One More Week!

Things have gotten pretty hectic in the Schmal-McCarthy household, as we're a mere week away from our wedding. At the same time that we're taking care of all the final details [table charts, safety pins, and um...our vows], Becky is racing to finish an online statistics course before her start at NYU Nursing shortly after our wedding, and I'm in the midst of registering at Kingsborough Community College, to take the prerequisite history survey I need for my applications to Masters programs in the spring. Goodness, I just got anxious typing that. Maggie and Summer don't seem to notice or mind the pacing- both are relaxing on the floor next to me as I type. If only they knew of my plans to send them to classes in place of Becky and me, they'd be a more concerned.

Beards, Fried Chicken and Big Buck Hunter

Last weekend, a collapsed bachelor's camping trip lead to a successful bachelor dinner at Sidecar, a delicious and laid-back spot in the South Slope that appeared shortly before I moved in North with Bec. There were 8 of us, and though I didn't anticipate any challenge since we're a well-behaved cohort, I feel like the staff there took care of us
pretty well. My Cousin Ethan who couldn't make it due to the confluence of his wife Rachel's pregnancy, their move into their first house, and well...living 5 hours away, called in ahead of time and bought us two bottles of champagne. Very cool, E. I had fried chicken that was pretty great and was possibly overshadowed by its own side, kale with thick cut bacon chunks in it. Oh - and we also had some oysters to start things, and they were delicious and very fresh. Seth: way to be a mensch and try 'em for the first time. Oysters are somehow spectacular and spectacularly ordinary at the same time, in my opinion, but man alive I love 'e
m in the summer. A girl came over to our booth with a camera and asked to take our picture* for some Italian blog on American culture. All but one of us had a beard, as is the style of the time, I suppose. After Side car we went to Buttermilk, the bar I used to go to when I lived around there. It was a nice adieu to my bachelorhood: standing in a cluster of my male friends and feeding dollars into the Big Buck Hunter game which I'm pretty nimble on. I shot several trophy Bucks over the course of the evening, but couldn't fit them on Chris's scooter when he gave me a ride home.

*if said indiv. reads this post, please contact with picture or address of fake blog, thank you


Marriage = Conversational Lode

As a dog owner living next to Prospect Park, there's a category of acquaintance — dog owners whom I see 3 or 4 times a week, chat with, but still do not know their names. They are called Luna-mom, Bella-mom, Shep-dad, etc. I've noticed that these acquaintances and other small-talk candidates, have for the most part a very genuinely enthusiastic response to the news of me and Bec's engagement. It's absolutely cool to be on the receiving end of this, and it surprises me every time. I mean, most people get married, right? And I don't think I carry myself in such a way that news of my impending wedding makes others pat me on the back in any sort of success-despite-overwhelming-odds manner. But when I tell them I'm getting married soon, they almost all get really bright-eyed and ask a bunch of questions about the wedding. When I talked about it with Bec, she suggested that others' experience and hopes and memories play into their response, which I think must be the case. And this notion is really cool, because added to the excitement of marrying the girl I love, is the suggestion that while we're entering the biggest day of our lives as a couple, we're also joining on to a giant Jungian bunny-hop, with...well, everyone!


Balrog, Orthanc, Lothlorien and Minas Tirith

The last couple of weeks I've been reading The Lord of the Rings series. I'm just about done with The Two Towers at this point. I'd never read them before, but I was a big fan of the movies, despite little interest in the Fantasy genre, prior. What's really enjoyable, having seen the movies first, is that reading them is simultaneously making me appreciate Tolkein's craft, while also validating Peter Jackson's accomplishments in adapting the story to film. At the same time the reading is providing characters' background and purpose missing from the films due to the sheer amount of material that had to be sifted through, the action sequences make me appreciate the staggering scope and pace with which they were presented in the films even more so. They pass by with little fanfare in the text, and I'm thankful, as opposed to regretful, that I have the film sequences already in my head as a reference.