Arrival and Preparations Commencing


My dad has always said, “You don’t need hills to find hillrods!” Never was there a greater item of proof than our brief hotel stay outside of Akron. We should have known we were in for a treat when we arrived at our room and had to slalom through the multiple removable pick-up, truckbed toolboxes filled with ice and beer that inhabited the corridor that led to our room. If that wasn’t enough, a handful of screechy, grubby kids tore out of adjoining rooms, where the sounds of Playstations and country-music-playing boomboxes poured into the corridor. We were virtually surrounded by innumerable numbers of intoxicated adults milling between a host of rooms. Unfortuntately, the fact that our room was the temperature of a meat cooler when we entered meant that the air conditioner could not serve the dual purpose of drowning out the thoughtful bunch. Things grew more comforting when the phone continued to ring off the hook, because as we were to find out one of their own had been staying in the room that we now inhabited for the night. Our consolation was a reduced charge. Fortunately, we were able to salvage some shut-eye after about 1:30 AM. Morning came a little later than normal, then it was back on the road.

Main Event

With little more than a day to go before Ali and I stake our claim in the land of matrimonial bliss the prospect of matricide looms large across the horizon of that narrowest isthmus. Since we arrived in Chicagoland, things have moved at a breakneck pace, easing to a nice steady busy that will inevitably ratchet up to an altogether chaotic frenzy.

Photo: View from the Skyway

All things considered, la Maestra has been spot on in her management of all event aspects. It is the “others” that continually complicate and create a mild, but nevertheless monotonously present, unease. Generally, people have been extremely gracious in their offers to assist, yet the omnipresent spectre of the ill-informed do-gooder lingers at the moment. My mother is in a particular state, since she will be playing the hostess. Still, Ali has accounted for everything in her bulging binder (Those of you that have seen it know exactly to what I am referring.). If only my mother would recognize that everything has been planned to letter and in an effort to minimize any responsibility on her part, since she is, in fact, the hostess. Never one to trust with any sense of ease, Janet remains a wreck and her skittishness has become a contagion, infecting my sweet bride-to-be somewhat. What we are really fighting is the possibility of some roguish act of whimsy on the part of any possible do-gooder.

Photo: Construction on the Skyway

Photo: Chicago Skyline from Skyway

On the host-site front, I must mention that my parents have done themselves outstandingly proud in transforming their yard into quite a majestic setting of subruban liesure. Of course when we opted to hold the wedding at their house and yard, we were both of the opinion that little was in landscape preparation. My parents had other ideas, as the deadline of a larger event provided the stimulus to overhaul their entire yard. Part preparation, part conclusion to long-lasting desires that they both harbored, they reenvisioned the look and feel of the landscape and realized it with dramatic results, thanks in part to the Olmsteadian inspiration of Bryan Eastman (brother to one of my best and oldest friends). While it is next impossible to realize the full effect of the transformation without “before” shots, I will let the new work showcase itself.

Photo: View of Haas House from the Street

Photo: The Patio

Photo: Haas House Front Walk Photo: Alternative view of Patio

Photo: Another Patio View

Also, we managed a little pre-wedding family fun with an a short venture to a minor league baseball game. Courtesy of Ali’s dad, a group of us headed to enjoy the Kane County Cougars, an Oakland Atheletics affiliate, and a spectacular post-game fireworks display. The boys seemed to enjoy our great seats behind the plate, despite their fading with fatigue. I for one got to chat-up some of my best friends Lisa and Vince.

Photo: The Terwedows Watching the Cougars

One simply cannot say enough about one of my absolute best friends, Vince. His assistance can simply be summed up in a single word, “Clutch!” Anything and everything that we have asked him to help us out with has been nothing short of exemplary. Among the highlights of his contributions, the program that he designed is a stunningly beautiful piece. He thought of everything in the design, as he mentioned upon presenting it, “And it easily fits into a 5×7 picture frame, as a keepsake.”

Photo: Me, Vince, and Lisa

It is a two layer piece with a transluscent vellum upper displaying all the vital information, backed by a firm cardstock lower, featuring a prominent daisy blow-up, which folds over to create a binding, complete with grommets and a ribbon, holding the whole kit together. He really outdid himself and thoroughly exceeded our expectations; however, a photo will have to be forthcoming. More than that, he will also be filling in as the ceremonial videographer, as the original, my friend Sean, got a new television gig in Fresno and cannot make it. Ultimately, he has been so much the utility player extraordinaire, that Ali even asked if Vince might do some last minute tailoring of her dress.

That’s all for now folks. More to come.

