Less than a week ago Chris's Palm Pre died, prompting him to buy an Android phone. He snagged an HTC EVO 4G. Nice phone, but massive. Still, having a smooth working Android phone in the apartment sent my hacking senses tingling.

So I spent the next several days researching phones and determining which would work best for me. Eventually I decided on the HTC EVO Shift, which is similar to the 4G but smaller, missing some bells and whistles (no HDMI out) but with a physical keyboard (which I love).

Hurray for a new phone and better looking cell phone pictures (Leki above).

Still love and use the ferret coffee mugs!

Dinner and drinks with the ladies tonight. So much tasty food. So full!

Took a walk after dinner along the trail nearby our apartment. The grass was still littered with rain drops from the lunch-time downpour.

Chris and I headed out the door on the early side today to check out the Grand Haven Art Festival. The weather was pleasant in the morning, and complete with sunny skies.

There were a few different interesting art pieces of various mediums, though most were paintings and photographs.

The art fair was only along one main road in Grand Haven, so we walked through it relatively quickly. But there are plenty of other sights to see in the area! We walked along the water front all the way down to the beach and lighthouse. It was a little before noon when we got out there, so the beach wasn't packed yet.

The rest of the afternoon was a leisurely one. I took nap, watched a few Space Ghost Coast to Coast videos through xfinity on the iPad, and read some of my book.

In the evening we took another stroll, though this one around the apartment complex. The above photo is from Chris's phone. I'm really impressed with his new phone (HTC Evo 4G) and it's ability to take photos in the dark.

So this weekend is JAFAX, which is essentially a free anime convention at GVSU. We've been to two conventions already this year (C2E2 and ACEN) so we decided just to pop by this year for a short bit and not make a whole day of it.

We sat in on Comfort and Adam's panel on how to create your comic/manga from start to finish. It's a good panel and they're always fun to watch.

The rest of the afternoon we ran some errands and watched a movie. In the evening we hung out with Comfort and Adam a bit before bed. I think the cat had an especially good time being dramatic while playing in front of everyone.

Adam and Comfort are in town this weekend for JAFAX, which is a local Anime convention at GVSU in Allendale.

First up, Chris showed them some awesome apps on the iPad. In the above photo Adam is trying out one of the apps (procreate) to color one of their sketches.

Next, we enjoyed some tasty home made pizza. You cant really tell in the photo, but their vegetarian pizza was all kinds of tasty-colorful! I wish I liked peppers. They certainly brought a liveliness to an otherwise typically-red (for us) pizza.

After such filling pizza we took a nice stroll down Kent Trails. We ran into a couple of deer who were just grazing along the side of the path. One thing I do enjoy is having the trail so nearby. It's easy to hop on and hop off.

We finished out the evening the new Green Lantern animated movie, Emerald Knights.

All in all, it was a fantastic Friday.

Green Lantern meets #LOTR's Gollum by shatteredhaven

Green Lantern/Gollum mashup on a woot! shirt. Big thanks to AardvarkSagus on Twitter who pointed it out and Chris who bought the shirt for me.

Play on, dude. Play on.

So I take back yesterday's post. Apparently rain was on the horizon, just a few days further out than initially quoted. At least it didn't start raining until after we got home. I was able to enjoy my lunch rain-free.
Anyway, as you can tell, it was a bit windy out.

For the last several days the weather forecast in Grand Rapids has been for rain and thunderstorms. We haven't had anything more than a small shower overnight, which is fine by me. I've spent the last few days waiting for rain and being pleasantly surprised when it hasn't come.

On a completely different note, Comfort and Adam posted an awesome blogpost today about our wedding. It made me misty!

Every Sunday and Monday in the warmer months the Fulton Street Market turns into Fulton Street Artisan Market. With warm weather and a wide open day ahead of us, we decided to swing by and see what was going on.

There are always a lot of interesting creations, from recycling beach glass and bottle caps to a bicycle-powered smoothy maker. Always an interesting trip.

Much of the late afternoon was spent with me reading comics and watching videos on the iPad while Chris put together some wedding photos. With so many cameras snapping photos that day we ended up with a pretty fun selection. Here's a nice online gallery of wedding photos Chris has up on his site.

My parents and little brother arrived late morning today to celebrate Father's Day a day early. Chris and my mother discussed genealogy while my dad played a bit with Leki. I'm sure Leki enjoyed the attention, especially since he usually moves in on my dad who tries to avoid touching him due to cat allergies. But, armed with allergy medicine, my dad took on the cat in a playful round of batting.

