Monday, November 28, 2005

I had the most unusual, and disturbing start to my day today.

It started when I awoke from a nightmare. It's one that I've had a few times before. I'm in a plane, just about to be served a meal by the flight attendant, when all of a sudden the plane goes out of control and does a nosedive. Everyone is screaming, my mouth is wide open...but there is no sound coming out. The strangest part of this dream is that I'm not really afraid, it's like I expect it.
That is how I woke up this morning. (I must look up what the meaning of this is.)
Well, it must have been a premonition of something, I don't know...but I was getting ready for work when I hear this little tap-tap-tap at the front door. I actually thought that I had imagined it, but then The Dutchess was googling at the door so I thought I'd check through the peephole.
It was my neighbour.
I opened the door and her face was all swollen with tears.
Now, a few weeks ago she had called me to let me know that her husband (the same husband who is HIV positive) now has lymphoma, and she wanted me to know in case I saw him in the hall, not to be alarmed.
I can not even begin to tell you how alarmed I was when I saw him at 8:15 this morning.
Never mind that he has lost about 40 pounds since I saw him in September. This is a 45 year old guy who didn't recognize me, but even in his confusion was trying so hard to be polite and not a bother. He thought he was already in the hospital.
I knew that he needed to go to Emerg, but wasn't sure that any of us knew how to get him there. I suggested to call an ambulance, but also knew that that idea would be shot down. Above all, this couple does not want attention drawn to them. I was going to drop Greg off at work, so I thought it would work if we drove them to the hospital on the way. This worked pretty well, except that I misjudged just how weak my neighbour is. His poor knees were buckling so bad that Greg and I practically carried him to the car. Thank god that Greg was there, because otherwise, I'm not sure we would have managed. (What was I thinking???)
We got him to the Emerg safely, and they saw him right away. (Thank god the hospital is only 5 minutes away)
When D called me this afternoon, they had him on a cardiac monitor, had given him blood and oxygen and were admitting him to ICU.
To be honest, I'm not sure he'll be coming home again.

That was an unusual start to the day, wasn't it? But you know what? That's not all...Two minutes after we dropped out neighbours off at the hospital we continued on our way to work...only to see a taxi driver hit a pedestrian as she was crossing the road! Holy crap! Thankfully she was okay and was just shaken up, but all the same, it's disturbing.
And all this before 9 am.

I hope I sleep better tonight.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another Meme

After a weekend of Christmas parties, (I did manage to find an alternative outfit, non-Kirstie Alleyish!) I need something fun and easy to post today. So, from Mar's place, this is a photo meme. Play along if you like!
Find and post Google images (all with copyrights!! all right! ) for the following :

1. The name of the town where you were born: Berlin

I try to go back to visit Berlin every few years, and have walked up and down this particular street hundreds of times.

2. The name of the town where you live now: Toronto. Home Sweet Home.

3. Your Name: RamonaI loved this book when I was a kid, and recently re-read it. Hilarious!

4. Grandmother's Name: Meta
5. Favourite Food: Pizza! In any way, shape, or form!
6. Favourite drink: Red, Red Wine.

7. Favourite Song: I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. I know all the words, and love to belt it out!

Click here for a little laugh!

8. Favourite Smell:

Saturday, November 26, 2005

And so...

I went shopping. And I bought two fancy-schmancy festive tops. To go with my A-line, floor length satin gown that I thought would be perfect for the evenings to come.
I got home and immediately tried my new outfits on. The phone rang. As I was talking, I wandered out to the living room where we've got this great big mirror.

I nearly died.
I thought. "OMG. I look like Kirsty Alley before Jenny Craig."
I mentioned this to my friend, on the other end of the phone, and like any good girlfriend she assured me that I looked just fine, I'm too hard on myself, it's the perfect outfit.
I hung up, reassured that the outfit would work.

Then, my new husband came home and I still needed a little MORE reassurance, I asked him how he liked the new outfit.

Do you want to know what he said?!?!?!
(My new husband of two weeks!!!)

This is what he said:

"Well, don't take this the wrong way, kind of reminds me of something Kirstie Alley would wear. Before Jenny Craig."

Oh man. Sometimes, the honesty's to much.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Holidays are Coming, The Holidays are Coming!

