Wednesday, August 27, 2008


At the risk of exposing my identity on the scary world wide interweb, since wedding stuff has been slow-ish this week I thought I'd post a pic of me and my brother on Halloween a long, long time ago. I don't even know how old I am in this photo. Luckily we're both wearing face paint for identity concealment.

I won't show this one to the MOH--she's afraid of clowns. I'm not too fond of them either. What was mom thinking?

Our mom used to sew our costumes, which I just think is amazing. I love the eyes on my brother's antennae. I hope mom scans in more old Halloween pix. I'd love to print them out and frame them to display at the wedding!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I have to take the ring in tomorrow morning to get it re-sized. It's just a little too snug. I don't think rings are typically supposed to leave welts on your fingers!
Sigh. So sad.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Also Hard of Hearing, Apparently

The other day I was reading WeddingBee and one of the bloggers mentioned that she got hit on for the first time since being engaged, and the guy wouldn't notice her ring, even though she was scratching her nose, running her hand through her hair, etc. to try to get him to see it without having to spell it out. Well, guys typically aren't that subtle, as much as it pains me to stereotype by gender, so eventually she had to just tell him.

This morning I was walking to work and a man smiled and said hello. This isn't that unusual, and I think most non-single or just plain not-interested women have perfected the polite-smile-then-look-away maneuver to avoid the conversation. Today, however, after I passed the guy, he yelled back at me (or, at least I thought this is what he yelled), "Do you want to go for coffee on Mission and 24th?"

I smiled and called back, "No thanks, I'm engaged!" I thought, "wow, that's a very specific request!" I also thought, "Oh, yeah. Still got it!"

"No, I meant were you getting coffee on Mission and 24th?"

Whoops. And also, we went from being very specific to being very vague. I mean, when was this incident supposed to have happened? I'm sure that at some point in my life I have gotten coffee on Mission and 24th. Still, I said, "Oh. No." and continued on.

Ah, well.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Photography Inspiration

I blogged awhile back that we were going to meet with a photographer. That hasn't happened yet (stuff came up), but since I was thinking about it, I started to collect images that I liked while going through WeddingBee or Offbeat Bride. I'm afraid to say I haven't been collecting the sources along with the photos. My apologies to any photographers out there, but let this be a lesson: label your stuff!

I realized today that I had thirty-something images collected (from wedding and engagement shoots), so I could probably draw some conclusions about what I liked. Here's what I discovered:

  • I like props. Parasols, umbrellas, and red balloons, etc. Especially red balloons, since I have two separate images featuring them!
  • I like vintage-looking romantic photos with black and white and sepia tones.
  • I like modern-looking photos with bright colors and unusual backgrounds.
  • I like photos where people are jumping.
  • I like photos of details like tables and hands. And shoes. Especially shoes.
  • I like photos in unusual locations, like the bride in the circular window below. I love that one.
  • I like photos that display the personality of the people in them.
  • I like playful photos.
  • I like photos that don't look too posed, but where the subjects display real emotion rather than stiff smiles.

Review of The Nasty Bits

It's been awhile since I reviewed a book; I have been reading (gasp) purchased books in the last week or two, since I had to buy my book club book this time around (it wasn't available at the library).

Mr. T and I are fans of No Reservations on the Travel Channel, and both of us really enjoyed Kitchen Confidential, so I was excited to read this one. And then I discovered...I didn't really like it.

That might be too harsh. I guess I just didn't like it as much as I thought. It really feels like the title: just bits that were gathered up and shoved into a book with some pretense at an overriding organization. It could also be called, "random stuff that doesn't really go together." I know this is somewhat typical for a book containing short non-fiction stories, but I think it's been done better, and I think Bourdain himself did it better in previous books. This one seems to contain pieces written after KC, right up to the beginning of his television shows, first on the Food Network and then on the Travel Channel.

I also found the voice in some of the stories grating. There's one story where he bemoans the Disney-fication of NYC, longing for the glory days of drugs, crime, and prostitution. This seemed like a desperate attempt to look cool and hip and tough. I was relieved when I got to the end and saw that Bourdain had commented on all the stories--most of his commentary completely jived with mine, and for that particular story, he admitted that he sounded like an ass. Phew.

