Author Archives: Tyson

Swing Dancing

Dawn and I danced at Midtown Stomp on Valentine’s Day this year. It was a blast! I am a terrible dancer!

First we attended an hour-long introductory swing-dancing class. By the end of the class, I could at least perform the basic steps – enough to get through a song without a disaster. (Dawn came into this knowing swing dancing basics, but the class still gave her a good refresher.)

The instructors impressed me – sound pedagogy, good energy – they did a great job of keeping a wide range of students engaged with the material. (I hope someday to teach martial arts, so I enjoy seeing how different people teach physical disciplines.)

Apparently, this happens every Friday night – it wasn’t just a Valentine’s thing. Every Friday – intro class from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, dancing from 9:00 PM to midnight. And it costs just $8 per person.

If you get tired or thirsty, Bike Dog Brewing Co. is in the same building – I haven’t sampled their beer yet, but I’ve heard it’s good.

So, we will be going back for more. Let us know if you’re interested – we’ll get a big pile of friends together and do this thing.

Wedding Music

For our wedding there were five different playlists.

1. Music in the ceremony
2. Music while the wedding party (including bride and groom) was introduced at the reception
3. Background music playing while everyone ate and hung out
4. Our first dance and family dance
5. Everybody dances! Wooo!

Playlists and a few notes on them below the jump. Continue reading

Stabbing! Blenders! Chicken!

Lo! There was once a time when it was late, and my beloved wife and I were hungry. Therefore I betook myself to the kitchen, where I brought forth many things. Great things! (I was pretty pleased, at least.)

To begin, I put an orange (peeled), a pear (cored), 1/4 of a peeled white onion, some red wine, and some powdered oregano in the blender. (It was whole oregano, but that simply will not do, so I mortared it and I pestled it, and there it was. Powdered.) Then, in a sudden plot twist, I turned the blender on! All the way on! Woooo!

And all was thoroughly mooshed.

I then dumped the aforementioned blender contents into a pan on the stove, and brought it to a boil. Whilst waiting for the boiling to come forth, I took a couple of boneless chicken breasts and used to fork to inflict multiple puncture wounds. So much stabbing!

Then, stabbing completing as boiling commenced, I put the chicken in the moosh, turned it down to a simmer, and let it rip.

I crafted two sides to accompany the stabbed chicked into oblivion:

1) 1/4 peeled white onion, chopped (but kinda big pieces), covering the bottom of a casserole dish. On top of that I put two zucchinis that I had disked. Then I splashed olive oil, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper on it. Into the oven with you!

2) Peeled a yam, chopped it small, boiled it with olive oil, powdered oregano (see above), salt, and pepper. When the yams were soft, I drained the water out and whisked it into mashed yams.

Wait! I also made a salad.  Mixed greens, green onions, green apple (Granny Smith), olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper.

When I served this up, I put some of the sauce from the chicken on the mashed yams.  It was all quite tasty.

And there was much rejoicing.

Whiskey Awesome

So, you say to yourself, “Self, let’s make whiskey sours! Woooo!”

Then you discover that you haven’t any simple syrup. You don’t even have regular sugar to make your own! Plus, no lemons.

Well, you are a hearty soul, resourceful, vigorous, creative, thirsty. You also have limes and your mom gave you a bag of brown sugar about a year ago and you still aren’t sure why.

You dump some water in a pot, boil it, dump some brown sugar in, turn it down and let it rip until it seems right.  (About equal parts water and brown sugar, heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.)

Take a lime, cut just the tip off of one end, and then squeeze that sucker into your cocktail shaker. Lots of lime juice. Yay.

Now, inject four of jiggers of Bushmills Irish Whiskey into that shaker. (Use the big side of the jigger, sheesh, I can’t believe I’d have to explain that to you.)Now we’re cooking with plastique.

Put two jiggers of the brownsugarsimplesyrup you made into the shaker. We’re getting close! Hang in there, baby!

Now, put ice into the shaker. While you’re at it, put some ice into a couple of Manhattan glasses and fill them with water. Get them glasses cold! (Yes, I suppose you could call them “Martini” glasses, good for you, but we’re talking whiskey right now, so just take your Martini and go sit quietly in the corner like a good boy? Thank you.)

