Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh Yeah, Mr. T Is Wearing Something Too

Mr. T has not yet gone suit shopping, but thanks to my nagging, I mean reminders, he's started to think about what he wants to wear.

Yesterday he told me he had found a great suit on the cover of GQ and that he liked the cut. When he told me that Justin Timberlake was the cover model, I was a little worried. I mean, I adore JT, but he and Mr. T are not shaped alike. At all. JT is a scrawny man-boy (yes, it's true. He's talented and funny, but it's true), while Mr. T is the guy who does 200 push-ups in one workout session. You know?

But then I looked up the cover of GQ and I had to concede that it was, indeed, a mighty fine looking suit, and I know nothing about suits. For this one to stand out to me, it must be sharp! Here it is:

I like that it's a 3-piece suit. Since Mr. T isn't wearing a tux, this is a nice alternative.

I would love to know who the suit-maker is. I've scoured the internet and no one seems to know. My next step, I suppose, is finding the magazine and trying to look for the credits. Mr. T seems to think that he can just look for the same cut of suit, but I maintain that knowing the source would be valuable, so the search continues.

Does anyone out there happen to know the suit-maker?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Back of Dress, kinda

The back of my dress will look sorta like this, only not as...pronounced. It will have layers of black lace instead of the usual bustle. I was explaining to Autumn how I'd come to decide that bustles are ugly when she proposed the layer idea instead. All of the volume, none of the crumpling! I like it.

Weddings Galore

Mr. T and I realized on Sunday that my codancer's wedding was the first of 5 weddings we'll be attending before our own this year. That's crazy! I guess we have a lot of chances to take notes about good ideas.

Next Up: Mr. T's cousin's wedding, an intimate affair with 30 guests, held at Mr. T's mom's house. I think it will be a little different than Sunday's! But I am expecting it to be just as gorgeous and sweet.

OMW: Days 18 and 19

So, as mentioned, Mr. T and I were very tired on Monday morning. So tired that Mr. T told me that if I drove in, he'd pay for the parking garage, which I took him up on. Needless to say, we didn't work out that day.

Tuesday I got up ON TIME (gasp) and went to the gym. I did the bike with increased intensity, which burned more calories and felt better, although still not as intense as the Crossramp. I did arm weights that day, and had a great workout in general. Today I also got up on time--hey, I might be getting the hang of this! There was a flock of little old ladies on the bikes, however. I told Mr. T, "See? The bike is for old ladies." He told me that he took offense to that, and said the old ladies had the right idea for how to protect their knees. :-) True, true.

Anyway, I did the Crossramp, but I tried to take it easy, and it worked. Maybe I can mix up the bike and the Crossramp in the future. About 10 minutes in, I noticed the bikes were free, but it didn't seem worth it to switch. Today was leg day. I noticed I have far fewer leg machines than arm machines. I suppose I should remedy that at some point.

The next workout is Friday. Go us!

Wedding Recap

So, as you all know, I went to my friend and codancer's wedding this Sunday, and I've finally downloaded the few photos I took from my camera, so I'm ready to blog about it!

Mr. T and I were lucky enough to score street parking half a block away, so we didn't need to pay for a parking garage. Hooray! Chalk one up for Sunday weddings. Apparently Sundays are a traditional day for Jewish weddings, which I didn't know. As Mr. T and I battled the light rain on our short walk to the venue, we noticed other folks in red and black--the invites called for "fashionable red and black attire." It was easy to spot other wedding attendees! And once inside, everyone looked so fabulous--it was fun to see everyone's take on the red and black ensemble.

The wedding was held at a gorgeous historic San Francisco building. The ballroom had dark wood paneling, red carpet, and beautiful light fixtures. It was hard to take photos due to the dim lights, but here are a couple of crappy ones that I got:

After we arrived we checked our coats at the "self-serve coat check" (so smart!) and waited for the other guests to arrive and the action to begin. While we were waiting I occupied myself with taking photos of the lovely floral arch over the doorway in the cocktail area:

There were also rose petals scattered on some of the tables and all of the windowsills. After mingling for a little while, we all gathered in the ballroom where the rabbi--who was hilarious, and could have had his own stand-up act--gave us a little explanation on what goes on at Jewish weddings. This wasn't an orthodox situation, since the groom isn't Jewish, but they found a progressive (and funny) rabbi who would perform the ceremony for them. He taught us a little wordless melody to sing as the bride and groom entered, one at a time. If you look closely, you can see the bride entering on the arm of her parents in this picture:

Shortly after we'd entered the room, Mr. T murmured to me, "Oh, they have the good chairs. What are those called again?" I said, "Chiavari. And they're $10 per chair at our venue, so don't get too attached!" But I thought it was hilarious and a little sweet that he's taking notice of little details like the types of chairs.

