Wedding: Sorting the details #3

Four more months to go! And there is still a ton of stuff on the list.

  • Date: 15 May 2011, Sunday.
  • Venue: Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Tecoma Pavilion. Will check back in March 2011 to confirm that my venue isn’t affected by renovation works. Also paid 50% deposit for the catering so that’s another milestone down. Need to decide if the food is right though.
  • Celebrant: Waiting to meet up again with John Byrne in April 2011, need to hand him an invitation together with the remaining documents and cash.
  • Sequence of events: A less sketchy idea of how I want things to go has been written down, with ideas on wet weather plans, and plans to conduct a rundown a week before actual.
  • Equipment setup: Need to finalise stuff needed and pay deposit to The Wedding Zone.
  • Wedding rings: Bought my ring from Charles Rose last year, V has yet to buy her ring. Need to engrave them after that.
  • Wedding gown: V’s gown from China didn’t fit well even after alteration, so she needs to look around for a suitable gown.
  • Guest list: Need to confirm attendance for some overseas people in Feb, in process of trimming guest list to a manageable size.
  • Photographer: Accommodation for Michael (aka TX) booked, but air ticket not confirmed yet.
  • Airfare: Still pending V’s family’s air tickets.
  • Accommodation: A couple of friends came out with a bad experience from Katz Apartments, so we had a round of inspections on other serviced apartments and settled with Milano instead – deposit placed last year.
  • Invitations: We are 90% complete on this one. If you haven’t seen the invitation cover on Facebook, here’s a peek. I quite think our design beats a lot of other wedding invitations I’ve seen hands down, face flat. (Yes, I am quite proud of what Stan’s skills achieved with my contributions.)

    The 五月の恋 bit came from an idea that popped up sometime last year, an inspiration for the theme of the day actually. The wedding’s in May (五月) so that’s pretty obvious. We started out with a common interest towards Mayday (五月天), and this is the fifth (五) year of our relationship. Lots of significance if you know where to look! I wanted the card to reflect my personality, which is simplicity. Overly flowery shit just doesn’t cut it TBH. The cover design is simple, no-fuss and yet manages to retain a stroke of elegance – brilliant.

  • Videographer: Stan’s the one, but need to hammer out the flow of the day.
  • Makeup artist: Not done yet.
  • Car hire: Delegated this to Bill, need to tell him again on number of people in car and car ribbon colours. It’s oddly amusing why the colour of a ribbon can take almost two weeks to decide on, when no one is going to bother to give the damn ribbons a second look on the actual day.
  • Florist: V checked availability of sunflowers with Basia Puchalski, sounds good so far but you never know with the weather.
  • Honeymoon: No idea now.

More updates in another post.

Basketball: Saturday morning shots

It’s been ages since I got up so early for basketball, in Australia especially where it’s mostly been afternoon and evening sessions. Back in Singapore, weekend basketball was always on Sunday at 0900hrs so I had to get up or risk missing ball.

Stan and I reached MSAC at about 0800hrs for shooting practice, and crossed our fingers hoping basketball enthusiasts = late sleepers. And we were right – the sight of less than twenty people across eight basketball courts? Beautiful. We had a half court to ourselves, sweet.

We worked on shooting for about 2.5 hours, basically taking turns to shoot jumpers. Person A shoots until he makes ten before swapover, which could be easy if you’re on a roll but the hardest thing in the world if you happen to be shooting bad. Making ten isn’t as easy as just attempting ten, it could be ten shots (if you’re good) or thirty (if you’re tired or just plain awful).

In the first half hour, I actually tried to correct my shooting posture to hold the ball in front instead of overhead (which could potentially save energy), but I concluded it was a pointless exercise in the end. With the ball in front, for some fcuking reason I could not see the hoop with my left eye, and I realised today I was left-eye dominant, which rendered my experiment a total failure. Back to overhead shots, wee.

My mantra for the day consisted of nothing but “DONT-HANG-IN-THE-AIR-GET-INTO-THE-FLOW-AND-SHOOT!” I realised previously reducing my hangtime on a jumper actually improved the release by a great deal. Oh yes, and more importantly – accuracy of course. Still, habits are hard to kick and I’m still working hard!

Stan’s shooting had two kinks we were looking at:

  • Tucking the shooting arm’s elbow in – Outward pointing elbows (visualise Rondo’s FT shooting posture last season) = wasted energy and a lower tendency for a consistent release direction, because the elbow is not tucked in and flailing around. With an arm that’s pointing straight at the basket, you can think of your arm as a catapult which is only required to launch in one direction: straight ahead. One less factor to worry about, so all you need to do is to square yourself, look straight and launch with a good release.
  • Getting the energy from the legs to the arm to the shot – This was a combination of hanging before the release, and a jerky shooting motion. You are supposed to gather your energy, jump, and release in a single fluid motion, so that energy waste is minimised. Less energy wasted = more energy to do other stuff + tire less quickly.

It took a better part of the morning (and several video recordings on my phone) before he understood what was required, but we got it mostly worked out in the end. I was actually quite incredulous that he could not get a feel of his shot previously (i.e. the “feel right” motion that says your shot is going in) but now that he could, it seems like a big step forward.

We should do this more often, but it means no more sleeping in on Saturdays – damn.

Basketball: Simple perfection in the pick and roll

Took the tram down to MSAC today for a little shooting practice, which it was initially. Kept hitting jumpers so long as I squared my feet, the feeling was pretty good! Then a guy came over asking if I wanted to join them for 3-on-3 (for the uninitiated: yes, random invites like this happen all the time due to uneven numbers).

So I said yes, and played one of my most enjoyable sessions being the ball handler ever. I was the smallest (not shortest, but smallest in size) guy on the court, and what do you do when you have two bigger guys on the team? Get the pick and roll going of course. I was lucky my teammates understood what the pick and roll was about to begin with, and I just did what I always did, drive to the left. The moment I ran past my teammate’s pick, he was already rolling – great! I fired a bounce pass right into his hands.. and he fumbled it. This would be a recurring scenario in the session, which made me wonder if I was doing it wrong. Nevertheless, they made enough baskets for us to win.

I was doing a variety of stuff all over the place too. Baseline bank jumper, hook shot in the paint, drive and stop jumper, high release off the glass on the usual left-handed drive, a pretty floater on a straight drive to the hoop, setting a pick and popping for a shot, throwing alley passes, a couple of blocks and steals; all enormous fun.

The high release off the glass really made me feel like Rondo heh heh. Now if only I can fire right-handed bounce passes too hmmm.

After the game, some of the guys asked if I wanted to join them in a league team they were forming.. as a point guard. I’m sure my dribbling skills and court vision aren’t really up to scratch yet, but hell it sounds fun not to mention being a big-time compliment to my performance today. We could even add these guys into our regular group and join the league Ambrose was planning for, adding a couple of big guys always is a good idea.

Things like these make me really happy.