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I'm leaving tomorrow for North Carolina! It's the first baby step in the trip that will end with Martin and I being MARRIED!

To celebrate, I'm going to take a page out of Emily's book and start a new blog, on a non-LJ site. Sort of like a fresh start kind of dealio. I have a lot of blogs, it seems, and I keep up with none of them. But perhaps my fresh start will inspire me. I think I'll kick it off after I'm married. :)

Everyone keeps asking if I'm excited and the answer is: yes. Period. But also very, very nervous. Not nervous about getting married to Martin, but more nervous about standing in front of approximately 110 people. I have dreams about crying ... or laughing hysterically out of embarrassment ... or radiating enough heat to turn as red as a watermelon ... or all of the above.

I am not sure how the timeline of our wedding will even work out! Martin and I aren't doing a lot of traditional things you'd see at weddings ... like having a wedding cake. Or a first dance. We'll still have desserts and dancing, but none that say "NOW look at us!" Will that affect the flow of a wedding? Will people be confused when we hand them raspberry sorbet as they ask where the somewhat-dry cake is?

Now that it's only 2 weeks away, all sorts of doubts are hitting me as to the decisions I've picked. Everything is always pieced together based on things you like ... what if the pieces don't work well together? It's sort of like having a huge band, each instrument clamoring for your attention. That's what I worry about. Will everything not make sense when added up to make a whole?

Every time I start to worry, I've been trying to take comfort in the things I have no doubts about:How wonderful and supportive our wedding party has been. How yellow and gray (my favorite color combination!) plays a big role. How excited I am about the food our caterer is serving. How, even if everything is freaking-awful at the wedding, I'll still have a fabulous end result: marriage to a wonderful, amazing man!

But I still hope people won't find our wedding a disappointing event!

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I talked to my dad the other day and he said that my uncle's chemo has been successful. YAY! :) His health has improved enough where he can once again eat solid food and has even gone back to work, which my dad said has been a great morale booster for him, since he's once again around familiar faces.

Also, Grease 2 is on Hulu. I am totally watching this and channeling my childhood.

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HEY guess what. After almost 2 years in our first place in California, Martin and I moved! It wasn't much of a move, considering our new place is a mile from our old place (so says Google Maps!). There are some things I miss about our old place but lots I like about our new place!

For example:
1- Our kitchen sink actually has water pressure now! And our sink is bigger. Dishes can now be cleaned with ease, weeee.

2- Our washer / dryer capacity is omg huge. No more washing three shirts at a time, no siree. Perhaps I will create a new sport? Speed washing.

3- There is more light, for the most part. It's probably just the sunlight we get is bouncing off the MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF WHITE that is present in our apartment. Either way, I'm lovin' it.

4- Shelves in the closet. What a novel idea. I can finally fit Martin's endless collection of free t-shirts in manageable piles!

5- Kitchen appliances not from the 70's! You can actually now see the back of the fridge, thanks to the magic of DRAWERS.

6- We now live right on Mountain View's downtown strip. Coffee! And pizza! Before I can blink, if I so choose. (Oh. One day, I will CHOOSE).

And this is just what I can think of off the top of my head! True, we sacrificed closet space and my little toes freeze in the morning thanks to the hard, unforgiving tile in the hall and kitchen.

It's the little things that keep you goin'.

Oh, also I found out there's a Papa Johns right around the corner from our new place. Of course, this is completely unrelated to our new location but yay! They were always my favorite chain pizza place and for some reason, I thought they were out in the middle of nowhere (Santa Clara - ha!) with no delivery options. Turns out, they were < 2 miles from me this whole time. What pizza should I get first? Should I get it tonight? Or fro-yo? Decisions.

Also, this is unrelated as well, but I had been using a laundry detergent that touted itself as extremely eco-friendly, which I think is why I picked it even though it was way expensive compared to other detergent. I happened to be reading online that it doesn't get your whites very white. I looked at my whites and thought they looked rather fine. I mean, they were certainly whiter than, say, blue, right? Or this beige-y color I compared it to.

Then - ohmydear then - I ran out and hastily grabbed some random detergent from the grocery store that definitely did not tout itself as extremely eco-friendly. And guess what - it makes a difference. Oh, my, does it. My whites are now sparkling. The difference is clear - eco-friendly is awesome until you realize all your whites are an off-tan. Ecru, if you will.