Unlike your usual ceremony, where the parties head straight up to the altar (or in this case, the chuppah), instead the bride and groom sat down at a table in the back of the room, while we all stood around them in a large circle. They each read very sweet letters to each other (they did it without crying, which I'm not sure I could've managed), and then they and their witnesses signed the ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract. After that we all took our seats and the groom proceeded up the aisle to the chuppah (their wedding attendants were already holding the four poles holding the chuppah up).

The bride came up the aisle next, again accompanied by both of her parents. I really liked this and I wonder if I could talk my parents into it. Hm. I could see my mom feeling shy about doing it and my dad feeling a little hurt that I didn't want to have just him escorting me. They stopped halfway, hugged, and then the bride's parents walked up the rest of the aisle on their own, leaving the bride there. They walked up the chuppah, hugged the groom, and then took their seats. The groom then walked to meet the bride in the middle of the aisle and they did something that I've never heard about before: The bride circled the groom three times, and then he circled her three times. It was pretty sweet and also funny--both of them were grinning and giggling the whole time, and so were all of us. Then they walked up to the chuppah together, which I also liked.

The ceremony was nice--not too long, and involving audience participation--we had to say "Amen" frequently, and of course "Mazel tov" at the end, but I'll get to that. What struck me most was the bride's face--she was beaming the entire time. I couldn't see the groom's face, but I imagine he was the same way. I wonder if I'll be beaming or crying? Hopefully beaming. It's easier on the makeup. The rabbi included some personal details in his ceremony about the couple, which made it that much more special (and funny--the groom himself is hysterical, and one of the details the rabbi mentioned about the groom had us cracking up for a couple of minutes straight).

At the end the groom stomped on the glass and we screamed mazel tov at them, and they were married! They left the room to be alone together for a little while, which I totally plan on having us doing. It seems like a nice moment to celebrate what you've just done, without friends and family pulling on you for your attention.

They'd hired a great band to play immediately following the ceremony (a Balkan brass band), and once the happy couple was back, we all danced! We did some quasi-traditional Jewish line dancing (the horah), although most of us didn't really know the steps (that's what made it "quasi"), and after that came the part where the bride and groom were lifted up in chairs. I just kept thinking of that Sex and the City episode where Anthony tells Charlotte to keep her legs together while she's in the chair, "because no one wants to see the bride's beaver." Crassness aside, the bride later told me that the chair dance was "terrifying"--I guess it feels pretty unsteady, although neither of them were dropped, so it was a success (and no one saw anything, either, in case you were wondering). After that they lifted the two sets of parents in the chairs.

After the chair part was a really fun part where the bride and grooom sat in those chairs on the dance floor and we had to do crazy stuff try to make them laugh. Of course the belly dance ladies did a little piece (comprised of all of the dumb stuff we do in our rehearsals to make ourselves laugh), and their other friends and family stepped up too. I loved it! This devolved into just a general dance party with everyone on the floor. And this was all before dinner!

After all that craziness was cocktail hour. The food was delicious and plentiful, which was good since we were all hungry after all that dancing. It was an open bar, so we were all able to order our favorite cocktails, and I took advantage of the time to take photos of the escort card table and the bride's bouquet.

All of the escort cards had little icons on them corresponding to the table decor, and in addition there were maps of the ballroom indicating the placement of each table. I thought that was very cleverly done.

Because I'm a bad blogger I didn't go around and take photos of all the centerpieces. I actually didn't even take a photo of the centerpiece at our table. Ah, well. We were at the "lamp" table, which had a centerpiece comprised of three sweet little candle lamps and lovely red fabric. I liked the non-floral centerpiece idea (although of course now we are doing flowers for ours...but I still like the idea).

