Sunday, December 30, 2007


(A few days prior to Christmas, Dec. 2007)
What's MY Christmas wish? That people would step away from Myspace and Facebook for a bit to check their actual E-MAIL ACCOUNTS, take note of any e-mail I send them with a link to my blog which they would then click on and subsequently read the contents of my newsletter once in a blue moon. Of course, for you cynics out there who would tell Virgina to go screw herself because there is no Santa Claus, then my Christmas wish is an exercise in futility. But for those of you who still believe, both in Santa and myself, my heart goes out to you on this holiday season, and an extra big present shall be dropped beneath your tree.

There's been a lot happening in the month since I last beamed about my Halloween exploits and shared sample artwork from my various creative endeavors. First off, I've been busting my hump (to employ an oddly sexual sounding vernacular) to appease the powers that be at Recycled Paper Greetings. For those keeping score, the current situation is this: They still dig the three cards they chose from my first submission, and seem to like at least one of the cards that I'd re-tooled (actually re-re-tooled) from my second submission. So I have to whip up some new material to send their way ASAP so they can have a complete selection of my work to post online for a focus group to review for them. Once they get feedback from that group, we’ll know if I've got the stuff to freelance for them. I'm still feeling good about this, so hopefully I'll have something more concrete after the arrival of the new year.

My other big push to break into Ape Comics with my comic book "Dead Duck" (seen here in a fun piece I drew titled "Freddy VS Jason VS Ash VS Dead Duck and Zombie Chick") has been producing some juicy fruit (and I don't mean gum!). I've persistently dogged one of their editors, Kevin Freeman, with at least one e-mail per month since August, and each of his responses made me more hopeful that they would in fact publish Dead Duck for me. We discussed marketing Dead Duck, what our target audience would be, and the format that the book would be presented in, all sorts of good stuff that made it look like it was finally happening for me. Then this past weekend I got an e-mail from David Hedgcock, who's the financial manager of Ape Comics. He wanted to schedule a teleconference to discuss the future of Dead Duck. The call took place last Tuesday, and while I'm not at liberty to divulge too much of the conversation, I will say that we're VERY close to signing a contract, and that Dead Duck will be a graphic novel, which was the format I'd always dreamed of. Now, nothing's etched in stone just yet, and the winds could change between now and then, but I've never been this close to my artistic destiny before, and I'm all for keeping a positive attitude and locking my gaze upon the horizon. More news when the time comes, and believe me, LOADS of news there shall be with the coming dawn of 2008!

In other artistic news, I've been the steady plow horse, trudging through the fields of art gigs, both good and could-be-better. For the most part, I've had some nice experiences drawing caricatures for events at Northwood University and some neat family portraits for various clients (see samples further down in this blog). But I've recently been involved in a situation where a certain unnamed party stiffed me fifty bucks and breached our contract. I'll only say that the matter has been handled, but the relationship with the party, whom I've dealt with for about fifteen years, is seriously strained and potentially done for.

(The day before New Year's eve, Dec. 30th, 2007)

Thanks to the characteristic hustle and bustle of Christmas (plus a nagging back ache that made it difficult to slouch over a keyboard), I had to step away from my ramblings and enjoy the holidays. But I'm back, and to continue where I left off via paraphrasing: fifteen-year association with a business colleague goes up in smoke due to breach of contract. News at 11. Moving on...

I finished a bunch more pages of my Dead Duck graphic novel during my blog-sabbatical, and I'm very happy with them. I'm up to twelve pages now, making it the longest Dead Duck story I've done yet, with likely another three or four to go before I'm done. Finished may be overstating, as though the pages are fully illustrated, they have yet to be scanned in, cleaned up (i.e. erase little errors that only I would notice) and colored. But for me, the crux of creating the comic is in the hand drawn pages. Everything after that is just the wrapping on the Christmas present.

For those who are a wee clueless as to the nature of Dead Duck, my first thought is that you don't normally read my blog or follow my work. Dead Duck's all I've really spoken about for the past year. But in the spirit of giving, let me lay it out for you Spark-Notes fashion: Death employs minions to bring him spirits of the deceased which he then processes and sends off to their respective afterlife destinations. My comic is about his number one minion, Dead Duck, and his sidekick Zombie Chick. The graphic novel will be a compilation of separate adventures where the duo will make various pick-ups in varying points of history and realms of reality. So there you have it.

