Marriage boot camp

After spending 40+ hours at work last week, Raphael and I spent the next 44 hours over the weekend at the Serra Retreat up in the Malibu mountains for an Engaged Encounter weekend. As a requirement to get married in a Catholic Church this was the last thing on our to do list before we got our certification. So, along with 43 other engaged couples we checked in for a weekend of marriage preparation.

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't thrilled by the idea of giving up a weekend and we both feared that we'd be spending it getting preached to and playing The Newlywed Game. However, it was quite special and inspiring, albeit long. The days started early, very early, with a wakeup call at 6:45 a.m. and the sessions went all the way till 11 p.m. at night. It was intense and not like I had expected, since it was more of a private thing than a public sharing. We would get a life topic to write about in our journals and then share them with each other. At times it was emotional and although we live together and have discussed most of these topics already, some new stuff still arose. It was also nice being around so many couples and people in love. The views meanwhile of the ocean, mountains and nearby mansions were spectacular. The show The Flying Nun was filmed at the same retreat actually.

The lack of sleep and staying in separate dorm rooms though, wasn't that special though. When I was finding my room and seeing everyone with their bags heading down the hall, I felt like I was in college again, especially once I entered the room and saw the empty walls and met my roommate for the weekend. Oh and then there was this bull frog croaking outside our window all night and if I hear the term "life-giving" one more time... Yet, I wouldn't trade the weekend in for anything. It was a nice time, away from wedding planning and thinking about the actual commitment of marriage and our future life together.

Film review: I wrote a reivew for Shakefire.com on the Sundance Festival hit The Wackness. Although the buddy buddy, coming-of-age film, The Wackness won the 2008 Sundance Audience Award, I didn’t know what to make of the title or the fact that it starred Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley with Mary-Kate Olsen and Method Man. Despite my confusion over the casting and the title’s weird name, I was quickly captured by the film written and directed by Jonathan Levine (read more).
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