So I guess that's been my first update in awhile. Did I make it worth it? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

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I am currently in North Carolina, sitting in my parents' bonus room watching Beauty and the Beast. I really like it when people spontaneously burst into song.

My cousins, aunt and uncle left earlier today. It was a reunion, of sorts, though the reason for the get-together was very sad. Recently, my uncle was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and the outlook the doctor gave was very, very grim. When I found out, I started crying and couldn't stop for a long time. I felt devastated. I think it was a combination of things. I felt helpless, stuck clear across the country from my family. It made me wonder how I would react if something like this had happened to my parents. I hated the thought of being so far from them, if something were to happen. And I could hear how torn up my father was. It's never a good feeling to hear your own parents crying.

Everything is a lot better now, though. They've started doing research and there is hope that it's not as grim as the doctor first thought. And it's served as a wake-up call of sorts to my parents, who were never into proactive checkups. I hope only good comes of this. I hope my uncle gets better. He can't really eat and he is so thin now. I feel like I am firmly entrenched in denial now. He will get better because he HAS to get better, no other option. I can't imagine any other outcome at this point.

So, that is why I am in North Carolina now. I haven't seen my cousin in a couple of years, at least, so it was nice to see them, though we've never been particularly close so conversation sometimes became stilted. And it's always nice to see my parents and be back in North Carolina.
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    pensive pensive

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This past weekend, Martin and I went up to Tahoe with a large group of people. I'm never a fan of the cold and even less of the idea of hurtling myself down the side of a downward sloping mountain on a device designed to move you over snow as quickly as possible, but I had a great time learning how to cross-country ski with Martin. The verdict: it's hard. And it makes you very sore the next day.

I wasn't able to make eight dishes for dinner, on either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, like my mom was insisting. That'll be something for this weekend, hopefully, if I can even think of eight separate dishes to make.

On Monday, I was summoned for jury duty, it was my first time ever. I walked into the room and sat down. Then they announced that the case I was assigned to had settled, and I was free to go. Yay! Easiest jury duty, ever.

Current song stuck in my head: Poprocks and Coke, by Green Day.

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Upon entering HR Block to start filling out my taxes, I was greeted with this somewhat silly message:

I also googled "assosiated" to see if that was an acceptable spelling of the word (sort of like color versus the British colour). So far, this does not appear to be the case.

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This was my favorite dance routine from So You Think You Can Dance:

I found it again on YouTube and it put a big ol' silly grin on my face all over.

And this is the song I have stuck in my head: Bang! Bang! by the Knux. I know, I know, as always, I'm 8 months behind everyone, music-wise.


When I look back at 2008, I will think:

- This is the year Martin and I got engaged!!!
- The election sure was interesting. To say the least. The very very very least.
- So many weddings and engagements! Amour ... is in the air!
- I traveled to Austin, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma for the first time. They were all great!
- Martin graduated! So proud of him. :)
- I turned 25, now officially closer to 30 than 20. So old.

There is probably so much I'm forgetting too. :) I am thankful as always for my family and friends.

Even though so much happened in 2008, I am so excited for 2009 because Martin and I are getting MARRIED! Yes, we just put down the deposit on Duke Gardens so everything is hunky-dory official. After we get married, everything will be so nicely spaced out:

April - Martin's birthday
July - Melanie's birthday
September - <3 anniversary <3
December - HOLIDAYS!

So you see? Nothing will ever get overlooked because each gets its own distinct month!

Also, in April, we are going to Hawaii, which I am super excited about. I've always wanted to go. We're going to Kauai, otherwise known as the Garden Island. It promises to be not too touristy and very scenic. I can't wait! If you've been, please share your must-sees. :)

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I use Twitter now. Here I am! I didn't think I'd get into Twitter, but I did. I think it's because my entries here were just a bunch of random thoughts, all pushed together. But Twitter lets me post them quickly, without feeling inadequate for only having a small update. I have since learned I have a lot of random thoughts and observations. I don't even post them all on Twitter either (thankfully for most, I am sure).

Wedding planning appears to be going swimmingly!

I am having a great time being back on the East Coast. If you are in NC, let's meet up!