Aug 24, 2010 Lana commented on Inside the Burning Man VIP Wedding.
I was married in 2001 for somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000, all costs (including the license).
-- Mom and I picked out wedding invites from a local print shop, and my dad took the obligatory engagement photo. Of course, we had to buy stamps.
-- Mom was making a dress, but she got sick, so I borrowed a wedding dress from a friend. The bridesmaid's skirts were made in time, and we bought some sweet little thin white sweaters that were on sale at Target for the tops. The cost of the (unused) wedding dress satin and the bridesmaid's satin was the big cost there.
-- My fiancee worked at a plant nursery, and they cut him a massive deal on the wholesale plants, so that took care of flowers. My fiancee made the bouquet.
-- A friend of my fiancee's was going to catering school, so he offered to take care of the rehearsal dinner and reception snacks as our wedding gift.
-- Music? We mixed a cd on my husband's computer.
-- It was held in our local church (no cost), presided over by our bishop (no cost).
-- A friend volunteered to play the piano during the ceremony as our wedding gift.
-- Rented tuxes, discount for bulk rent.
-- I bought some beads from Shipwreck beads and made necklaces for the bridesmaid gifts.
-- Reception tables were decorated with white church tablecloths, centerpieces were colored glass rocks (bought in bulk from Michael's) put in fishbowls (also bought in bulk from Michael's) with a candle poking out.
-- Wedding cake was a gift from a friend of the family.
-- Two photographers, both friends of the family. One of them wanted to use the photos in his portfolio, and requested that as his payment.

My mom became seriously ill soon after my wedding, and died two years later. The only thing I'm ashamed of, looking back, is that I put off writing the Thank You cards for so long that I never finished them. It was something mom and I had planned to do together, and I kept thinking she was going to get better. Then when I realized she really wasn't, a year was up and I was embarrassed that I'd passed the "etiquette mark" for Thank You cards. I should've sent them then, but I was younger and stupid and figured that nobody would mind that much.

Now it's 9 years later, and it's the only think that brings me a flush of shame when I think of my wedding. All those wonderful people pitching in to make it a beautiful, fun day . . . and I never thanked them in writing. Sure, I thanked them plenty verbally. But never in writing.
Aug 13, 2010 Lana commented on Mission Accomplished! The Stranger Declares Victory in Its War on New York City.
You guys remind me of freshmen entering high school and trying to one-up each other on which middle school is the best. Or people stuck in high school who go to high school reunions and try to justify their lives to people they don't really care about. In short: This is ridiculous and annoying and I'm taking the Slog off my update feed because it's been such a stupid, annoying day.

And you can accuse me of not having a sense of humor if you like -- maybe I don't. I thought the first post or so was funny, but then you kept going and going and it just became pathetic.
Aug 13, 2010 Lana commented on Giraffes > Unicorns! Who's With Me!?.
I don't get the allure of unicorns, even as a mythical beast. They're annoying. If you have to go with a mythical horse, why not the Pegasus? Or Sleipnir? Or a Kelpie? Of course, I'll admit it -- even as a little girl, I always thought unicorns were pretty dumb. I liked dragons better.
Jul 23, 2010 Lana commented on A Brief and (ONLY SEMI-) Dramatized Transcript of the Conversation I Just Had with My Bank.
I switched to a credit union after the following series of events:

My fiance and I were banking at Bank of America in 2001. We had separate accounts, we both just happened to bank at the same bank when we met.

The week after we were married, we go to our local BoA branch and ask if we can open a joint checking account and transfer all funds from both accounts into the shared account. This seems reasonable and even today I'm fairly sure it can be done, but for some reason the teller insisted it couldn't be done because I hadn't changed my driver's license yet. My ID still had my maiden name on it, so even though we showed the teller the marriage certificate and a bunch of other papers proving we were a married couple living together, he said no can do. My last name was different and that's not allowed.

In frustration, my husband and I withdrew all our funds, shutting down the separate accounts, and went to the nearest bank -- U.S. Bank. There, we opened our first joint checking account.