There are just a few signs that the Holiday season is closing in on us.
The radio stations are playing Christmas carols (already.)
We had our first snowstorm of the season, and today it is a bright, sunny, freezing cold day. The kind of day where you know it's too cold to snow, but there is no way that yesterdays' snow is going to melt.
Last evening, my new SIL's boyfriend made a Feast of all Feasts to celebrate American Thanksgiving. He is a transplanted New Yorker, from Queens, who has lived in Toronto now for over 10 years. He says says "Cawfee from New Yoiwk" which we all find very amusing. The best thing about SIL's bf, is his sense of family togetherness, and how important it is to have friends and family come together around the Thanksgiving table. This is the second year I've had the priviledge of joining his table as a member of his family. We went around the table to say what we were thankful for, and I swear, I had tears in my eyes, it was so touching.
So, with a full belly, we drove home through the blizzard, and admired all the pretty Christmas lights that have been set up along Yonge Street. Then, we dropped like sacks of cement into bed.
This evening, we are going to the Critical Care Christmas party and tomorrow evening we are going to Recovery Room's party. I'm about to run out and buy a new outfit, because I simply have nothing to wear. I'm looking forward to buying some 'Festive' wear.
But, not looking forward to going out into the cold. The mall is only 3 blocks away, but I know in that time, my nose hairs (Yes...nose hairs!) are going to freeze together, my eyeballs will be so cold that they will water, and I'll be reminded that I really need to get new boots, because the tread on my favourite boots was worn away last winter already.

I hope I don't fall on my ass.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mrs. H

So, back to life.
Planning is all done, pictures are being processed.
Things are good.
I don't really feel any different, but somehow, things are different. Maybe, I just think different.
I no longer have a boyfriend.
I am no longer Miss B (I liked being a Miss vs. a Ms)
I believe that there is a deeper commitment in being married.

Other than that....things are pretty much status quo.

Two things have come up in the past week that have bugged me somewhat.
One, is that people are asking me...'did you change your name?' 'did you keep your name?' This in itself doesn't bother me, but when I tell people, that yes, I've taken Greg's last name...people seem surprised. Like, it's something weird, something unusual, and I feel compelled to explain.
Before I explain in this post, however, the second thing that is bugging me, is that people who don't know me very well, are feeling like that have to give me advice: You better start having babies! I wish you lots of daughters! You'll be changing diapers soon! Enjoy the quiet while it lasts...those babies!

Sometimes...I just don't know what to say. There is no point in saying: well, you know, my FSH is skyhigh, and it's just not going to happpen. I'm infertile....blah, blah blah. People who have children, or think that children are in their own future don't really think too much about what these few words could mean to someone who really has missed their window of opportunity, or, for whatever reason, are unable to have children naturally. I know people mean well, but I am still sensitive to our situation. answer to that lately, is just " ahh...we'll see."

And, my explanation as to why I've chosen to become Mrs. H, is that with, or without children, Greg and I are a family, and I want to acknowlege that!

And that, is our gift to us.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Honeymoon Pictures

For those of you who were wondering, our Vegas wedding also extended into our Honeymoon. We rented a car, and when the guy at the rental place found out it was our honeymoon, he upgraded the car to a convertible Mustang. Whoo-hoo! That was fun! The first night we ended up on Freemont street, in downtown Las Vegas to see the light show. And then drove along the strip to see all the hotels and crazy signs.

The great thing about having a car, was that we were able to get out of Vegas and see some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever laid eyes on. The next day, we drove 5 hours through Boulder City, over the Hoover Dam, across the Mohave desert, up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and saw the most breathtaking sites driving along Desert Canyon Road. We stayed there until the sun went down, even did a bit of hiking down one of the trails (it was more fun climbing down than climbing up, in case you're wondering!)

Then we turned around and drove back 5 hours to the Strip!

One of the hidden gems of Las Vegas has got to be The Valley of Fire State Park. It is about an hour outside of Vegas and is unbelievable beautiful. We headed there not really knowing what to expect, but needing a destination. Wow! What a destination! This place only receives 200,000 visitors a year, which is nothing compared to the 41 Million visitors Las Vegas Airport gets in a year. The Valley of Fire was formed over Millions of Years of wind and water erosion upon the red sandstone. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

On our way out of the Park, we found ourselves in the midst of a herd of cattle! We City-folk get excited about that!

Well, that's the very short version and the highlights of our Honeymoon in Vegas! Neither of us are big gamblers, so we broke even with the bit that we did gamble. The hotels are lovely, we saw 1 fake Elvis, 1 real Paris Hilton, and all-in-all, had a wonderful time.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

This past week #1

I remember a few months ago on Michele's site that there was a question as to why I write my blog. Really, I write it for my own pleasure. It amuses me. Sometimes, during the day, things happen that make me think. And, what this blog has done for me, is to make me think a little bit more. And remember a little bit more.
And, a year from now, I also want to remember how I was feeling at this time in my life.