Speaking of flowers, her bouquet was gorgeous and covet-worthy:

Love, love, love, the black magic roses, the little curly things, and the hanging things. You can see how much I know about flowers through my use of the technical terms for them.

After the cocktail hour we were ushered in for dinner, which was delicious. The tables were taking turns making noise and being rowdy, which was funny. I can only hope our wedding is as uproarious. After we were done eating various family members and attendants made speeches, all of which were short and heartfelt. Then the bride got up and thanked everyone, explaining that as this was not a traditional wedding the first dance was also going to be untraditional. Then she introduced our bhangra teacher and her dance partner, who did a lively and fun performance. During their song we all got up on the dance floor and danced along--again, this crowd was ready and willing to dance! I loved it. After that the DJ went into some 80s tunes and we danced our hearts out, at least until the cake was ready to be cut:

Look at that crazy topsy-turvy cake! I watched as they wheeled it in, and every bump they hit set the top tiers jiggling like crazy. I have no idea how they cut it all up for us. In the bottom photo you can see part of the bride's gorgeous dress (her second dress, actually--she had major drama with her first dress maker and ended up paying for a dress that didn't fit her at all). You can also see the groom becoming sick of having his photo taken...I think men are just not used to being photographed. That's my theory on why Mr. T didn't like the engagement pix.

Anyway, to wrap up a long post, yummy cake was served (my piece was red velvet with strawberries, yum...I understand there was a chocolate tier in there too), more dancing and drinks were had, and then we went home and were very tired the next morning for work.

The happy couple left for their honeymoon in Vail and is, as I type, sipping hot chocolate and/or hitting the slopes. Mazel tov!

Monday, February 23, 2009


I forgot to mention, after I blogged about maybe doing that cleanse I immediately had another cup of tea (even though normally I only drink one per day) and then I went home that night and made a huge pot of pasta. It's like my body was prepping for deprivation or something!

Clearly I'm not ready. Maybe someday!

Dress Appointment!!!!!

Saturday the MOH and I were super excited to go to my appointment with the dress maker. She's a custom-corset maker who also creates bridal ensembles in SF. Before the appointment we wandered around her store, which is stuffed with ready-made corsets, custom little top hats and fascinators with feathers and lace and other fun frilly things, beautiful jewelry, gauntlets (both of us almost caved and got a pair of overpriced gauntlets, but we resisted), spats, skirts, coats, sweet little lace umbrellas, fans, you name it. It's like goth heaven!

The owner, Autumn, who had on the cutest skirt, took us upstairs and looked through my inspiration photos, reading all the comments I'd written on the page very carefully and listening intently to what I said about each. She was very engaged and present in the conversation. She had kind of a quiet demeanor but as she spoke you could feel the passion and knowledge she brings to her work. She told me at one point that we have a similar aesthetic and also that she liked my sense of humor, both of which I felt flattered about. I feel like a fangirl with a crush on my seamstress!

After looking through everything, she offered her opinion that I should go floor-length with the skirt, which will lengthen me, but that we could show flashes of leg through lace insets. This was based on one of my inspiration photos, if you'll remember:

I adore this dress. Although I'd change a few details, such as straps (I want some), the tightness around the tummy, and the train (too long and cumbersome for me). Also the color, although I adore that she chose pale pink.

So, we designed something similar based on this dress (mermaid shape with lace insets in the skirt), but in a beautiful red silk satin and with a slightly looser mermaid skirt so that I'll be able to sit. The satin is heavy enough that it won't wrinkle, which you may recall I was worried about. We also picked out the black lace, which has a gorgeous s-shaped curve in it, and talked about also bringing the lace into the bodice to make the dress feel like one piece. Finally, I told her I wanted straps, a modesty panel in the back (no flesh peeking out between the laces in the back), and that I also wanted modesty in the front--no Dangerous-Liasons style cleavage "in front of God and the family" as the MOH put it. We selected a corset style that had more seams in the bust area, so it would allow for the curve of the breast rather than shoving it all out of the top. We also opted to go with no busks (those clasps that appear in the front of corsets), which increases the difficulty of the dress (a lot heavier lacing duties for someone!) but which also, in my opinion, offers a cleaner line and makes the ensemble look more like a dress.