Also, it appears several games on my ipad advanced in level thanks to Jeff's awesome gaming skills.
Anyway, we went out for some lunch then walked around the mall a bit since we were so close by. Not terribly exiting, but a change of pace. After that we headed back to our apartment where we introduced everyone to the Kinect.
I've played the Wii with Jeff, but never the Kinect, so today was a perfect opportunity to show him awesomeness. We have a few games for the Kinect, so we cycled through them, showing off various things it can do. My favorite is still Kinect Sports.

Jeff did manage to beat out any score I had on any game, just like he used to do when we were little. I don't know how he does it.

This evening we met Jeff and Stephanie (and their new little one Alexa) and Angel and Dan for dinner before Chris, Dan, Jeff and I headed out to see Green Lantern. Dinner was great, and it was nice to meet Jeff and Stephanie's little one as well as catch up with everyone. Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a picture of everyone at the restaurant, so all I have is a shot of the guys's backs while they were buying tickets.

The movie was better than expected. I'm not going to lie - I've never read the Green Lantern comics, but I'm familiar with the lore and the different origin stories as Chris is a huge fan and has done a great job explaining the evolution of the comic characters over the years. So I had a basic working knowledge of what to expect. So for me, the movie wasn't bad. I could fill in gaps here and there if need be.

Is it the most wonderfully written screenplay? No. But the Carol Ferris character bothered me much less than Jane Foster in Thor (not that I liked either character).

Plus, for me, the constructs in the movie were amazing. While I understood the concept of the Green Lanterns seeing it brought to life on the screen was something else. This movie made the Green Lantern universe more interesting to me.

Chris has a nice short review on his site that explains what he thought about the movie and adaption from comic to screen.

An interesting display at a local video game store. It is setup in anticipation Forome of the Callof Duty games I think.

Either way it was hard to resist moving pieces around.

Take one ferret and mix it with one cat and hijinks is what you get (at least until the cat gets lazy)

Dinner in the park amid mosquitoes and towering trees.

So it is a pretty nice day today and what better way to enjoy it than laying back and enjoying the weather.

Went to IHOP today for a quick bite to eat before some early morning shopping and what was delivered to me was not your average fruit & yogurt crepes but SUPERMAN crepes. Just look a those yogurt colors!

We really do wake up too early in the morning. Even on a day like today. We were wide awake by 6am, which meant a lot of time between being awake and the wedding. I actually had enough time to watch Ponyo because we got up so early (man was that a weird movie).
 By mid-morning I was off to get my hair done and Chris's best friend Chris was over at the hotel suiting up together. Once they were all dressed we headed out to the chapel, swinging by a fast food joint for a quick bite to eat first.
Mark and Karen were already at the chapel and my parents and brother literally drove past us while were stopped at a light. So we were not the first people to arrive, (and hopefully didn't make anyone too nervous) though we were there with plenty of time to spare.
Since the wedding was so small, there was no need to pile everyone in to the chapel beforehand and hide the bride. I hung out and greeted everyone once Chris and my mom figured out what to do with the weird ties on the back of my dress. I really like the informal and intimate feeling about it. I think that worked out really well.
 Once everyone arrived we started the ceremony, which was short and, quite frankly, I don't really remember much of it. I spent most of the time freaking out about my runny nose and trying to make sure I didn't miss the ring bit.
The ceremony itself was very short, so we had lots of time to hang out, chat, and take photos and be goofy. And we ended up with a lot of photos.
We were sure to get one of the Green Lantern fans, especially since there is a Green Lantern movie coming out next weekend.
Our reception was at Maggianos in Troy. Holy cow what a good choice. Great food, excellent service. It was fantastic. We only had 13 people total, and with our own room off to the side in the banquet section of the restaurant, you felt like you were the only people there.
The day was, overall, a fantastic day. I got to spend time with everyone at the wedding and the reception (which is harder to do with larger weddings) and I didn't have to do any dancing.
These are just a handful of photos. We have tons of wedding photos. We're going to get them all together and put them up on the website for everyone to look at soon! In the mean time, check out the fantastic card Comfort and Adam made for us!

Update (6/19/2011): For more wedding details and photos, Chris has a page up on his blog here.
Update (6/20/2011): Comfort and Adam posted an awesome blogpost today about our wedding. Check it out!

So it's the day before the wedding which means errands galore. We both have the day off which makes driving around Grand Rapids to pick up flowers, cake, and other supplies before tomorrows wedding on the east side of the state was a good idea.

