Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary to my Boo

Happy Halloween everyone! I can't wait to see everyone's costumes at the MOH's annual Halloween party tonight!

And, most importantly, I'd like to wish a happy 11th anniversary to my honey. We go to eleven! I love you boo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Invite Ideas and Inspiration Boards

I'm tidying up my saved jpegs, so that means they have to get posted before I forget about them!
First up, some invitation ideas. Lately Mr. T has said he wants to do a more typographic design, so I'm not sure we'll end up with anything resembling the following, but I like it all.

First up, a "woodcut" made out of construction paper. Although we certainly have plenty of time to make these, I think it would drive us crazy. Still, amazing, no? So skilled.

Next, an adorable pumpkin bag that holds the invite. A bitch to ship, but cute.

I love the silver ink on the black paper. I wonder how that's done.

Some more "traditional" invites. You can actually buy these blank and print them yourself at home. If we're cutting some more corners, this might be a way to go:

And finally, some inspiration boards about Halloween weddings, exciting! I love the one of the drinks; that's black vodka in some of them! Who knew that existed?

Oh, and one Day of the Dead board. Love the black glitter pumpkin! Hmmmmm....

Dress Loveliness

So, as the one-year mark approaches I'm starting to make some more substantial plans. I know, I said I wouldn't do anything until 11/1, but come on, it's just a few days away!

One of the things I decided recently is that I need to take the plunge, go to a "traditional" bridal shop, and see what silhouettes look good on me. I mean, I have an hourglass shape, so I'm considering a mermaid-shaped skirt, and yet I don't want the focus of the dress to be my saddlebags and junk in the trunk. I'm currently investigating shops that carry plus-size samples (ain't no way I'm fitting in a 6!) so I can do some preliminary work before I go see the corset-maker. I am dreading going into the land of white poofy dresses a little bit. I just haven't heard encouraging things from my plus-size bridal sisters. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

And, of course, there's always the internet. Look at this gorgeous red! That is the perfect color. Love it.

I also like that it extends to her hips and that there's some coverage in the bosom area...good for the more amply bosomed ladies like me. I don't love how jarring the silver clasps look against the red. I wonder if these come in other colors? They must, right?

And, courtesy of a bride on Live Journal who designed her own pale pink and black dress, check this out!:

I love, love, love this dress. I love the beading on the front that drapes over her arms, I love the flashes of black lace from the skirt, I love that it's pink and black, I love it all. Drooling now. Well, I do think the train is a bit much, but maybe it's just the photo making it look that way.

I also think she did a kickass job of doing her own makeup:

I would definitely like a redder lip but I love the drama around the eyes. Sigh.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tasting at Venue #3

So, if all goes right and the gods of football are kind to us (and it seems that they will be), we're going with venue #3. The price is right, mostly (more on that in a minute), we like the coordinator, we like the room, our guests can stay at the hotel, and it's local to us.

Mr. T, the MOH, and I went to the venue on Saturday for a tasting. I apologize that I don't have photos of the food. I brought the camera, but I felt awkward taking any photos. It was a unique situation to be presented with food and then have two people (the chef and the catering coordinator) stare at us while we ate it. The assistant catering coordinator, Daniel, even wrote down what we said after we tasted stuff. It was really odd.

As a reminder, we have to use the hotel's caterer if we have our wedding there. It's one of the reasons that we can afford the venue fee. So, we had our fingers crossed that the tasting would go well, and mostly it didn't disappoint.

We started with appetizers: a spring roll and a coconut crusted prawn with chile sauce. They were both tasty but I thought having two fried options would be odd, greasy, and heavy. So we're keeping the prawn and looking for another option for a passed appetizer. We'd also have a cheese station set up at a table. Since I doubt I'll get many of the appetizers, I don't really care if I can't eat them all, so cheese is fine with me!

We then tried a salad with mixed greens, persimmons, dried cranberries, nuts, and a blood orange dressing. This was super yummy and the dressing was not too vinegar-y (I mostly don't like salad dressings because all you can taste is vinegar). We approved that one right away.

For the sides, we tried a broccolini. This was yummy but I wondered if it would get wilty on the buffet. We opted to have some broccolini but also some roasted root veggies (beets, squash, potatoes, yams, etc.).

For the starches, we had a butternut squash, which was yummy but ruled out immediately because we're going to have it with the veggies, and we tried a saffron rice, which was just okay.