Autumn talked about having red beads hand-sewn on the black lace, but we decided that those were out of my price range. However, now that I've been mulling it over, I'm reconsidering. Beading would add another $500-1500 to my budget. I think I could live with an additional $500 ($1500, not so much). Another option is to do the beading myself, or have a friend do it for free. I wouldn't trust myself to do it, but I may have a friend who can. I haven't decided, but I have time to figure it out.

As we looked through her portfolios I saw at least three women I know in her photos, and we determined that she's done dresses for a couple of other women I know, and is currently doing a dress for a friend of mine who's also getting married this year. It was hilarious. Clearly she comes highly recommended!

She asked if I plan to lose weight before the wedding, and I wasn't sure how to answer this. My answer is, yes, I'd like to, but I'm not on any crazy diet or aggressive weight loss plan...just good old exercise, and trying to eat better. We decided we'd take my measurements in two months. If I do lose some weight, the corset allows for a little bit of weight loss...Hopefully it will be clearer in two months if I've lost weight. I feel like maybe I've lost a couple of pounds (the jeans are fitting better), but nothing radical.

Since I had officially placed the order I put down a deposit of $800. I used my Discover card, which came back DECLINED. I was so embarrassed. Nothing like setting up a good relationship or giving a good first impression! I have plenty of room on that card, and not only that, I have excellent credit. I mean, not to brag, but I have EXCELLENT credit. So I put the deposit on another card, which, after I experienced a brief panicked moment of paranoia, went through just fine.

After the appointment the MOH and I went to eat lunch and I noticed I'd gotten a voicemail on my cell phone from Discover's fraud department. I called back and my phone apparently was fading in and out, or at least that's what the bitchy customer service representative was saying. I'm sorry, if you are in customer service, even if someone's cell phone is frustrating you, it won't kill you to be polite. Just saying.

So I put the phone back in my purse after hanging up on her and we spent the rest of the day shopping for makeup and bras, which was a lot of fun. We were spending some pay from a recent gig, so it was a great way to have some guilt-free spending. We both went to the Chanel counter and got Vamp lipstick, which they are making again!!! Vamp is that gorgeous deep, deep red lipstick (they call it rouge noir, or red-black). The MOH and I had been digging the dregs of Vamp out of our old lipstick tubes, and saving it for special occasions, but now we have brand new tubes!

Anyway, once I was home I called Discover back from my landline. It turns out they declined the card because of their security standards (meaning, the purchase was out of the ordinary for me). I asked the guy, "I'm getting married this year, and it's likely that I'll have a number of large purchases like this. Can I keep this from happening again?" The man, who was very nice, apologized for my embarrassment (which I mentioned pointedly) and said that no, there was nothing I could do, but in the future I could always have the vendor call and verify the charge over the phone.

I'm sorry, but that's a huge pain in the ass, and I'm very seriously considering canceling my Discover card. It's nice they're so concerned with my account's safety, but if I can't use the card, it's useless to me. What if I had been stranded and trying to pay a tow truck driver with that card? WTF? Isn't that what credit is for, the little (or big) unexpected things in life that pop up? So yeah, not a huge fan of the Discover company. Maybe I'll look into a Capitol One card...the whole reason I got Discover was the rewards program.

I'd like to clarify that although I'm using the card, it doesn't mean I'll carry a balance. It's just a way to delay payment until I can move the money from our wedding fund over to my checking. Also, it's good to pay vendors with a credit can contest it if something happens. Not that I'm expecting anything to happen, but you never know!

Embarrassing credit card incident aside, it was a lovely Saturday afternoon, and I couldn't be more excited to see my dress take shape!

OMW: Day 17, plus slacking

So I switched to the bike for my Wednesday workout last week and noticed an immediate difference in knee pain. As in, it didn't cause any.

This is great news and also a little sad, because I don't enjoy doing the bike as much as I do the CrossRamp or the Elliptical, and also because I don't burn as many calories or feel as fatigued afterward. I would extend the length of time, but trust me when I say that I'm getting to the gym as early as I possibly can, and possibly earlier than I possibly can! Mr. T recommended increasing the resistance level, which will be my next step.