I've been hammering away at celebrity caricatures for my portfolio in my spare time, and I've been pretty happy with the results. Here's a selection for you to pour over.

It's often difficult for me to present these time-consuming cartoon endeavors to the masses I encounter at my various caricaturing gigs. But I do it anyway. More often than not, it gives them something to do when I'm drawing them. But the difficulty arises when sticky little kids turn it into a game of "How fast can we whip through the pages and still streak the book with the highest booger count possible?" I've also had a hard time keeping a rein on the collection, as inconsiderate patrons tend to run off with it to show their friends across the venue, leaving me to cross my fingers and hope they have the consideration and sobriety to return my portfolio to me. Still, I trudge on, creating these caricatures to hone my skills in the medium and to promote my work.

I've also had my share of personal caricature assignments from folks who wanted their families and significant others cartooned in time for Christmas.

I drew this caricature for the people who own Print Express, the print shop I frequent in Shields. I highly recommend their business for anyone with printing and office supply needs. Great prices, great service and great people.

My friend Melissa commissioned this piece as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend, with the only instructions being to incorporate their interests of bowling, knitting and drinking.

And this commission came after a co-worker of my friend Melissa saw the one I drew for her. Aside from scrapbooking, the interests I was asked to incorporate into the piece hit close to home: zombie horror movies and comic books are familiar subject matter for me.

My last bit of news sees the sun set upon a pen name I've employed for at least twenty two years. You may have noticed that in some of these pieces, "FOZ", the signature, is absent, and in its place stands my full name, Jay P. Fosgitt. Though only time will tell, for now, this is intended as a permanent change. It has nothing to do with growing up and shedding my childhood image or anything like that. You know me. I'm Jay, child eternal, Peter Pan incarnate. Growing up's not an option. What it is is me wanting to make damn sure my audience knows just who I am. I couldn't tell you how many caricaturing gigs I've had where the people I'm drawing ask me to sign my full name, or ask me at great length who "Foz" is. So this is my remedy for those situations. I've found a nifty style for my full moniker and that's what I intend to use from now on. Having said that, Foz is still my accepted nickname, and I fully expect people to call me that 'til the end of time. It'll probably be on my tombstone when the day comes. And for as long as this blog functions as an all-encompassing newsletter for all facets of my art, The Foz Chronicles: news from the fozfront it shall remain.

I'll wrap this up now with a personal note to the many friends and family I have seen over the holidays this far, and the handful that await me after I post my blog. I love all you guys, and 2007 has been a wonderful year to share with you all. 2008 looks like it'll have some cool stuff to offer, and I look forward to sharing that with you, too. My best to you and yours, and despite the religious right that would have me do otherwise, I say HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you all in your individual beliefs and traditions. I've got mine, you've got yours, and we all have each other. That's how it should be.

Hugs aplenty,


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

THE LATEST-Part 2: Back in the saddle again!!

It seems like the second, and I do mean the second that we'd put away the last folding chair and pitched the last trash bag of decorations from our wedding reception, I was right back at the ol' drawing board (or more accurately, new drawing board that Laura bought me for my birthday). Just before the wedding launched on October 27th, I was bombarded with a bunch of art stuff that had to be done between Halloween and November 12th, so I had precious little time to make it all happen. But I'm dedicated to my art like I'm dedicated to my wife, and I knuckled down and brought it together to the best of my ability. However, I wasn't so busy that I was about to let my all-time favorite holiday EVER slip past without paying it some serious tribute....

Halloween isn't just another cruddy little Hallmark moment tacked on the end of October. It's a state of mind, a way of living, a point of view. And it's my favorite holiday, hands down. So this year, Laura and I made a Devil's Night pilgrimage to the Midland Mall to see what kind of last minute Halloween costumes we could throw together from all the picked-over refuse lying next to the impending white squall of Christmas display decor. For our efforts, Laura put together a very cute Devil costume, while I chose to pay homage to one of my favorite movie monsters, Jason Voorhees.