And finally, the entrees. So, I had requested a pork dish for Mr. T, salmon for me, and a VEGAN dish for our veggie friends, and also so I could eat it. We started with the "vegan" butternut squash ravioli in olive oil with sage. It tasted really delicious, but the ravioli were already hard from sitting out, and they hadn't been waiting that long. Daniel said these typically fare better with some type of cream sauce. Then he broke the news that the ravioli can't be vegan anyway, because there's egg in the pasta. Then, much later, it came out that the ravioli had some cheese in them!! I took a lactaid pill right away, but my stomach still hurt a bit later. Um, hello, how not-vegan could this dish get? So, we're back to the drawing board on that. The chef suggested polenta cakes with a veggie ragout, or a lentil/veggie kind of stew. We haven't decided what would be good yet. Clearly vegan is not this chef's forte, but hopefully we can work something out.

The other entrees went much better--the salmon had a delicious salsa on top, and the pork kicked ass, with a green apple/brandy sauce. That was our favorite thing at the tasting by far.

After the tasting we looked the room over again and Mr. T declared that he liked it even more the second viewing. Daniel seemed disinclined for us to have our ceremony and our reception there b/c of the awkwardness of chivvying our guests out of their seats to clear the reception space. I told him our guests would have to deal, and be thankful we weren't asking them to move the chairs themselves! Really, I think our friends will be low-key about it. Daniel also told us that the chairs they have in-house suck, so we'd be looking at an additional $400 for chair rentals, plus $300 for sound equipment rentals! Lots of little hidden costs started popping up...I guess on the initial visit they just want you to like it, and then they spring the fees on you slowly. We still haven't heard about the budget for our buffet, so I'm waiting to hear back on that one. Cross your fingers for us!!

Daniel also advised against having the bridal/groom party sit at a head table. He told us they had one at his wedding and discovered everyone stares at you while you're eating and it's uncomfortable. I thought that was hilarious. I rather liked him.

After the tasting (which we had to walk to because there was a football game that day, and hence, no parking) we decided we wanted something sweet and walked to a local gelato shop. Mmmmgelato. We talked about our photo-taking options, since the hotel doesn't have a ton. Daniel recommended Faculty Glade on the Cal Campus. I figured we'd end up on campus, since it's right there and very scenic, and also my alma-mater.

So, things are looking good that we'll sign a contract on the venue soon, fingers crossed. And then most of the hard stuff will be done!

Review of War for The Oaks

I kept trying to pick this book up when I would get into bed at 12:30 am, and I kept putting it down and shutting my eyes. I think this has equally to do with me being just to tired to start something at that hour, and also that this book has a slow start. Awkward, even.

However, once I opened the book at a decent hour and skimmed over the first page or so, I was hooked. I read most of this book in one day. Typically with books I get tired and need a break, but this one kept me captivated. It reminded me a lot of de Lindt's Newford series, where mortals and the supernatural co-exist and sometimes interact.

The main character, Eddi, is a singer/guitar player who quits her band, meets up with fey folk, including a phouka who becomes her bodyguard, unwillingly agrees to help the Seelie court win a war against the Unseelie fey, and starts another band--this one including (unbeknownst to her) two fey musicians.

I'm not sure if the reader is expected to be smarter than Eddi, but I spotted the two fey in her new band immediately. And when it comes out that there's a traitor amongst the Seelie fey, I knew who that was right away, too. And I also knew she'd fall in love with the phouka.

However, obvious plot devices and all, this book had enough action and adventure and romance to keep me hooked until the very end, where I felt it lost a bit of its momentum. I didn't feel that the final battle was very convincing. At the back of the book were excerpts from the screenplay (no, it hasn't been optioned for a movie...the author just wrote a screenplay just in case), and I thought the screenplay version of that final scene was actually more exciting, so I was glad it was included.

Regardless, I'd recommend this one, and I'll probably check out Territory, which is the author's next novel (not a sequel to this one).

You'll note that there's a quote from Neil Gaiman on the cover...that's because Emma Bull is in a band with Neil's assistant Lorraine. But I'm sure that he also enjoyed it.

Review of I Was Told There'd Be Cake

My one-word review for this book?: Meh.

I read this after reading about it on Jen Lancaster's blog, I think. The cover features a quote from Jonathan Lethem comparing Crosley to David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell--3 excellent signs, I thought.