Fast-forward to 2005. I have a horrible habit of liking it when human beings provide customer service, especially when the automatic teller has a grating, robotic voice that doesn't help at all. So I call U.S. Bank one day and speak to a customer service rep in order to find out how much is in our bank account. Customer service rep tells me $13.

I convey this information to my husband when he gets home. He asks, "Are you sure?"

At this point in time, we did not have online banking for our account, because of a small monthly fee charged for said service. So I call up the teller again, just to make super-sure.

We are now negative $33. Wait, what? How did this happen? I demand explanation!

Well, apparently when I called the teller and requested my balance the first time, she told me the balance before she deducted the talking-to-a-human fee ($8). So when I originally picked up the phone, I had $13 in the account. By the time I hung up, I had $5. Then I called back to double check my fickle memory, and was charged another $8, bringing my balance to -$3. And because I was overdrafted, I was charged the $30 overdraft charge.

Yes. I went from $13 to negative $33 because I called my bank.

So we switched to ACU. Free online banking, I can talk to tellers anytime about anything without being charged, and even the overdraft fees are more reasonable.
Jul 19, 2010 Lana commented on Straight Couples Don't Have to Be Monogamous to Be Married or Married to Be Monogamous....
I first ran into non-monogamy in a straight couple. I don't know that many gay people, to be honest, but the 7 or so gay guys I know (up until a few months ago, when I met a gay non-monogamous couple) are single. All the lesbian women I know (6 couples, so 12 women total) are in monogamous relationships. And I met a straight couple in 2007 who've been in a solid non-monogamous relationship for 8+ years.
Jul 15, 2010 Lana commented on Who Do You Write Like?.
I used three different writing samples and got three different results. Oooh, I should try one of my news articles.

Anyway, my results (and the type of writing sample).

1) James Joyce (I used the first page of my book in progress)
2) Stephen King (um, some poetry I wrote. Didn't expect that.)
3) J.D. Salinger (one my blog posts, although a really long comment I left on Komo also brought up this response.)

I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read Joyce or Salinger (keep meaning to get around to it and getting sidetracked by other awesome books), and the King comparison is just . . . odd.
Jul 13, 2010 Lana commented on Mel Gibson Is Mentally Ill.
I wish Tom Cruise would do something like this. You know he has it in him -- if someone would just catch him on tape being a racist, sexist douchebag with abusive tendencies, we'd finally have our hands washed of both Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.
Jul 9, 2010 Lana commented on Rock and Roll Swindle.
Huh. I've always considered myself lucky if I go to a show or club with a $5 cover charge. I consider $10 - $15 to be normal and reasonable.

I'm irritated when it's $15, but I'd only walk away from the door if it was over that. I always bring at least a $20, expecting to have enough for cover charge and one beer.
Jul 9, 2010 Lana commented on Banning Children Pooping at the Farmers Market Versus "Accepting Our Natural Bodies".
It's a style of potty-training. My son didn't potty train until he was almost 4, and I got a ton of flack about it from in-laws and such. As such, by the time he was 18 months, I was researching a lot of different potty-training methods. I ended up switching to cloth diapers (he wore them from 18 m or so until he trained, which saved money if nothing else), but I read about a lot of methods.

My dad recommended punishment ("I threw your brother in a snowbank!"). My mother-in-law insisted that I just wasn't doing it right, and she'd had my husband trained by the time he was 1 yr old. The baby board forums recommended either cloth diapering or "au naturel" training, where the parent leaves the diaper off the child, pays attention to their body signals (squinched face, tightening stomach or arm muscles), and hold them over the sink or a toilet (or a bush, if you're outside) when they need to go.

This is touted as something Native Americans and tribeswomen in Africa do (did?), and is recommended because it's earth-friendly and supposedly promotes bonding with the child. Various informational sites on it also list well-to-do parents of more elite, trendsetting groups who practice this type of potty-training.
Jul 7, 2010 Lana commented on "I live in Maple Valley and it's like a war zone down here for days.".
My kid sister is serving a mission for her church in FL. I just got her once-a-week email today, and she mentioned that quite a few investigators in her area were afraid to go outside on the 4th because it's so common for people to shoot guns in the air where she's at.

These people in Maple Valley are pussies. At least they just have to deal with noise, not lead rain.