We headed over to Laura's dad's place in Auburn to pass out candy. It was adorable watching Laura hand out candy to the cute little toddlers and gradeschool kids. However, watching me interact with the slightly older kids who knew who Jason was and knew just as well that they weren't comfortable taking candy from him was less than adorable. Truth be told, I scared the shit out of more than a few. Two little girls I sent running back to the street before they even approached the porch. Guess I played the part well. Anyway, it was the first real Halloween celebration Laura and I have experienced since we began dating back in 2002, and we had a real ball.

Back on the art front, the first post-wedding priority I had waiting for me was an assignment for Interlude Magazine, now called Tri-Cities Magazine (or Trimag, as I've coined it). They wanted me to draw a double-page spread about area DJ's for a story they were featuring, and they needed it by November 2nd. The story posed the question, are DJ's really cocky and arrogant, or is it just an act? So, using the swelled head metaphor, I came up with the resulting artwork:

What's strange is that just as I completed this piece, the most famous DJ in the line-up, Johnny Burke, had gotten himself suspended from 96 FM for some racist jokes he made on air and on their website regarding school kids from Flint. So Trimag's director tells me there's a chance they might have to cut all of Burke's responses in the article, and erase his and his sidekick's caricatures from the art, just to avoid negative controversy for their article. Fortunately, Burke was brought back after two days, and I made a point to send a few e-mails to Trimag to make sure they knew, and to not alter my artwork in any way.

The next major project to complete was for Recycled Paper Greetings. As I'd mentioned in my blog a month ago, RPG liked the card ideas I'd submitted to them back in April and were intent on buying three of them. But they wanted to see some more "everyday cards" from me to include in a collection to show a focus group. Everyday cards consist of "Happy Birthday", "Get well soon", "Just for laughs," and other non-holiday specific occasions. So, rifling through my old unused cartoon idea surplus as well as concocting some new gags on the spot, I whipped up ten new samples and sent them out a week before the Novemver 12th deadline they'd given me. Here's a few of the better ones:

So currently I'm waiting to hear back from them and see what the next step towards paid work is. More news as that progresses.

My next mad rush to artistic completion was a family portrait done for my friend Steph Witt. I've drawn Steph countless times in the seven or eight years that we've worked together, but this was the first time I had to draw her whole family for a paying gig, so the pressure was on. Here's the end result:

So I'm happy how this turned out, and to the best of my knowledge, Steph is, too. If this gives any of you guys an idea for a Christmas gift for your own families, don't hesitate to get ahold of me. I'm always available, and will produce my best work for you.

Once the dust had settled and I got yet another art gig out of the way (a two-hour caricaturing stint at Northwood University for which I produced a whopping two whole caricatures but still made my standard hourly rate), I sat down and began producing some art just for the fun of it, for myself, like in the old days. My best stuff comes from those free-release sessions when I'm my only audience and boss. This time around, I had a hankerin' to do some caricaturing. Good celebrity stuff. I began by rounding out the freaky foursome of classic horror actors that I first showcased here a month ago (Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, if you don't recall). This time around I chose to create Vincent Price and possibly the scariest actor of them all, Christopher Lee. Here's how they turned out:

I'm very happy with these. I've had more fun creating what I refer to as my "Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse" than any other caricatures in recent memory. Not that that stopped me from creating others, as you'll see...

Jennifer Aniston had a look I've wanted to draw for a good long while, so she was doomed to be doodled...

Willem Dafoe is a god of an actor, and he was due for some cartoon canonizing...

And Wilson and Carell own Thursday nights these days, so I figured I should own them on paper.

So that's all what I've been up to since the wedding. In January Laura and I are trying to plan a total get away honeymoon, so hopefully that'll be a good release from all the chaos. But after that, it'll be back to the drawing board again. Ape Comics still say they're interested in bringing Dead Duck to published reality, so I have to stay on top of that. Plus there's more art gigs coming up between now and December, and unknown projects that are just waiting for me to tackle them as soon as I heard about 'em. Thanks for hopping aboard this wild ride with me, folks. I enjoy the company!


THE LATEST-Part 1: The wedding!

It's been a few weeks now, the smoke has cleared, I've caught my breath, and I'm finally ready to share some news regarding my wedding to the wonderful Laura Tanner.

For all the headaches, money concerns and petty squabbles that went into our wedding (as is the case with ALL weddings, mind you), our wedding was truly everything we ever dreamed of, and exactly what we wanted. Somehow, within the strict boundaries of our budget and resources, we pulled together an intimate ceremony and reception that reflected us perfectly. And most significantly, Laura and I were able to share our vision and happiness with so many of those closest to our hearts.

