for boring things like ties and shirts, and I refuse to get them, but this year I thought "bugger it") and made Mum a CD version of a mixed tape I made her 10 years ago (apparently they don't have a working tape player in the house anymore).

Tuesday and Thursday that week I ran- wanting to make up for the week before when I was getting over my cold, and knowing I had to step things up for the Sutherland to Surf, but really, that was as "stepped up" as things got- I ran the following Friday, then last Thursday when I had to stop early (but after stretching ran the rest of the way home, not to be defeated), and then there was my 15 minute effort tonight (though that did contain some half hearted sprinting to make up for the lack of quantity).

Friday (4th July for anyone playing at home) I think we may have had a quiet night at home, but I can't remember for the life of me now. I know the next day was shopping and domesticity before going to my friend Stuart's 30th in Miranda (I've known him since kindergarten). By the end of the night we were playing "guitar hero" in the loungeroom- it was a good night considering Steve was really the only other person Jo and I knew (apart from various family members- who all remembered me given I'd known Stuart longer than anyone else there).

Then Sunday, we had Yum Cha (second week in a row) with Lucy and Nathan, before heading up to the Annandale to see Smudge and others. What a shambolic afternoon/evening that was. I haven't been that drunk in a long time, and it just kind of crept up on me. Smudge were great, they played pretty much everything, and Jo and I found ourselves in a case of Deja Vu finding a nice restaurant on King St that was still open at 10pm on a Sunday to have dinner at, while (at least in my case) being far too drunk to appreciate it properly. The last time we did almost the same thing was after the Newtown Festival, probably 4 years ago (and probably the last time Smudge played at the Annandale). Incidentally I think that Sunday was the last glorious (though mildly chilly) sunny day before the icy weather came to stay.

I don't think Monday (7/7) was anything to speak of, but Tuesday was the Grates at the Sydney Uni Refectory, with Lucy and Phillipa and Richard- and of course those crazy kids who call themselves The Grates, complete with cocktail food. It was the second excellent gig in 3 days- there was always the possibility of "second album syndrome", but all the new songs were great, and I think it had been two years since I'd seen them last, so I enjoyed all the first album songs- they felt in no way dated. And I definitely remember that night was freezing, but it was positively tropical compared to some of the nights we've had since.

I went to ordinary and music Trivia that week- it was just Jo, Mark and I on Wednesday, with Rowan (our movies and pretty much everything other than music and sport expert) overseas, and we went pretty abysmally. Thursday on the other hand it was Mark and Jules, with a cameo from Chris at the end and we came second, and took a share of the $50 jackpot.

Friday I think was again a night in.

Saturday (12/7) there was shopping and housecleaning before we had Kim, Marty, Mark and Phoebe around for "Spicks and Specks", Trivial Pursuit and some psychology game designed by Saatchi and Saatchi (a kind of "how much do you know about your friends" thing). Oh and a fabulous dinner (and bitter chocolate sorbet) cooked by Jo.

Sunday was more hectic than planned. My parents' came around to give us one of the outdoor gas heaters they bought for the Engagement Party (now we're going to need a winter party), we had lunch down the road at Cellini's (the Turkish Cafe), and then raced off to visit Jo's little brother's new flat in Blacktown (and give him the housewarming present we'd bought the day before)- though we felt so rushed that we forgot the main reason we were going (ie the present) and had to turn back at Burwood. We only stayed about an hour, then headed home and I made dinner.

I don't think anything remarkable happened Monday to Thursday last week. Ah, except that work wise I spent the whole week doing Interim Performance Reviews, and that's why I decided not to go to trivia or go running- because for once I didn't want to have a reason to leave work by a particular time, and I did do a few long days. Wednesday I was going to head up to the Rose with Lucy and Meegs, but Jo didn't get home until about 8.30pm and I figured I'd rather spend a night at home with her.

Friday was drinks for Annie's birthday which was... frustrating. Annie didn't want Jo there, Jo wasn't going to go anyway but resented that Annie specifically didn't want her to come, I didn't want Jo to be upset but didn't want to not go and Jo didn't want that either. In the end Jo went out with her old work friends, and I enjoyed myself at Sly Fox Karaoke, but... I wish it was different.

Saturday I met Jo at Kelby's for breakfast after she had gone to get her haircut, we lazed around the house (both a little tired and hungover after our respective nights out), then Jo made me a nice dinner of roasted spatchcock and truffled mash and we had a bottle of Moet to celebrate the officialness of my promotion.

Sunday we had Yum Cha (again :) with my Unifriends- Birch & Frantz, Tara & Tristan (who announced that week that they would be parents in early 2009) and Jules and Dan with baby Thomas. We did groceries in the afternoon and before we knew it, it was Monday again.

So that's (most of) July for you.


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