Right now, I want to remember the first few hours in Las Vegas.
After hours of Milk-Run Travelling, we arrived around 3pm in LV. The line up at the airport taxi stand was horrendous, and facing another hour waiting in line with a crapload of luggage, wedding outfits, and centre-pieces, with 9 people, was especially daunting. So, we crammed luggage, carry-on baggage and 9 people into a limo.
Greg and I followed A-Type-Personality Jeff from the taxi stand at the Luxor, into the next hotel...The Excalibur. Then we turned around, followed the signs, and registered at the Luxor.
Our room was fabulous! We looked out onto the MGM Hotel, The Tropicana, The Excalibur!
I must admit, I LOVE the bright neon signs in Vegas. Or anywhere in the world. Hong Kong. New York. New Orleans. Amsterdam.
We were there for about 30 minutes, and then headed to the courthouse in downtown Las Vegas.


Gotta tell ya.
What a circus!
And not the Cirque du Soleil kind.
I'm talking Freak Show Kind.

But, if you're at all feeling like you know me even a little're gonna know that this is the kind of stuff that I really, really,like!

It wasn't a bad line-up. I mean, we knew that we'd have to wait about 30 minutes or so. We walked in, and initally, it was like walking into a very brightly, florescently-lit party. We were a little nervous, and so walked in and tried to figure out our bearings.
I remember getting into the line, and looking to my right at a desk. Papers and pencils available. Like we were at a Consumer's Distributing line-up. (do any of you Canadians remember this place?!) On some of the pencil boxes, people had written "DON'T DO IT!!!" "TURN BACK!" "MISTAKE!

Initially, things look pretty normal.

Then I started really looking around. There was this Jewish man wearing a Yamulke who was taking an extraordinarily long amount of time asking questions and sweating. Or, to me, he looked to be sweating. Or maybe, he was just being a little. bit. too. precise. And, I was getting pissed off. He took up about 20 minutes of our waiting time!
So, we're standing in line...looking around. And, honestly, it was surreal.
The couple in front of us...the guy was a jerk. The woman was about my age, smiling, going along with it all, kind of straight-laced. The guy had his buddy standing on the other side of the Consumer's desk. He was all cracks and jibes. They sounded like they might as well be at the Rippers.
A couple got their license and were leaving. The guy was acting all cool. He was wearing a pin-stiped suit and a fedora. The whole bouncy-walk and all. Need I say the word "pimp?!"
Another guy, well, he was plump. OK, I am normally VERY weight sensitive, but, this guy was fat. The only thing holding his pants up were suspenders. He was at least 450 pounds. And, I have to tell you...he was with a very sexy woman.
The couple behind us were fighting. She hated his parents and was making it very clear that she did not want to have dinner with his parents that night, even though they were having a post-wedding brunch with her side the next day. Can you say D-I-V-O-R-I-C-E?
Then, just as we headed to wicket Number 1 (Where the Jewish man was) (It MUST be a lucky wicket!) we eyed the Oscar of ALL Wedding Chapel Couples!
She: wore a white taffita knee-length skirk, with a pink satin sleeveless top
He: wore a suit.
She: Probably 65ish, dressed like a partying 35year old, but kinda-sorta looking more like a partying 85 yr old! Not many teeth.
He: Probably 45ish, looking 45ish. All Smiles. Drunk As Arse.


So, we're being normal, behaved people.
And I start evesdropping on the couple beside us. Because it was funny-weird. I was very glad that not was not marrying HIM. First, he joked about whether or not his divorce was even final, and then he joked about his wife not knowing who her father was. He said that she was the REAL test-tube baby. What an ASS.

But we got our marriage license, and then met everyone for drinks...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

More Pics

Here are a few more pics taken inside the chapel

I'm Back!

What a week!
For all of you who watched the webcast, and left all of your kind comments, Thank You!
Greg and I had an absolutely wonderful wedding day. It was everything we had hoped for, only better. The hairstylist did a wonderful job with my hair, I managed to get my dress zipped up (just!) the chapel was absolutely adorable, the minister had a lovely sermon, my flowers were not what I wanted (not even close) ...but at the end of the day, they were just flowers, and still pretty. I felt Beautiful, and was so Nervous and Excited and Scared and Happy. When I look at the video, I hardly even recognized the woman standing there...she seems so foreign to me!
The webcast is on for another three weeks, if you haven't already done so, and are curious:
Groom: Hackett
Bride: Berndt
November 11 @4:30pm

Dinner at Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris Hotel, was WONDERFUL. The service was fabulous, the ambiance incredible. The food was to-die-for-delicious. The room was intimate, romantic and elegant. Everything I had envisioned.
I am using this picture from my Princess of Honours Site Pez as it is the only digital picture I have of us right now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm Outta Here!

Just a quickie to let you all know that I'm heading out the door in a few minutes.
Thank you all for all your encouragement over these past 4 months with all this wedding talk. I can't believe that the time is drawing near!

I would be thrilled if you all checked in on Friday evening to see us get married, maybe even have a little sip of wine or two to mark the occasion. We get married at 4:30 pm Las Vegas time, the webcast should be available 15 minutes thereafter.
go to webcam at the top right
Groom: Hackett
Bride: Berndt

I'll catch up with you when I get back!