Shake that shaker like it’s never been shook before! It may help to yell “Woooo!” once or twice whilst you’re at it. (I forgot to mention, but this whole thing works better if you put the lid on the shaker before the shaking commences.)

Once the outside of the shaker is frosty cold, remove the ice water from the glasses – dump or even drink it if you’re feeling crazy! Then, pour the precious elixir from the shaker into the glasses, then garnish them with a small slice of lime.

Toast the person your sharing this with! Congratulations! You made two Whiskey Awesomes! Who needs those Whiskey Sours, anyway?

Values

Right after Dawn agreed to marry me, we took a week and came up with our values list. We needed to figure out what values we would want represented in how we planned for the wedding, and for the wedding ceremony and reception themselves.  Since we came up with this list, we’ve used it several times as a decision-making tool – when we weren’t sure about a decision, we checked things against these values, and then got on with it.  Having this list has been really valuable to us.

We intend to do posts in the future writing about each of the values individually, explaining why we chose it, and also analyzing how well it worked. But for now, here’s the list:

Values!

1) Getting Married!
–means merging our lives
–forming a partnership
–we’re a Crime Fighting Team!
–serve God together

2) God should be really present
–prayer, praise, adoration, and thanksgiving
–we want this whole day to be an act of worship
–we want to feel the reality of His Kingdom
–not religious trappings, but connection with the living God

What this means for the process and the day:

–planning events will commence with and rely on prayer
–we will acknowledge that God is in charge – some things we want aren’t going to happen, and other things we weren’t planning on are going to happen
–we will not just pray “God give us what we want” but “God give us what You want”

3) SIMPLE!!!

What this means for the process and the day:
–generally when there are two choices, we are going to opt for the simpler one
–complexity is ok, complication is not ok
–things should flow and be easy; when butting up against an issue step back and see if a simpler solution exists

4) Fun!
–not stuffy
–full of laughter
–people should talk about how fun this was for years
–the wedding is more for the people present than for the photographs

What this means for the process and the day:
–photojournalist style pics – not posed and forced, action shots of laughter, dancing, hugging, etc.
–dancing lessons for family and wedding party – for one night
–planning and prep are secondary to relationship building and fun

5) Meaningful TO US!!!
–this is a big deal
–traditions only as they represent us
–solemn (which doesn’t preclude lots o’ fun!)
–this is a party, but the whole reason for the party is b/c something big is happening

What this means for the process and the day:
–we will examine the structure of the service and reception and select traditions or create activities that fit
–the location and “theme” of the day should reflect the solemnity as well as the joy
–we will say no when people expect certain things that don’t really fit us

6) Personal
–involve our community – friends and family
–get everyone there to feel like they were part of it, not just observers

What this means for the process and the day:
–a dream of “no strangers” (all staff, all vendors, all whatever should be our people)
–a thing done by somebody who loves us is always preferred over a thing done by a professional no matter the difference in quality

7) Responsible
–means no major debt
–responsible to the environment
–responsible to other humans

What this means for the process and the day:
–choose the eco-friendly stuff when possible
–Dawn and Tyson stick to their monthly budget
–$10k max all-inclusive (rings, wedding, rehearsal, & honeymoon)

8) We should be fully present in each moment
–this applies to Dawn and Tyson
–also applies to everybody else
–also applies to wedding party

What this means for the process and the day:
–feelings and people are more important than details and performance
–set a tone and remember to keep stress low
–let the army help
–coordinators and best man/matrons of honor run interference on day of wedding
–whatever the thing is that we wanted, if it doesn’t happen, “meh” just enjoy it anyway

9) Relational

–the whole process should be good for our relationship, not a strain on it
–should also help build even deeper bonds with our community

What this means for the process and the day:

–planning and prep are secondary to relationship building and fun
–build hang out time with each activity, including spouses and extended people

10) a celebration of God’s goodness and love

–He gave us to each other
–He put us in these communities
–we want people to know that we feel they are gifts from God
–Yay!!