The whole sha-bang took place at The Bay City Players, a community theater close to both our hearts. To set the mood, I'll tell you that our processional song was "Rainbow Connection", as sung by Kermit the Frog in "The Muppet Movie." This was a natural choice, since I'm a huge, HUGE Muppet fan. Once we got up on stage, we were greeted by Laura's maid of honor, Allison, my best man Scott, and the honorable Judge Tim Kelly, who presided over the ceremony.

Laura and I wrote our own vows, and we each had people do readings. My friend Justin read a piece chosen by Laura, and Scott read a poem I'd written. They both did wonderful jobs, and it meant so much to have them involved in the ceremony.

Our recessional song was "All You Need Is Love," by The Beatles, which was reflective of Laura, whose a tremendous Beatles fan. We greeted out guests per isle, exchanges hand shakes and hugs, and led them to the lobby for the reception.

The reception was also a unique event. Rather than having people clinking on their glasses to get us to kiss. laura and I devised a trivia game where someone would pick a question from their table, come up to us and ring a bell, then ask the question which was about each or both of us. If they got it right, we kissed. If not, there was a penalty, such as they'd have to give us marriage advice, kiss someone themselves or sing a song about love. For the most part, the guests knew us pretty well, and there was abundant kissing.

Here's Laura with her maid of honor, Allison...

Here's us with Laura's grandma...

Here's a picture of us cutting our wedding cake, which was very good, and decorated with a "Corpse Bride" topper that I built myself...

Here's me, my dad and his wife...

This is the photo collage I made for the reception, full of pics of Laura and I together and separately, many from our childhoods...

Here's me, Laura and my grandma...

Here's Laura dancing with her dad....

Here's me dancing with my mom...

Here's me, Laura and my birth-mom, Penny...

Here's me, Laura and her mom...

Here are my best men, my crew, my boys: Justin, Scott, me and Dooley...

And here's Laura and I, enjoying our first dance together as husband and wife. The song we chose was David Bowie's "As The World Falls Down," from the Jim Henson movie "Labyrinth." This was also the first song we'd ever danced to as a couple about four or five years back at another friend's wedding when we first began dating. Not to mention that we both loved Bowie, Henson and Labyrinth, so this song was so perfect for us in so many ways.

The night went off without a hitch (or at least, no hitch so bad that we couldn't recover), and it was wonderful to experience it with so many great people. I hope you guy's enjoyed this sneak peek, and remember what I said before: you were all there with us in our hearts.


Friday, October 19, 2007


Please forgive a 33 year old's girlish outburst of emotion, but……


I have some seriously great news to share. Do you recall way back in my blog dated March 1st how I was in the process of creating some sample greeting cards to submit to Recycled Paper Greetings? Well, it's been seven months since then, and admittedly, I was getting a little disheartened about my odds of getting a reply, let alone published at all. With my wedding coming up, I was preoccupied enough to not think too much about it, but it was still in the back of my mind.
So tonight, as I walked into the apartment, full from a nice dinner with Laura and anxious to watch "Deathproof" which I just rented, I decided to check my e-mail, if only to delete the influx of spam I've been getting from my website's forwarded e-mail. That's when I came across this interesting and unexpected correspondence:

Hi Jay,
I realize that it has been several months since you sent Recycled Paper Greetings art submissions for consideration. I apologize for the extreme delay in responding to you. I actually just joined the team in September to help stay on top of new submissions.
Enough rambling though, I showed your card submissions to our Art Director and he really liked two of your birthday cards in particular (the devil & the woman plucking herself bald), as well as your Halloween dentist card.
Would you be available to schedule a conference call sometime next week to discuss your art further? If so, please let me know the best days & times you would be available to chat.
Best regards,
Liz Sacks
Art Department
Recycled Paper Greetings

My first response was disbelief. I was like, "Oh, that's nice. I got a reply." But then, slowly, it started to well up inside me until the realization reached my brain that, yes, THIS WAS REAL!!!! They honest to god like my work and want to talk about publishing me!!! I walked, flabbergasted, into the living room where Laura was on the phone. She looked at me, later saying I seemed like I was going to puke, and told the person on the other line to hold on a sec. She asked me what was wrong. I choked out, "Recycled Paper Greetings wants to buy some of my cards." Needless to say, she was as elated as I was, and still am. So I let her get back to her call, and I got back to a quick response to Miss Sacks, which went like this:


Thank you so much for getting ahold of me! I'm very excited to hear that your art director has interest in some of my card samples. During the week I'm home after 4:00 pm Michigan time (I can't recall if Chicago is an hour ahead or behind us) if that would work for a conference call. Otherwise, I'll be home all day next Thursday, October 25th if that would allow for a better time to talk. I'm so anxious to engage your company in discussion, and I am truly thankful and appreciative of you for contacting me. I look forward to hearing back from you soon to schedule a time to talk. Until then, take care, and thank you again. You've made my day!
Jay P. Fosgitt

Folks, I am so very, very excited about this. The Dead Duck deal at Ape Comics is still warmly percolating and now THIS!!! I've been in such a mad panic about the idea of Laura having to marry a penniless cartoonist, how I'd support her, would I ever have a career, and all that access baggage. But I'm seeing my dreams come true before my eyes, and just in time to see me get married! My life is beginning!!! I'm just bursting with happiness here, and had to share the news with all you guys, the people I love. I'll be sure to let you know what the next step in all this will be, just like I promised you way back on March 1st, so never let it be said that I don't keep my promises! So much love, people, and more news to come very, very soon!
Oh, and for those interested, here are the cards that Recycled Paper Greetings are interested in publishing. They're three of my favorites of the bunch, too! Hope you dig 'em!


Saturday, October 06, 2007


So I sit here at six in the a.m. on a Saturday morning, a victim of unseasonably warm October weather with resulting sinus congestion to show for it. And as I sniff and struggle to shake the cobwebs out of my head (No, spiders haven't laid eggs in my ear. It's a figure of speech), I find myself reflecting on my lost youth. Y'see, today's my birthday-by-proxy with Laura (tomorrow being the actual date of launch), who's the love of my life. And drifting back twenty years or so, I begin retracing some of the steps (of the female persuasion) that got me to where I've always wanted to be:

In 1981, I was chubby, insecure and an incurable doodler. Sure, that sounds like a euphemism for masturbation, but I liked to draw. Clean it up, potty minds. The first grade is an intimidating place. As Dan Akroyd reflects disparagingly in "Ghostbusters", "They expect results." Bullies, math, and forced physical exertion (I refuse to call it education) didn’t hold well for me. But one girl, Mara Mueller, who would become one of my first friends and just as importantly, my first realistic crush (or as near as I could assume to have at that age, a good five years before puberty kicked my ass), kept that period of my childhood from being an absolute bust. The fact that I fell for a girl who had religious values far flung from my own (Jehovah's witness) and who could draw horses way better than I could made the crush even less likely. You may note that I referred to Mara as my first "realistic crush." That's because just before Mara caught my eye, I was won over by a freckle-headed vixen of the big screen who's unshakable belief that the sun would come out tomorrow only made her more appealing. Aileen Quinn's performance as "Annie" would forever be etched in my mental black book as my very first serious celebrity crush, and of an older woman, no less (she had me beat by four years).

1985 and the fifth grade held it's own brand of horror that would make first grade seem pleasant by comparison. Given a choice between two mean old bitchy teachers, I inexplicably chose the worse of the two for my homeroom. Mrs. Dankert hated me for reasons I can't begin to understand. I wasn't a wise-ass, I wasn't a bully, and I wasn't a know-it-all by any stretch. But she seemed to resent me, and found ways to inflect petty tortures that left scars significantly internal if not external. But a bright spot in my year of darkness came in the form of Mary LePeak.
Maybe crush is a bit too strong to describe my feelings for her, but she was certainly the truest friend I'd made that year, and I recall drawing a figurative white squall of cartoons about and for her.