The Jitts.

2 days and 16 hours to go.
I worked an evening shift tonight, and sometimes I have difficulty going to sleep after I get home.
Plus, I had some heavy-duty emailing to do. I realized that somehow I had coerced 30 people to come to Vegas, and didn't really clue them in as to what to do/where to go as far as wedding arrangements/plans are concerned. One thing you should know about me: I tend to do things last minute.
In the final hour.
Fly By The Seat of My Pants.
Feign an Adventurous Spirit with The Mind of a Doop-dee-doh.
Hope For the Best.
Always Figure That Things Will Work Out.

In all honesty...I have come to think of this as The Mystery Wedding. I've never seen the chapel. I've never eaten in the restaurant. I've never worn a wedding dress. I don't know what the Minister is going to say, what the Organist is going to play, if the flowers will be what I ordered, or even if someone (my mom) will speak before she forever holds her peace.

Don't get me wrong. I am not a worrier. I don't fret. (Normally.)
In my Normal Life, as a nurse, I am so freakin' calm, I impress myself sometimes. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, I'm there. And I'm good. I know what to do. Believe it or not, I'm organized at work, I know how to prioritize. I can practically read your mind...I know what you want. come, when I spend so much time dealing with LIFE, that I am so disorganized, and suddenly fretting?

I think I've got the Jitts.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

You're Invited to a Wedding!

The time is getting real close.
We've picked up our rings, the centre-pieces are all done and packed, and ready to go. We've got US cash to pay for the minister and our marriage license, we've got passport, tickets and money, we've got half a suitcase packed, we have a house/cat sitter arranged, and I'm tanned, waxed and trimmed.
Today I have an appointment with the dentist and the manicurist. A little early for the manicure, but I just don't know when else to do it. I might have to go for a re-shine Friday morning. I have my last shift this evening, and then, tomorrow...we're shuffling off to Buffalo for the first leg of our journey. Did I mention we are on the Milk-run to Vegas?
Nevertheless, the time has come quick.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any more 'Viva Las Vegas', I wanted to invite all of my Blogfriends to my wedding!
That's right, you can view Greg and I exchange our vows over the Internet!

The ceremony is on Friday Nov 11, 2005 at 4:30 PM Las Vegas time.

Go to:

Click Webcam at the top right corner
Grooms name: Hackett
Brides name: Berndt

This will be available for a month, so don't feel like you've got to take the day off work or cancel your plans, or anything!

Wish us luck, and forgive me if I forget to wave!

PS. Sorry...Elvis will NOT be marrying us!

Monday, November 07, 2005

4 Days 8hrs 56 min 21 secs...

to lose 10 pounds.
Any ideas?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

5 days to go...

I had all these plans to spend a few hours in blogland today, but the simple truth is...I have a hangover.
Last night was my Stagette, and the wine and conversation flowed! We went to this cute little jazz club around the corner, where Greg and I used to go when we first started dating. We haven't been there in a very long time. In fact, I realized, that as soon as I started washing his man-pants, we kind of stopped dating! We DO still have date-nights, but just not as frequently.
Anyway, the evening was a lot of fun, and while my mom opted not to come, MIL2 did come and had a great time. She also gave me a gift of a sexy negligee and robe for the wedding night! How sweet is that?!
Well, slowly things are starting to come together, and I think I'm just down to getting the odds and ends done. I got my haircut last week, but not by my regular hair dresser. I figured I would go to the salon around the corner, and jeez...I don't know what I was thinking, but I let this BOY with red, orange, yellow, green and blue hair cut my hair! He had dyed his hair to match his Hallowe'en costume. He had gone a Court Jester, and his hair was cut like a hat with diamond shapes!
Very creative, but I should have run...very fast!
My hair is ok, but I'm glad I have arranged for a stylist to come to my hotel room to do my hair pretty.
My girdle fits under my dress, and will be fine as long as I don't breathe!
I haven't Fallen Off the Roof yet, I think I'm heading into one of those peri-menopausal phases again where I miss a month. Or, my luck, it'll happen when I'm wearing a white gown.
I've started to pack, and bought new luggage, which I'm very excited about! Matchy-samey luggage! Very chic.
I'll be spending the next few days fakin'bakin', waxing, manicuring and all that other girlie stuff designed to make me beautiful. I wonder if I can sneak in some quick liposuction? Those 5 pounds I've lost...I've gained again. Nervous eating I think. And, more vino tinto than usual.
Sigh. Oh well.
5 more days!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

9 Days to go.

I've not blogged much lately, I suppose I have been otherwise occupied. I was looking on my bookshelf today, and came upon I book I had been meaning to read. The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. So I thumbed through it and came upon this.
It seems fitting, now that the countdown is on.
On Marriage: Kahlil Gibran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.