Thursday, December 24, 2009

How We Do It

I do believe I said I'd write about buying Mike's wedding ring. I think I'll also write about buying mine. Just keep in mind, we like to keep things adventurous. And mildly shady in some cases.

My Ring: Truth be told, we were secretly semi-engaged for a good chunk of time. We (read: I) were pretty sure we were crazy because things had happened so quickly, so this was a time wherein we considered, hypothetically, what it might be like should we get married. We liked that, so then we moved to officially engaged but the kind where you only tell your families because there isn't a ring, and in today's world people need that blingy proof. Eventually we decided we couldn't go on not telling everyone in the whole entire world that we were in love and getting married, so we went to Claire's and bought a fake engagement ring. Now armed with a $7 ring we made visits, sent out mass texts, and changed the facebook status. We also made an appointment with the Mysterious Jeweler, recommended by one of Mike's sisters.

MJ runs a very cool, and very unusual business. I quite liked him, and I love my ring. But, getting the ring was still an unusual experience. Firstly, it's important to understand that he is a jeweler jaded by the industry and doing his part to right some wrongs by doing things very differently. He only accepts customers through recommendation and does every thing by custom design, and doesn't make you pay the outrageous amounts most jewelers do.

The unusual part of the experience came from how careful he is to keep things low key. Our instructions for getting to his office were something along the lines of:
Go to the bank across the street from the gas station on X street. There will be steel doors propped open, enter there. Go up the stairs to the second floor. Turn right. There will be a blacked out door on your right. Knock on it and I'll let you in.

Is it just me, or does that seem a little ominous? I admit I asked Mike if our jeweler was also a drug dealer. He wasn't. He was very kind and helpful though, and capable of interpreting my desire for a "swoop" ring. The ring he made for us is gorgeous and I love it very much. And he delivered it just before the fake ring permanently turned my finger green.

Our experience with Mike's ring was strikingly similar.

Mike's Ring: The reason we didn't go back to MJ is because Mike wanted a tungsten ring, which we couldn't get from MJ. It turns out, in fact, that we couldn't get it a lot of places. I started searching the websites for all the jewelry stores I knew of in Provo, and most of them didn't carry tungsten rings, or only had a few to choose from. In desperation, I turned to google, which promptly directed me to a company that specializes in men's tungsten wedding bands. Perfect. I send the link to Mike, who immediately finds what he wants. Oh, and did I mention they were having a huge sale that day? So, I call to find out where they're located and we set up an appointment to look the ring over, get it sized, etc.

Address in hand, we head off to the jewelry store. Or, the mall? Or, a small rented office? Nope. A huge house in the middle of a bunch of other huge houses. We were slightly confused, but we went to the door anyway. A tiny kid answers. Odd. Then a man comes to the door, introduces himself, and invites us in. He takes us to the basement (totally weirded out at this point, wondering if I've found a murderer posing as a jeweler) where there are lots of dead animals mounted on the walls (does not help the creepy factor) including a moose with a Santa hat (that made Mike happy) and, finally, a display case full of tungsten rings (phew).

Again, things worked out fine. Mike found exactly the ring he wanted, and the price was about a third of what I had expected.

We've been really lucky, and I'm not going to lie, I hope that streak of good luck holds up.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wherein I Kick Adversity's Butt

You know how you always get sick at the worst possible time? (or is that just me?)

Yeah. That happened.

Yesterday, after parent teacher conferences I came home with a throbbing, aching head. Maintained consciousness only long enough to make dinner, throw up dinner, and watch the end of my favorite Christmas movie. But, not long enough to finish my lesson for my very important evaluation that I had today (important as in it goes on my permanent file as a teacher).

So, much sleep, several meaningful prayers, and one early morning PowerPoint party later... I headed to school... with another terrible headache.

Second period rolled around, and... it went so well!

I had decided to do a lesson about colons, because I love grammar, and my students love our grammar lessons too. Truly. They all participate and then go crazy using whatever we learned in their writing (there have even been reports of text messages containing semi-colons).

They wrote fabulous titles, lists, and compound sentences using colons. They asked just the right number of questions, and misbehaved in minor ways the exact number of times I would have wished for (part of your score is for correcting misbehavior). I need to come up with some sort of treat for them. They're always a good class, but this being perfect was quite intentional on their part.

Then my administrator and I went over my score (I sort got an amazing score) and her notes. She left. I turned off all the lights and laid on the floor on my office willing my head not to explode. Which apparently worked since I feel totally fine now.

p.s. I will write about things besides teaching sometime soon. Probably about the time that Mike and I bought his wedding ring from some random guy's store... in his basement. That was a good time.