1986 was a mixed bag. Sure, it was, up until that point, the greatest year of movies I'd ever experienced (Labyrinth, Little Shop of Horrors and Howard the Duck in the same year? Who'd been looking into my dreams?!). And it introduced me to the three guys who would end up being my best friends (mad props to Ray, Danny and Bill). But there seemed to be a bully population boom that year (the market was flooded, almost like a full page ad requesting twelve year old thugs was posted and the response was overwhelming), my hormones were off the charts, and I was a social misfit of the tenth power. And lording over the wasteland of my scarred psyche and throbbing libido was Jenny Masterovski.
In the truest sense, it could be said that she was my first honest to god, would face a firing squad for one kiss crush. Mara was good for the first grade, but Jenny was the real deal. In retrospect, she was a very kind girl given her social status (burgeoning popularity with the homecoming queen crown on the horizon). She actually gave me the time of day, so to speak, and did nothing to discourage my harmless flirtations in the form of the previously mentioned white squall of cartoons. But like most twelve year old boys who's decision making is marred by the mystery of where that hair came from and why does my zipper feel abnormally tight, I let me emotions get away from me and scared her off, albeit temporarily, but enough so to embarrass myself in front of the entire class. Hey, what's one more scar to the ol' psyche, anyway? Fortunately, a 6th grade girl's memory of such things had the lifespan of a fruit fly, and we were on decent speaking terms (a brief "hi" in the hallway or a polite acknowledgement of a drawing) after my obsession ran it's course. But I will say that there were much worse people to have around when puberty came a knocking.

1989, another great year for movies (Batman, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade), and another great year for crushes. Actually, crush really doesn't pertain here. With the others, I'd harbored a fruitless hope of an actual "Wanna go with me?" relationship. But with Amy Royal,
I just wanted to stare awhile. She was a different kind of popular than Jenny: stuck up, a wee bit loose perhaps, humongous red hair and with a real cruel streak from what I could tell. So what did I see in her? Just the superficial. Great body, loads of freckles (I've had I thing for them since the days of Aileen), and that hair. Oh man, all that red, bushy hair. So I found that staring awkwardly in the hallways and cafeteria every chance I got was the best way to suffer my libidinous affliction. Ironically, by the time I had a class with her in my junior year and her senior, I got to know her and found myself as disinterested as could be. Her hair deflated, her snotty attitude was wearing thin, and I had other interests to pursue. I don't know if that made me shallow, but seeing as how it was fifteen years ago, I'm not apt to feel terribly guilty about it.

Which brings me to 2002, my second year at my third college (I'd attended Saginaw Valley State University for semester, spent a long and wonderful tour of duty at Delta College, graduated and went on to Central Michigan University). At the time, it seemed I was working towards a degree in not getting a date, and having maintained that area of study for the better part of 28 years, I was certainly overdue for my Masters. I'd about given up trying, actually. I didn’t even want frivolous "friends with benefits" type of canoodling. I just wanted to forget the whole idea of the opposite sex. Of course, that's when it all comes tumbling down upon you. A brief sojourn of non-exclusive dating with a girl who ended up a good friend gave me valuable experience (non-sexual, ya bunch of primates) in future relationship endeavors. So when by absolute whim of fate I met Laura, I had at least an inkling of how to treat a girl (I would have killed for an inkling back in 1986). What was great about Laura is that we started out as friends. Or more accurately, we started out less than friends, though not quite enemies. We were acting in a scene together, and she being the more experienced actor had little patience for my unintentional skill at stepping on her lines during rehearsal. She made sure I knew I screwed up, in short. So I was put off by her, which as we know is a sure sign you're going to fall in love with this person. Soon, it became evident that, through chance encounters and some not-so chance that Laura liked me, which was great, since she was a very attractive woman with a great smile. Yes, superficial at first, but a cute girl liked me. I couldn't afford wasting time reading her resume and doing a background check. Fortunately, when all research had been completed on my part, I found that we were highly compatible and that I loved being with her, which soon evolved to the point where "being with" fell off altogether, leaving "I love her" to stand on it's own merit. This did not take long, on my part at least, which I imagine intimidated her and understandably so. But that's the fun thing about relationships: they don't run on a time schedule. They're going to grow and spread in their own way in their own time. And ours did, into the beautiful blossomed garden that we'd planted together five years ago this month. Sure, that garden has a few bugs and weeds, but it's healthy, and it's going to sustain us well into our old age when such nutrition is most vital to a couple.

So I stand on the precipice of the future, and casting a look over my shoulder to the past, I close my hand around Laura's and signal my appreciation for the experiences that brought me to where I am today, by her side, in her heart and anxious as that awkward twelve year old to profess my love on the alter and make her my forever bride.