The story I didn't really look forward to reading, which was the one random piece of fiction in the book, was actually my favorite thing. It didn't feel as forced as the other pieces, and I enjoyed it a lot.

So, this one was disappointing. I find that I am amused by the young bitter Bourdain, but on the whole I much prefer the older, more mellow, content Bourdain; he's not trying as hard.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Engagement Party Afterglow

So Saturday was our engagement party, hosted by the MOH, BM, and another dear friend of ours (and her husband, who did a lot of the manual labor!). I wore a tea-length red dress that I bought for a friend's wedding, with my leopard-print stiletto heels (which surprisingly were fine to wear all night; I expected them to be less comfy) and Mr. T wore a dark blue button-down shirt, jeans, and his birthday Adidas. It was a little foreshadowing of our wedding outfits, since I'll be wearing a red dress and he'll have a dark blue suit on.

We didn't have to lift a finger other than bringing an iPod loaded with music and my old Polaroid camera (which I discovered doesn't work, but I'll get to that in a second). Mr. T was a little uncomfortable with having folks do everything for us, but I felt strangely liberated (and I am usually the control freak!). I knew my girls would take care of everything, though. The MOH also asked us to bring some framed pictures of us as decor for the food tables and I realized that I haven't printed a single photo out since we got a digital camera, so that's on my list of things to do before the wedding! All the photos I found of us were from years ago and we both look baby-faced...and thinner. I did find a couple of hilarious Halloween images: one of us as geishas, and one of us as Mulder and Scully. We went to Target that afternoon to get some frames for the photos and scored some for $2 each! We'll have to pick up more before the wedding, since I'd like to display a bunch of photos there as well.

We hit horrible traffic on the way over to the MOH's apartment and ended up being 40 minutes late to our own party. Mr. T called it being "fashionably late" and tried to keep me from getting too cranky about it. Once we got there, I was amazed at what a great job the ladies had done. The MOH was calling the theme "Halloween lite", so there was a skull on the door and a sign that had our names, hyphenated, followed by "Engagement Party;" the sign was in the shape of a spooky old castle.

Once we got inside we were greeted by the hilarious site of white and orange streamers in the hall, and a white tissue paper wedding bell with bats hanging from it. I laughed and laughed. Once we had drinks in hand (there were two signature drinks, named after us, and an elaborate and crazy bar set-up), I relaxed and got to chatting with folks. The Halloween and wedding decor was great, and there was a huge spread of food, although I realized I was so excited to talk to folks that I barely ate wonder you hear about all the couples who don't eat anything on their wedding day! The E-party team had everything running like a well-oiled machine, and we felt so taken care of and loved.

They had set up a guest book area with Polaroids; luckily my bridesmaid had brought her own Polaroid camera because mine just wouldn't do anything. I have no idea how to fix it; it's been at least 10 years since I last looked at it. I'd wager the battery's dead, but how to replace it? We couldn't figure it out. Anyway, although Polaroid is no longer making new film, they'd managed to find some, although it expired in 2004. It gave all the photos a sepia tone that was kind of neat. Still, I think my vague idea of having a Polaroid guest book at the wedding will have to remain unfulfilled, since the film situation will only get worse from here out. Don't worry, though, I have other ideas!

Anyway, folks got their picture taken and then signed next to their photo. It is a really fun memento from the evening! Mr. T's dad was there, although I think he felt a bit out of place since none of the other parents/older relatives came, which was unfortunate. My friend from high school came, and Mr. T's cousins, and the belly dance crew, and Mr. T's office, and my book club (the bookbabes). I showed off my ring; Mr. T and I had been joking that we needed to have a fancy jeweler's lamp set up so that I could do showings every 15 minutes. Folks seemed to like it, or at least they said they did! ;-)

One of my belly dance troupemates picked up vegan cakes from Millennium; since I'm a lactard she wanted us to have cake I could eat. There was a lemon one with white chocolate frosting and a chocolate one with yummy raspberry filling and chocolate frosting. Apparently she asked the baker to decorate them for Halloween, which first surprised the baker (um, mid-August!), and then amused her. She had to bring some ghost-shaped sprinkles from home and asked my troupemate not to tell anyone she did that, since Millennium doesn't use any artificial ingredients in their food! Mr. T and I did a ceremonial cake-cutting pose, which will probably be the first and last time for that, since we're doing cupcakes for our wedding.