Unfortunately, the book didn't really live up to it. Whereas Vowell and Sedaris ARE quirky, and their vignettes are glimpses into their interesting lives, Crosley seems to spend this entire book trying to convince you that she's quirky, and hip, and funny. The stories are frantic, frenetic, stuffed with unnecessary details and crying out for a decent editor to whip them into shape. The best stories were just mildly entertaining. I had to make myself finish this one, and I found sometimes I couldn't get through even one story in a sitting.

So, meh. It wasn't awful, but I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone either.

Fantastic No On Prop 8 ad

Based on the Mac/PC ads:

Friday, October 24, 2008

No on Prop 8

My birthday is next month, and I couldn't think of a better present than a big old FAIL of Proposition 8, the article on the California state ballot that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. What a bunch of BS. It makes me furious when I think about it, for myriad reasons.

The main reason is that I believe in treating people equally, regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. How is telling two gay men they can't get married any different than telling a black person that he/she can't marry a white person? Answer: it's no different.

I suppose proponents of Prop. 8 would argue that the bible says homosexuality is a sin. However, the United States (supposedly) separates church and state. Passing a law based on a group's religious beliefs is, well, BS. I don't need someone else's religion forced on me, ever. And I believe that the churches who are so actively politically campaigning against gay marriage should have their tax exempt statuses removed. Again: Separation of church and state, people.

But, religion aside, what really baffles me is the argument that if you're for gay marriage, you're against "traditional" marriage. WTF? How is that logical in any way? I'm for any type of marriage! Marriage is great, and it's also hard, and as an aside to that, I think we can attribute the high rate of divorces directly to the heterosexual parties involved and not one iota to the gay community. I fail to see how allowing a group of human beings some basic human rights threatens the rights of another group. I just can't make the connection. Maybe the Prop. 8 supporters are worried the gays will reserve all the good wedding venues? The caterers? The florists?

My codancer (who's getting married as well, early next year) officiated a wedding between two men recently and she said that they wrote beautiful letters about their relationship and read them to each other at the start of the ceremony with confidence and calm, nary a tear in sight. It was when she read the traditional ceremony to them after that (they had requested that she incorporate the "traditional" vows) that they started to cry. Later she said she realized they probably thought they'd never hear those words: "in sickness and health, for richer or poorer..." And that makes me want to cry.

Anyway, kudos to companies like Google and Apple and also to SF Mayor Gavin Newsom (whatever his other faults) for not bowing to the pressure of religious groups, and for supporting what's right: equality. That's what this country's supposed to be about, right?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dumb wedding joke of the day

Courtesy of my dad:

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Skirt Style Option

The "saloon girl" look is very popular in the belly dance world right now, and I'm a fan of it.

One of my friends created this dress and I love it. This might be a skirt option for me: flirty, sassy, and not poofy.

Adorable, right?

My friend Medina is on Etsy if you love her stuff too. She only has a couple things up right now, but does update regularly.


Hello folks,
I just wanted to reassure you that I'm still out there.
Martha Stewart has tons of fun Halloween stuff up on her website, including quizzes! According to MS (which is what my grandma calls her), 63% of adults in the US participate in Halloween, and Halloween is the 3rd largest party day in the US, behind New Year's Eve and the Superbowl!
On the wedding front, Mr. T and I scheduled a tasting this month. We will accomplish two things:
1. Taste yummy food and think about what we'd want to serve folks at our wedding.
2. Look at the space again and think about the types of decorations we'd need, since we're going shopping for discounted stuff on 11/1!

We attended the lovely wedding of Mr. T's cousin this weekend, but I'll save that for another post as I want to at least post a photo of the cake and the bridal bouquet.

For now, I leave you with a photo of my friend's cat Licorice, who seems to be okay with dressing up as long as there's a treat in it for him. Here's his latest outfit:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Congrats to another happy couple

Hey kids,
Posts might be thin between now and mid-November, but we'll see. Work has reached a fever pitch for me, but even though I have my head buried in the sand (how many cliches can I stick in this sentence?) I am really happy that October is here! I'm appreciating Halloween even more this year as I daydream about next year.

A friend of mine got engaged over the weekend in Vegas. Congrats, Monika and Carter! He presented her with a lovely 1920's antique sapphire engagement ring. I knew they would be next, and I'm so excited for them!!

Here's her lovely ring:

Beautiful, no?