Saturday, October 30, 2010

C'est l'Hallowe'en, hey!

(A wee trip down memory lane for those of us educated in Ontario's public school system- Matt Maxwell was a mainstay of our French program.)

We will be attending the annual Hallowe'en party that friends of ours throw tonight. Mat works today, so we are getting off to a late start and jetting down. He is excited to be going to a place where people will recognize his costume. I am excited because I am part of a group costume.

The roommates and I used to do group costumes when we were in school--we did both Star Wars and X-Men themes--but after I moved out, that just sort of...stopped. Last year, I had the best idea for a group theme: we could dress as the characters from Clue. Unfortunately, the H1N1 hit and I had to bail on the party, leaving my poor Miss Scarlet costume to go unworn.

This year, my friend Jessica and I decided to dress as the White and Red Queens from Through the Looking Glass. She had the further idea to make our costumes burlesque themed, and once that happened, the whole thing snowballed: we're being joined by a burlesque Cheshire Cat, as well as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and a straight-thugging White Rabbit. The only thing we lack, funnily enough, is an Alice.

For my costume, I purchased a red and black corset on eBay. I then bought a sewing pattern for a saloon girl costume, and madea bustled skirt in red satin with black lace trimming. (Jess found an online free pattern here but I was unable to wrap my head around how it got put together, so I went with a commercial pattern.) I have stockings, garters, shoes with a t-strap, a lace fan, gloves, and jewelry, as well as a bobbed black wig. It's going to be awesome.

I'm currently working on designing a cloak to wear, since it is flipping SNOWING outside.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Now that we are married, the question of what to do with my name has been a fairly frequent one. I am keeping my name for a variety of different reasons: I like my name; my mother regrets changing hers; I can keep my red and white health card1, etc. Mat has offered to hyphenate his name if I want to do the same. I figure that we can take some time to decide--I can't change anything until we get our marriage certificate, which will be roughly 10-12 weeks after the wedding.

I've been very surprised by how controversial this decision has been. There have been unexpected moments of support (my dad is really pleased that I want to keep my name), but a lot of people have been quite negative about it, like the woman who sold us our marriage license. The latest in this line of people has been a supervisor at our local bank.

We received a couple of cheques as wedding gifts that were made out to Mat and Rhi FrenchLastName, and we went to try to cash them on the weekend. We weren't sure if we'd be able to, but figured that since people get married all the time, the bank would have some kind of contingency in place.

Not so. The bank teller had to get her supervisor, who told us that it was impossible to do anything--even deposit them--without the marriage certificate and change of name documents, and that we would have to go back to our guests and ask them to write us new cheques. "It's only naturally for people to assume that you'll take your husband's name," the supervisor said to me.

But the point, I think (and I did say this at the time) isn't that I don't intend to change my name. Even if I wanted to change it, I couldn't until I had my marriage certificate, which would still take nearly three months, which is an awfully long time not to cash a cheque that someone's written for you. "But at least you'd have the paperwork," sniffed the supervisor, which is also not true, since you have to send away for it all to a processing centre that's 14 hours away.

So I came home and did a little creative googling, and it turns out that there are no formal rules about these things at banks2, and that it seems to depend largely on who you speak to at the bank. Fortunately, I have a friend who works at a different branch of the same bank on the other side of town, and we'll be going to see him later this week.

On the knitting front, I have been picking away at my mother's sweater in hopes of having it finished for Christmas. I also knit a cozy for my teapot out of my very own handspun. It's quite lovely looking, I think. I have also wet finished all of my Targhee handspun, and I'm looking forward to turning it into a hat and mitts soon.

1 Several years ago, the Ontario government decided to switch our plain health cards, which look not unlike a social insurance card, to photo ID health cards. The photo cards (which do not count as a legal form of government ID) have to be renewed with a new photo every five years. The red and white cards have no expiry dates. Every time someone in the medical field sees my card, he or she tells me to guard it with my life.
2 Well, probably there are, but they don't seem to be observed with any consistency

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Would Be Happy Just To Hold The Hands I Love

It's been eleven days now since I got married, and I think that I have finally decompressed enough to actually give a proper write up. The weeks leading up to the event were pretty stressful, as a lot of stuff needed to get done (including my bloody fascinator *and* all of the jewelry for the girls). At the same time, work started to get busier (a trend that has, unfortunately, continued up until the present). Mat made the mistake of saying, about five days before the wedding, that he didn't think planning a wedding was really "all that much work." Let me simply say, for the record, that he's quite lucky that he said that in a public place in front of other people, because if we'd been alone I don't know what I would have done to him.

The day itself was sunny but cold. We had been really worried that it was going to rain, and prevent us from having the ceremony outside. It was grey and overcast early in the morning, but the sun did come out and the rain held off. I was much calmer than I had thought I would be, and everyone kept commenting on that. One of the few advantages to getting married far away from here was that I had to have everything ready before we left on the Thursday, so by the time I arrived at my parents' place, there wasn't anything left to worry about.

Once we arrived at the museum where the ceremony was to take place, we went upstairs to hide out. It was then that the first (of two) almost-bad thing happened: my poor mother fell down the stairs, ass over tea kettle. She tore the skin off of one of her knees and one of her elbows, and she now has a bruise the size of a grapefruit on her arm.1 My poor mum. Her Haruni shawl was beautiful, though.

Outside, we lined up around the side of the building with my friend (and former THSWSNBN boss) Larry, who graciously agreed to pipe us in.


Just as Larry was gearing up to play Paul McCartney's Mull of Kintyre for us, Youngest Sister suddenly realized that she didn't have Mat's ring anymore: it had been in her purse, which was now with one of our cousins in the audience. We had to call off the start of the ceremony so that she could go find it...and then it began.



We were married by a provincial court judge, who was Mat's Boy Scout leader when he was a child.2 We had three readings as part of the ceremony: a Neil Gaiman poem that Mat picked out; a selection from Le Petit Prince, done in both French and English; and a few verses from the Song of Solomon. We wrote our own vows, and Mat either broke down and cried during his or was attacked by a vicious swarm of insects.

Wedding Party

Between the ceremony and the reception, we were able to get a few pictures over at THSWSNBN:

North-west Bastion

At Ste. Marie

The reception went beautifully: the hall looked wonderful, the food was plentiful and delicious, the speeches were funny and brief, and the DJ was excellent. We really could not have asked for anything more.3

Oh, and for those of you who've asked, this was our first dance:

Song for a Winter's Night-Gordon Lightfoot
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1 It has been speculated that she gave herself a mild concussion, but we'll never know--she refused to go to the hospital, saying she would not go to her own ER on the day of her daughter's wedding with a head injury.
2 And also the father of the friend who introduced us.
3 Except for my grandfather to have been there, but at least he is in a safe place now

Sunday, October 10, 2010

To Tide You Over...

Yes, I know I haven't blogged about the wedding yet. I promise that I will soon--I just want to make sure I do it justice.

In the mean time, here is a picture of my fascinator to tide you over. I made it two days before the wedding. Naturally.

Fascinating Fascinator