A couple of folks disobeyed our "no gifts" request (defiantly!) and we got a great bottle of champagne, which we'll probably pop open on our 11th anniversary this year, and we also got a nice bottle of tequila and a box of candy. Ah...booze and sugar, the way to my heart.

The MOH sent us home with tons of yummy middle eastern food, the leftover cake, and these hilarious bride and groom rubber duckies that now reside in our bathroom.

The next day we hung out with Mr. T's dad, watched the Olympics, and got some dinner. It was a fantastic weekend, but I'm exhausted today. It felt like a test run for the wedding, only on a smaller scale...very educational! My one regret is that Mr. T and I didn't spend more time together at the party...we have sort of an unofficial "divide and conquer" strategy at parties to get to talk to more people. At our wedding, though, I told him I want to hang out with my husband, and he agreed.

Seeing how smoothly everything went made me reconsider hiring a day-of coordinator (DOC). I have a little idea about that...gotta clear it with Mr. T and we'll see what happens...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If I Only Had Some Brains...

This Saturday, the Zombie Mob takes over San Francisco! Perhaps Mr. T and I can participate, then go to our engagement party as zombies (or victims)?

My friend just emailed me, "This is super-fun to watch/partake in! One time they went through the downtown Apple store saying "What do we want? Brains! When do we want them? Brains!"

That's hilarious!

Anyway, one couple got married during last year's zombie mob. That has got to be the definition of an offbeat wedding; how romantic. I love them.

Crappy iPhone Preview Photos of My New Ring!!

Ahem, please ignore the chipped nail polish.

I love my ring!!! I am worried, however, that we sized it too small after all. It was hard to get on, and it's leaving a mark on my finger, not that I plan on taking it off, nope, finger could turn blue and I'd deal with it. What a bummer. I think we'll have to re-size it so it's a quarter-size larger.

On the other hand, there's no way it's coming off accidentally (like that Olympic beach volleyball player, thank goodness she found it later). So that's a plus.

These pics are crappy but give you some idea of the deep pink color and the sparkle. It's SO sparkley. I was mesmerized as I walked to work. Good thing I didn't walk into the street at the wrong time and get hit by a car. That would've been anticlimactic, to say the least.

Better pics to come!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's a really good thing I wasn't a math major

You may remember this post, where I accidentally calculated that we would need $3600 in postage. Yep, not the best at math over here, I admit it.

Today I finally went through and counted the number of households, not guests, that are on the current invite list, and came up with 55. Here I was thinking we were inviting 100 people, so we'd need 125 invites, but actually, we're going to need to order 75 invites, and that should cover it. Phew. That makes letterpress look a lot more affordable.

I'm such a dork. At least I do eventually figure these things out, even if it takes me awhile.


The most awesome email ever

This lovely message hit my inbox yesterday:

I just wanted to let you know that your order is ready. The ring is beautiful! Please let me know when you would like to stop in to pick it up. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Woo-hoo! That was fast--we ordered it on 8/2 and we got the email on 8/11. We're going tomorrow morning to pick up my ring. I'll try to take a decent photo and post it this week.

So exciting!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rock the Reception

TLC is not quite as good at making addictive reality shows as Bravo, but they are pretty close. I furtively watched the last season of Say Yes to The Dress, and now they're back with another wedding related show: Rock the Reception.

This time, they're capitalizing on two of my interests: weddings and dancing! Couples who want to choreograph an unusual first dance apply to be on the show, and professional choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon work with them on their chosen song. It culminates in video footage of the piece at the wedding, where they surprise all their guests with a choreographed "first dance"! On the episode I saw, some of the bridesmaids/groomsmen also joined in.

Tabitha and Napoleon were featured on this season of So You Think You Can Dance (another fave), and so it's nice to see them again, although the level of dance is somewhat...diminished. They do a good job of working with the folks they've got, but jeez, some people can't even clap on beat. I'm serious. I don't know why I'm shocked about that, but I am.

