Monday, November 20, 2006

The countdown has started

It's official now. We've invited the fam, all three actually, to come over to our house for the 2006 Grand Lighting. Actually, M's prep work for it is much more rigorous than mine at this point. We've done the party so many times now that we've pretty much got it down. With the basement being already set up, we just throw some decorations about, stock the bar and call it a night. Rule of thumb: if you get everyone all good and liquored up, then your party is sure to be a hit.

We went with e-vites this year, to make it easier on us (me) and to keep with our theme of fancy-schmancy technology. Normally I rush about and have to buy the card stock, then make sure we've got enough ink in the printer, then run them through once, then again for the back, then fold, stuff, address and stamp them (I've been known to stand in the PO and stick stamps for 20 minutes just to get them out that day). I reasoned that in this day and age, there was no reason to go through all that trouble, and expense, when I could get just as good an e-mail out to everyone faster, and make it easier for them to reply with their RSVP.

We're quite pleased with the graphic we've come up with this year. It's M's job to create the actual awe-inspiring display, and my job to come up with the fun/quirky invitation. I had a few options for him to review this year (it's his party, really, to showcase his work, so he has ultimate say-so in what goes out), and he chose this one, with a few inspired tweaks. We make a good team, I think.

When I created the initial design, M pointed out (engineer that he is) that in the weightlessness of space the Christmas lights wouldn't necessarily drape from the nacelles like that. First, I had to ask what a nacelle was (there's a reason I'm not an engineer), and then I played with having the lights floating free-form all around the ship. It just sorta looked like a hairy mess, a galactic illuminatory octopus if you will, so I went back to my much more elegant, but physically incorrect, draping. And yes, I realize that the scale of the lights to the ship is entirely inaccurate. It's call tongue-in-cheek, people! It's a concept!

I feel I have to explain these things because M's family, which is chock-full of engineer types, actually sat around one evening after watching a Star Trek movie and debated the feasibility of how easy or hard it was to disconnect the round thingy from the rest of the ship (as you can see, I am not, nor will I ever be, a true Trekkie, as I'm sure that the technical term is not "round thingy"). I listened to them and laughed that they were discussing how "realistic" one portion of a science fiction movie was or wasn't. It was a heated debate, and in the end I believe everyone just agreed to disagree, which is remarkable given the intense competitiveness exhibited by this same family. I also feel I have to explain myself because my dear father-in-law to this day cracks up laughing when I call a column a pole and vice versa. This, indeed, is why I left engineering school and went to journalism school.

No, we will not be dressing up as Star Trek characters for the party, and we really hope none of our guests do, either.


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