We ended up in Flint around 5pm. The wedding itself is in Davison so we got a hotel in Flint and spent the evening with Comfort and Adam (Creators of The Uniques and Rainbow in the Dark). We ate a tasty dinner and chatted while walking both the interior and exterior of the Genesee Valley Mall.

Later that evening when we were back at our hotel room we hooked up the android tablet to the TV to watch a quick video and relax before the craziness tomorrow. That HDMI cable is handy.

Sometimes there just isn't enough light, especially indoors. If there's movement you get blurring in the photo and everything just looks off. Sure, you can adjust the exposure, bump up the ISO to take in more light, use a tripod, etc. But sometimes it's just easier to use a flash.
So the built in flash for an SLR lets you take photos at a lower ISO setting and get around using a tripod, but it creates harsh lighting; shadows.
Sometimes in lower light settings it's nice to use an external flash.. Now there's all kinds in varying prices and quality. I'm not a professional photographer so I can't exactly justify purchasing a several hundred dollar flash for the few occasions I will use one. But I can justify a simple compact external one.

So this afternoon we picked up a HVL-F20AM. It looks like it does a decent enough job (bottom photo) and isn't as harsh as the built-in flash (middle photo). It will be interesting to use this in the future.

The high today was only a little lower than yesterday's, which meant by the time lunch had rolled around it was in the upper 80's. This time I decided to enjoy a lunch break indoors instead of outdoors, so I wandered over to the Grand Rapids Public Library to do a little reading and enjoy a change of scenery on lunch.

Inside temp: 74.5

Outside temp: 88.5

Hooray for air conditioning!

Due to a fortunate turn of events, Chris and I were both available for lunch so he swung by and picked me up.

We didn't really have a place in mind so we landed at a Burger King. Imagine my surprise when the center of the dining area was full of couches and internet-capable computers.

Perhaps BK if vying to be your next internet cafe.

After a picnic in the park and a stroll through the woods this afternoon I passed out in a chair reading. Even Leki couldn't resist the allure of the comfy chair.

So the wedding is next weekend, which means some last minute errands this weekend. We started out early and picked up the wedding bands from the jeweler. As we were leaving they also gave us some toasting flutes, so we're rocking rings and flutes.

We placed our order for flowers as well.

And then we hit a bunch of random stores looking at various gadget and toy sections for tablets and potential new Green Lantern merchandise.

It was incredibly hot and humid all day. Couple that with our lack of interest at the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts (which is kind of like a food festival with musical accompaniment) and we steered clear of the downtown area and outdoors in general. The day was mostly hopping from one air conditioned building to another and on a day like today, that's ok by me.

X-Men First Class is out this weekend so Chris and I had plans to see that. Between the two of us, I'm the bigger X-Men fan and I was honestly not interested in seeing this movie. I hated the other movie adaptations. And not just the last one. All of them. Rogue was one of my favorite characters growing up and the changes they made for the movie adaptations were too annoying to ignore. So I didn't have much hope for this movie.

It was alright. Most people I know really like it. And if I didn't know anything at all about the X-Men characters maybe I would have liked it more. The chemistry between Xavier and Magneto was great. Outside of that - meh. I need more than just super heroes I grew up with on the big screen to be dazzled. If you're going to change things to adapt the series to film, make reasonable changes. Not just a series of cameos of characters that didn't even exist until they were created in the mid-2000's (which would be fine if the movie wasn't set in the 1960's).

But, there's a huge problem with the X-Men universe anyway. Lots of deaths and rebirths, characters changing sides, rewriting character histories, spin-offs, cross-overs into other titles (ex. Spiderman, Iron Man) etc. Unless you're hard-core and buying every title every issue, it's hard to keep them all straight. Which characters history is in an alternate history and which one is the proper timeline, blah blah. It''s a sprawling rats nest of crazy they keep piling onto every month.

That's a big difference between ongoing series like Naruto, Bleach, or at one time even InuYasha. While they have a large cast and hardly any characters ever seem to die off (even if they should), there's certainly no alternate timelines, alternate earths, alternate characters, or anything else that confuses a potential reader looking to start.

Of course, maybe a big difference is in time. X-Men has been around since the 60's and none of those Japanese series have. Either way, as much as I loved the X-Men as a kid, it's a difficult comic to read now and I much prefer self contained series like Y The Last Man, Locke & Key, Fables, even the short Empire series.

Anyway, that was a long rant about nothing much. Most importantly, Leki was there to stalk..er greet...us when we got home later that evening. And that's all that really counts.