Anyway, Mr. T is of the opinion that this show won't last ("No one wants to see regular people dance," he opined), so I don't know if we can apply to be on the show; instead, I'm trying to sweet-talk one of our friends into applying so we can meet Tabitha and Napoleon. That would be awesome.


Mr. T and I attended his business partner's wedding this Saturday. Not only was it fun, but we got to make mental notes for our own wedding! They got married in lovely Half Moon Bay, which is about 45 minutes away (more with traffic, as we discovered on Saturday), a lovely coastal town. Many of the guests spent the night in the B&B where the wedding was held, but because we are frugal and also procrastinators, we opted to drive down and back both nights.

Friday night the couple had a meet and greet in a pub. I liked the casual atmosphere. We are planning on doing something similarly relaxed for our "rehearsal dinner"--probably a pizza party with pumpkin carving. I liked the idea of opening up the rehearsal dinner to more of the wedding guests. Depending on the venue, we may think about doing, it means fewer pumpkins that I have to carve myself! ;-)

Saturday we drove down in the afternoon. I was late getting ready, as usual, and Mr. T was going to get dressed at the B&B after we got there, so I'm afraid I stressed him out. I have to remember to leave myself extra time on our wedding day. Mr. T got dressed in one of his coworker's rooms and we got ourselves out to the B&B garden and found seats in time for the ceremony. It was a little chilly outside, but not too bad, and the garden was beautiful. The bride and groom walked in together to Iron & Wine. I like the idea of walking together, but I think my dad probably wants to "give me away". It's something to think about, though.

I was pretty restrained and didn't cry too much, but as usual, I did have a coughing fit in the middle of the ceremony. I always pack cough drops for this reason. I have a contrary throat. I liked that the bride and groom wrote a poem for their friends and family. I don't know if Mr. T and I are up to poetry. Perhaps he can do some drumming and I'll do an interpretive dance to tell folks how happy we are that they're at the wedding. On second

One thing I noticed was that although I could hear their officiant fine (he had a mic), I couldn't hear any of the bride or groom's vows, because the mic was not handed over to them. That was a bummer. Note to self: Need mic for all speakers at the ceremony.

After the ceremony we mingled and had appetizers and drinks. They weren't serving hard alcohol, but luckily the B&B had a bar, so I went and bought myself a drink...or rather, one of Mr. T's business partners bought me a drink! I would really like to make sure there's hard alcohol at our wedding, if for me alone. Some folks just don't like beer or wine. So, even if we have to go cash bar for the liquor, we've gotta do it.

The mingling was fun but perhaps a touch too long. I was pretty hungry by the time dinner came (most of the appetizers had dairy in them, so being a lactard, I didn't eat much). Note to self: provide some nondairy appetizers. Not that I expected that at someone else's wedding, but at mine, I'm gonna eat something! ;-) The other thing that happened during this time is that folks started claiming tables (there was no seating chart). I didn't notice until almost too late; luckily, we were able to score a table together with Mr. T's work crew. Dennise, you told me that a seating chart was the way to go, but I didn't quite believe you. Now, I think you may have been right all along!

The bride designed, wrote, and illustrated a cookbook for the wedding favors. I forget where she got them printed, but it was relatively inexpensive. The groom wrote an album for the bride, so that CD was the other half of the wedding favor. I really loved the favors. The cookbook in particular is so handy! And it's funny and contains blurbs about what and how they cook together. Very fun idea.

Dinner was buffet style, which is what we're planning on doing. The line did get long for a minute, but it wasn't too bad. The food was great and had different options for meats, but only one vegetarian option, and no vegan options. At our wedding, even though I don't think any of our guests will be vegan, I'm definitely going vegan for one dish. We do know more than one lactard, so I think it's important for us.

During dinner there were a couple of toasts (avec champagne), which we couldn't really hear. I think that was because we were outside...the sound just floated away. We won't have that particular issue. The same for the music after dinner--it never really got loud enough for dancing. I don't think that was their focus, though. Before the wedding I had asked the bride if there would be dancing, and she shrugged and said "Maybe!"

