Wedding pics just dropped!

I know you guys had asked to see some of the pics from my wedding, and they have finally arrived! Now, there are exactly 299 of them and I’m not going to post them all, but here’s some of the highlights.

Me and Dad going up the aisle:

Us all at the altar:

Michael sliding the ring on my finger:

Michael walking me down the aisle at the end:

Us leaving the church after I got rid of that scarf the priest made me wear:

Masks were required at the wedding for everyone (except the priest I guess, and also one lady in the back at the groom’s side) but once the ceremony was over and almost everyone had left the church we took some mask-less photos. So here you go:

Me and my bridesmaids:

Me alone, smiling at my bouquet:

Michael and I at the altar:

Us at the church door:

Us in silhouette so it looks romantic:

The photographer was Taylor Ford; look her up if you’re getting married in Ohio or Indiana and want her to take pictures. I think they turned out really well.

At the beginning of this dark winter, I beg my readers to stay safe

The coronavirus is raging in my part of the world. Local hospitals have warned they’re close to becoming overwhelmed. Four of my father’s 22 students have been sick. Two of my husband’s (it still seems strange to call him that) students as well. He was not told he’d been exposed till six days after the fact. Fortunately he got tested and was negative, but if he had caught it, he could have been spreading the disease around everywhere he went for nearly a week. The lady at the management office who collects our rent has been sick. (I haven’t laid eyes on her for months; I’ve been exercising social distancing by putting the rent in the box on the office door instead.)

I am appalled that so many people are not even bothering to exercise the most basic precautions. And that, when well over a million people are dead and nearly a quarter-million of them are Americans, when the president himself has had it and his chief of staff has it now, when multiple members of Congress have had it, so many people are still convinced it’s a hoax. I can only think these people must be very misinformed.

Please, wear a mask in public. Wear it so it covers both your mouth AND your nose. Your nose is directly connected to your lungs, and if it the mask isn’t covering it you might as well not be wearing it at all. I know masks are a pain in the butt, I know they’re inconvenient and annoying and make people get acne and their glasses fog up. Wear a mask anyway.

I really don’t want more people to die. Especially you. I don’t want to add your obituary to the online coronavirus memorial I’ve been adding to since April.

I hope everyone is well and their families and friends are well. Michael and I are enjoying these first weeks of married life. We used some of the wedding gift money to buy our first marital furniture, a lovely mid-century modern dresser we snagged for a song on Facebook Marketplace after our el-cheapo pasteboard dresser literally fell apart. We’re trying to decide what we can do to celebrate the dog’s upcoming sixteenth birthday. Probably something involving chicken nuggets.

Please stay safe.

I confess I’m a bit startled

I was just writing up a case for the Charley Project when I discovered that the woman in question is friends with my cousin. Facebook friends, anyway.

That’s never happened before. I’m a bit creeped out to be honest.

I don’t think I’m going to ask my cousin about it. We were never close and I haven’t even seen or spoken to this cousin in years. I doubt they know anything about the case. They may not even know this person is missing. It’s not a high profile case and it was only recently reported although the woman disappeared over a year ago.

Well, I’m married now

Hi all. I updated today, as I promised I would. The wedding was on Saturday and today is the first day in awhile that I haven’t felt absolutely dead on my feet. I had to spend two nights in a row sleeping on my in-laws’ couch.

I was a total bundle of nerves before and during the wedding ceremony, terrified that I’d make some ghastly error and ruin the event somehow and everyone would be mad at me. It was a Catholic ceremony and I’m an unbaptized heathen–Michael is the Catholic one–so I was not at all familiar with the rites and stuff. I would never have got through it without his whispered cues.

My dress was quite conservative in my opinion: not short, not strapless, not super tight, no see-through parts, no cleavage. But it wasn’t conservative enough for the priest, who insisted I wear a scarf over it. I spent the entire ceremony fussing with that scarf, terrified that it would slip off in front of God and everyone.

Fortunately the ceremony went well and the scarf didn’t fall off. And now Michael and I are legally bound to each other and very happy for that. We’re having fun calling each other “wife” and “husband” all the time.

I really appreciate all the kind well wishing comments from readers. I’m sure Michael and I will be very happy together for the rest of our lives. After all, we’ve been together for eighteen years already.

Once the photographer sends us our pics, I’ll put up a few, as some readers have requested.

Happy 35th birthday to me

Today was my 35th birthday. Crazy to think that I’ve been keeping this blog for twelve years; I was only 23 when it started. I can look at the writing and see myself growing up and my opinions on things changing. I’ve gotten a lot less judgemental over the years, I think.