Barely Ten Days ‘Til We’re Legal

So now there are less the ten days and counting until Ali and I are bound together in matrimonial bliss. In a way, it is hard to believe that two high school sweethearts will be joined forever in little more than a week from now. I mean it really is an unlikely story, but one with the all the sweetness that could potentially rot a tooth.

The crew at CASCAP, Ali’s collegaues, had a little shower of sorts for the two us this week, which was really very kind and generous. Everyone that was there certainly gets our most grateful thanks. It seemed like everyone I have ever met from the company was there and even more people that I had only ever hear mentiond. Ali enjoyed herself thouroughly and I had quite a time myself. So thanks to you all once again. You are all very thoughtful.

All the last minute planning is now finally upon us and should only increase in intensity with the coming week, as we arrive in Illinois. Inevitably something minor will go wrong, and we will have to make some adjustments. That is just the way weddings go. There is always a wildcard in every event. However, I am pretty confident that everyone involved will keep everything moving along without a hitch. We have way too many people involved and pulling for us to let that happen. So the trick is getting Ali to our frontyard, makeshift altar without any bloodshed. Her stress level has been rising for sure. Hopefully the time off of work and the swell of people willing to help, will allow her to feel a bit more relaxed.

I must mention that I am very excited about seening my parent’s home with all the improvements that have been made. Since it became the site of the ceremony they have taken to an exterior overhaul that by all accounts is a startling transformation. They had wanted to finish some things and do some landscaping for some time, so having the wedding there was the needed excuse to get all the simultaneous projects underway. I haven’t seen any photos, but I am defintiely excited to see the real thing.

So bookmark ye old fritzwinkle, and I will endeavor to bring all of those that will not be attending the Illinois nuptials up-to-the-minute details.

Azzurri Clinch Their Fourth: Capping a Satisfying Cup Run

Well, forza Italia! The Azzurri win in what began as an exciting end-to-end match complete with attacking, creative play and then gradually degenerated into a certain battle of attrition with a bizarre twist. The French were clearly more the aggressive and attack-driven team, playing with creative menace in the midfield. Despite their phantom fould penalty kick, they were taking it to the Italian side for most of the match. Of course, Italy often absorbs most of the opposition’s offensive play in favor of lighting quick counterattacks, but this match was a little different as it wore into extra time.

Strangely, for some time the Azzurri held the majority of possession, but they didn’t seem to be playing with the zeal previously seen in the tournament. Instead, most of the match, they played the ball back a lot and just held the ball, rather than driving forward with numbers eager to penetrate the French final third. More than that, their playmaker, Francesco Totti, was virtually invisible during his minutes. As the match progressed, Italy seemed more leaden and negative in their approach. Even after the absolutely disgraceful ending to the international career of Zinedine Zidane, with his ferocious, ram-like head-butt and subsequent red card, the Italians never really siezed the man advantage.

Interestingly enough, in an irony among ironies, Zizou has since been named the player of the World Cup, winning the Golden Ball award. Perhaps this off-field award will mitigate his gross on-field indiscretion, but I have to say that I think his winning is a travesty. For one, being sent off in such a manner should have immediately eliminated him from contention. I am not sure what Materazzi said to him, but it had to be serious, because it was as if his words stopped Zidane dead in his tracks and catapulted the crown of Zizou’s head. Plus, I would even go so far as to say that Zidane may have been justified in nailing Materazzi, but in his iternational curtain call? But beyond that one incident, he served a one game suspension earlier in the first stage, after lackluster performanes, to be sure. Aside from all that, he really had one amazing game, against Brazil. He played well in the semi-final, but it was more of a solid effort against a Portugese team that picked the worst match to struggle. Sure he scored, but it was on a penalty, which is hardly a strike that garners great admiration. It is as if a single game is the reason for his individual recognition,a s opposed to either of the other two Italian candidates that played every minute of every game and never received as much as an admonition from any of the ridiculously overzealous referees. It jst seems like a horrendously wrong message to send, and that comes from a player who was known to get a red card or two in his younger days.

Ultimately, I am glad the Italians won, I just wish they would have done so in a much grander fashion. A final that arrives at penalty kicks is not much to cheer. That statement is even more substantiated by the fact that all anyone could talk about after the game was Zidane’s violent reaction. It was a really disappointing end to tournament that has been heavily criticized for lacking exceptional play. On that point, I don’t completely agree. I think the tournament had wonderful drama and pagentry, with electric performances and exciting games. Emerging nations showed extremely well and althought he goal count was low, most of the matches were far better than the results suggested. There are always bad games and negative play, but that is because the stakes are so high. Plus, the referees weren’t exactly consistent in their approach to the game, causing all kinds of unnecessary problems. As I have said, nothing beats the World Cup for me and a weak final can’t kill the brighter aspects of a decent month of world class soccer.