The bride and groom did do their own sweet first dance, and even though we couldn't hear what they were dancing to, we all cheered.

After dinner it started to get really chilly, so we were happy to go inside for cake--carrot cake! It's funny, Mr. T and I were just discussing carrot cake, b/c he loves it, but didn't think it would be a popular enough flavor, so we opted not to serve it at the engagement party. Based on how quickly that thing disappeared, I don't think he needed to worry! I think we'll probably over-order on the cupcakes to make sure everyone gets one or two...dessert is really the best part, after all.

The bride and groom were happy and also very dazed. Now that all the planning was over, they didn't know what to do with themselves. The groom told me, "I feel like there's something I should be doing, but I guess I'm done!" I thought that was interesting and that probably happens all the time at weddings. I hope that we are able to enjoy the moment without worrying about what's left to do, or what didn't go right. I in particular am a worrier. I hope I can be in the moment!

The merriment went pretty late--the ceremony started at 2 and there were still folks there at 10, when we left--but I think that was in part because folks were staying at the Bed and Breakfast. It was nice, though; folks changed into comfy clothes and settled into the bar. I hope we have a good crew who stays with us till the end! Who am I kidding, I know we will!

All in all, a very satisfying kickoff to the wedding season.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Shopping Adventures

I was in Walgreens this morning picking up your usual drugstore stuff plus a card for Mr. T's business partner's wedding this Saturday (this is the first wedding to happen out of the 8 or 9 engaged couples that we know--Mr. T and I keep telling each other, "Research!").

I noticed two "same sex couples" cards in the wedding section. Wow, even at a chain like Walgreens, they adapt quickly. I bet those cards aren't available outside of CA or Massachusetts, though. It's funny how the opportunity to make money will override any homophobic feelings. It's oddly encouraging to see the capitalism at work here--true equality! I also recently heard a jewelry company advertising wedding bands to all different types of couples--they really had to talk fast to squeeze it all into that 60-second advertising spot: girl-girl, guy-guy, AND guy-girl were marketed to. "We don't care who you are, we want your money!" It feels like the future has arrived.

Speaking of shopping, I was at Michael's this weekend and noticed they have the Halloween stuff out (two months early!). They have "treat sacks" available for 29 cents each--perfect for our candy favors. Based on my sketchy and incomplete research, that seemed like a good price to me, but I haven't bought them yet. It just felt too soon. I might go back though. If I wait until the post-Halloween sales, I'm worried they won't have enough.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More dresses

More dresses found in online wanderings. The red below is courtesy of the lovely Bekabee:

I adore the red color and of course I love the Halloween-appropriate graveyard photoshoot. But, I find it odd that the lacings are on the front of the corset. I just love the look of the lacings up the back. I do like the black touches on the dress, but I think I wouldn't like this skirt on me....too bunchy.

I like that this dress is more streamlined but still has character. However, the view from behind wasn't great. This one also laces up the front.

It looks like this company's corsets lace up the front AND the back? I find that odd. I like the front (except for the peasant blouse under the corset...a little too Renn Faire for me), but the skirt looks bad in the back.

I actually saved these photos because of the tuxedo cat, who reminds me of my own cutie tuxedo kitty. I also like that the cat matches the dress! I like the black buttons up the back of the dress and I like the black birdcage veil too. The gloves are a little 1980s Madonna for my taste.

I sorta like the asymmetrical thing on this dress, and that it's got some character without being too foofy. Still, it's not quite right.

I can't remember why I saved this one, actually! I think it's pretty (for a Cinderella-themed wedding) but the girl literally looks like a beached mermaid--like she would just be flopping that heavy bottom half of the dress around. Maybe this was supposed to be part of my "waify models hunching over in expensive white poofy dresses" collection.

Look at this, a white dress I don't hate! I actually quite like this but I have a feeling it would look crappy on me. It looks nice on the model's flat stomach and slender hips, but I sense that the cut and fabric would be unforgiving on a buxom curvy girl. Ah, well. A girl can look...


I found someecards after a coworker sent me a funny card during a particularly troublesome project. These are hilarious! There are tons of funny wedding ones; above are a small selection.

The website tagline is "When you care enough to hit send."