Michael and I are getting married in three and a half weeks. October 31. We’re just about ready. My dress is at a tailor’s for alterations; fortunately it just needs a few stitches here and there. My mom is sewing me a blue garter for my something blue. The astrakhan capelet I ordered online to wear over the dress when I’m outdoors (it’s likely to be cold and damp) is antique, so that’s my something old. Everything else is new. I just need to borrow something.

I’m looking at this wedding as a celebration of love’s triumph. Both our families, and common sense, had indicated that he and I should not be together. But here we are. We outlasted all of them and they’ve had to admit they were wrong about us, that we belong together.

We won’t have as big an attendance as we would have wanted, because pandemic and all. But there will be guests, and we will have it broadcast online too for the guests who choose to attend online. We don’t have a honeymoon planned; he’ll be right back to work on Monday. Someday we’ll do a honeymoon, go back to Poland maybe, once the United States isn’t a giant leper colony anymore. At present no other country wants us.

Oddly, though I am scrupulous about masking for both him and me, I no longer worry about Michael catching COVID-19. I do understand that he fits the profile of someone likely to get very sick if he does catch it, and that it could kill him. But the thing is, after awhile you just have to stop worrying about it. Either it happens or it doesn’t.

The worry sinks below the surface of your mind and is replaced by other, more pressing ones: We will get our mandatory “Catholic Marriage” and “Natural Family Planning” classes done in time for the wedding? Will a second Civil War break out in November? Is it just my imagination, or does my car engine sound louder than usual? Why have three blood draws in a row said I have critically low sodium levels when I feel fine?

I hope to spend the next thirty-five years with my husband, as happy with him, and he with me, as we are now.

Everyone: vote, wash your hands, wear a mask over your mouth AND your nose in public, and keep yourselves safe.

I haven’t updated in a minute and I’m sorry

It’s been five days since I updated last. I feel incredibly guilty at about that.

The pandemic and the ongoing collapse of society has really got me down. Every day I add obituaries for COVID-19 victims to online memorial forums, and it seems like way too many of them are young people. Every day I see people posting moronic stuff online calling it all a hoax or saying the survival rate is 99.5% or saying it’s no worse than the flu or saying masks are unsafe to wear, and I get extremely angry.

Last night we had two friends over for our weekly Social Distancing Circle Dinner (they both work with Michael so we figure whatever they’re exposed to, so are we). I was feeling so hopeless about the state of the world that I started crying and saying everything sucks and there is no way out of it for us. Michael and our friends applied immediate treatment to my despair, in the form of a series of funny animal clips on YouTube. I did feel a little better, for awhile anyway.

My friends have politely suggested I take a mental health break from obsessively following all the COVID-19 news and obsessively adding names of the dead to the memorial forums. I suppose they’re right.

I’ll try to get myself together tomorrow and put something up on Charley. And remind myself of how fortunate I am to have what I have.

Happy belated Independence Day (and griping, and missing persons news)

I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July weekend. Mine was kind of terrible. We had a tiny party, four guests (Michael’s parents and two of his coworkers), and I wound up spending a lot of time hiding in the bedroom because I was so stressed by it all. And I was feeling like a failure in general, and wondering how I was going to pull off an entire wedding in October if I was freaking out from anxiety over four guests in my own house.

Of course, who knows if there will even BE a proper wedding in October the way COVID-19 is blazing through this country. I might wind up having to have a Zoom wedding ceremony because of the stupid government not listening to experts and not doing its job to contain the pandemic, and stupid people refusing to wear masks in public because mah rights and mah freedum. We could have been on par with Europe right now as far as flattening the curve goes, but nooooo, people have to be idiots.

(Of course I realize that my wedding is a very small thing in the grand scheme of things, and there are a lot of people out there who are suffering more than me as a result of COVID-19. That doesn’t make me any less angry.)

So some news from the missing persons world:

  1. Later this year, once Americans are allowed to travel to the EU again (assuming that ever happens), a private investigator, a former FBI agent and Annie McCarrick‘s uncle are going to Ireland to make another stab at solving Annie’s 1993 disappearance. (She is on the Charley Project because she was an American, though she disappeared on Irish soil.) They have a new theory about what happened, and have a suspect in mind. I don’t think it’s the same suspect the gardai (Irish police) have had their eye on. Neither person has been publicly identified.
    The gardai think a former IRA member may have killed Annie. He sounds like a nasty character and allegedly raped a twelve-year-old girl, and possibly other victims, and the IRA sent him out of the country so he wouldn’t get prosecuted. He went to the US; I’m not sure where he is now.
    I have wondered before why on earth the IRA would have assisted this man. To begin with, the twelve-year-old he allegedly raped was the daughter of another IRA member. And, though I don’t know much about the IRA, I know they had broad support among the ordinary people of Ireland, and it seems like that wouldn’t be the case if they routinely did things like try to help their child-rapist members escape prosecution. If any of you guys can provide some enlightenment on this, I’d appreciate it if you posted in the comments.
  2. They’ve created a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico in memory of the twelve victims of the still-unsolved West Mesa murders. I’ll say their names again: Jamie Caterina Barela, age 15; her 25-year-old cousin Evelyn JesusMaria Salazar; Monica Diana Candelaria, 21; Victoria Ann Chavez, 24; Virginia Cloven, 22; Syllannia, Terene Edwards, 15; Cinnamon Elks, 31; Doreen Marquez, 27; Julie Nieto, 23; Veronica Romero, 28; Michelle Valdez, 22; and Michelle’s unborn baby. All of the women, except Veronica, were on the Charley Project.
    There are quite a few young women still missing from Albuquerque, and some of them fit the same profile as the women whose bodies were found on the Mesa. I’ve got Nina Brenda Herron, Vanessa Reed, Christine Julian, Leah Rachelle Peebles, Anna Love Vigil and Shawntell Monique Waites, and possibly others.
  3. According to a private investigator, the authorities have a suspect in the 2001 disappearances of of ten-year-old Tionda Z. Bradley and her three-year-old sister, Diamond Yvette Bradley. (The girls disappeared 19 years ago today.) The article says there’s a solid circumstantial case against the suspect (who hasn’t been publicly identified) but prosecutors want some physical evidence, preferably a body, to bolster their case before they file charges against the person.

Oh, and although this isn’t strictly missing persons related, I highly recommend y’all check out this article about the woman who invented the rape kit. Hers was a fascinating and tragic story.

There are a lot of people to remember this Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember the dead, officially the war dead but in practice for everyone. Certainly there are a lot of dead to remember this year: almost 100,000 have been lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. alone, and they can’t even have proper funerals due to the public health recommendations.

I don’t even know what to say about it. This is a war, albeit not against a traditional enemy. This virus has no pity for anyone.

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the disappearance of Teresa Lynn Lawyer Wisner, a 24-year-old woman from Anderson, Indiana, the mother of a toddler-age son. She was a responsible person who had just started a new job and had no history of instability, and foul play is suspected in her case.

Teresa had planned to seek a divorce from her husband, James, who didn’t want it. He is the prime suspect in her disappearance, but he has never been charged in her case and I don’t know if that is ever going to change.

Hope everyone is doing okay out there

Hi all. Hope y’all are doing okay and are in good health. Michael and I are doing well, though it’s getting hard to stave off depression. I never went to many places, but the fact that now I basically never leave the house at all is getting to me. On top of worrying about Michael possibly getting infected at his job. But I know a lot of other people are worse off.

Recently I read an interesting book called The Origins of AIDS. It was extremely interesting and all the little connections, the butterfly-effect stuff of what happened, was astounding to me. At around 1910 a hunter in sub-Saharan Africa cut himself while killing or butchering a chimp, some of the chimp’s blood got in the cut, and a century later 30 million people are dead. And there were a lot of events that happened in the intervening years, and if even one of them hadn’t happened as it did, the history of AIDS would be much different now.

Stay safe, everyone. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. No one should consider themselves immune from COVID-19. Something like 15-20% of the people who have died were under 65, and around 10% had no underlying illnesses at all. That doesn’t even count the people who only survived by the skin of their teeth after a stint in ICU. Coronavirus is insanely unpredictable; a 108-year-old woman survived while a healthy five-year-old did not.

On the bright side, a Chinese man who was abducted in 1988 has been reunited with his parents after 32 years.

I hope everyone is keeping safe these days

I don’t have much to report during this uncertain time other than to say Michael and I are doing well and I hope everyone else been doing well also and taking as many precautions as they can.

My dog Kinsey is keeping a close eye on us. This picture is from the other night when she was trying to get Michael and me to go to bed. She doesn’t want to go to bed unless we’ve at least gone into the bedroom (she sleeps on a dog bed in the walk-in closet) and gets most upset if we stay up past our bedtime watching TV in the living room or whatever. She doesn’t jump around and snort at us like she used to, but still paws at us insistently and comes right up close to me and stares at me like this:

IMG_8937

She is a good girl. Now 15 and a half! Taking her out for walks is one of the only legit ways I can escape the house. We can’t go further than around the block because she gets tired after that. But it’s enough.

There hasn’t been much crime news to report but I’m sure all sorts of things are going to come out of the woodwork once the shut-down period ends. Already, one guy did his wife in and tried to cover it up by claiming she’d died of COVID-19. She has not been located yet, but he’s been charged with murder.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Stay home if you can.