I noticed that the bike made my hamstrings very tired, which I wasn't expecting. I thought my hamstrings got plenty of work hiking around the Bay Area. Hm. I will have to be very careful about stretching them out, since I know that tight hamstrings contribute to back problems (which I also have...gotta love getting older! Although my back issues have almost disappeared thanks to the gym workouts!).

Friday was a big old FAIL for the OMW plan. We'd had company over until late on Thursday night, and then Mr. T took the day off Friday as a small reward for working 12 hour days, 6 days a week, for the last few weeks. So, since I was tired, and he wasn't awake to help me up, I overslept. Whoops!

I also didn't go to the gym today, but Mr. T and I are planning to go tomorrow to make up for it. We went to my co-dancer's wedding last night, so we have a good excuse. We had a great time and it was a beautiful wedding in every detail--but more on that later!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Short Dress?

I've pretty much given up on the idea of a short poofy skirt. I think it will make me look wide.

However, what about a short slinky mermaid-y skirt? Something like these (minus the fur collar, blech):

My dress appointment is this Saturday! I'm super excited and have been putting together all my inspiration photos to bring in. I'll have lots to report on Monday, I'm sure!

Beautiful Invitations

I think I found these through WeddingBee. First, from local letterpress Hello, Lucky!, a SF-based invite:

So cute! I wish they had a Berkeley one. I noticed that Hello, Lucky! is now doing digital printing, a much more affordable option. But sigh, I love the letterpress.

Second, a woodcut (lasercut?) invite:

I LOVE this one. However, the bride admitted she went through a Hong Kong vendor who couldn't speak English, so I don't think these invites are in my future. But I covet them.

Review of Quantum Wellness

Well, I finally made it through this book. I had to renew it twice, meaning I had it out of the library for over two months, which must be a new record for me.

Really, though, what did I expect? I found out about the book when I was reading US Weekly at the must consider the source, I guess! I was reading about Oprah's vegan cleanse and thinking that sounded interesting, and the article mentioned that the author's appearance on her show was the reason Oprah did it. So I checked the book out. Sigh.

First, I couldn't find any credentials for this author other than that she's written other self-help books (I checked her website). She talks about being a former model in the book, and no offense to models, but I'm not sure how modeling qualifies a person to advise people how to live their lives. The book cover is riddled with blurbs from other self-help gurus like Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson (sp?), so I guess those are her credentials? I wasn't sure.

Second, I really should have known myself better than to think I could read a self-help book successfully. I was rolling my eyes the whole time. I hate the patronizing, new-agey tone employed in the self-help books I've picked up, and this one was no exception. The writing was just okay, and in the beginning of the book, after a bunch of poorly-constructed sentences, I thought, "Am I really going to be able to read this?" But I did. I had to skim, but I read it.

Third, I was put off by all the talk of religion and "Spirit". It was like she was trying to appeal to everyone with these blanket statements, but I couldn't see it appealing to anyone. But that's just me.

And finally, even though I didn't have an entirely open mind about this book, I could see the value in some of her advice. The problem is, the stuff I agreed with, I'm already doing. I have already cleaned out my house to get rid of stuff I'm not using and create a better home environment. I already know how to figure out what's really bugging me when I'm worried about something. I'm already trying to eat better, exercise, etc.

One thing she brought up was keeping a journal, which I often think about but never seem to do. She recommends keeping a food journal as well as a journal of just random thoughts/what you're worrying about, so you can pick out patterns. I might try doing that.

She also talks extensively about the meat industry and what happens to animals...awful, awful things. I already knew a lot about it, which is why I've cut down on meat consumption and tried to eat at restaurants or buy from grocery stores that get the meat from local farms...I may eventually go vegan, but I'm not quite ready for that. And that brings me to the one message that I really appreciated about this book: that just because you're not ready to do everything, doesn't mean you can't do something. I am not ready to go vegan and give up leather, etc., but I am ready to eat less meat, so that's what I'm doing. She calls it "leaning into" your goal. I agree with her that by taking small steps toward a goal, you're much more likely to commit to a change. If you did it all at once, it would be overwhelming, and you'd revert.

The cleanse, which was the reason I picked up the book in the first place, was one of the most interesting parts of the book for me. She advises doing a cleanse (up to three weeks, as long as you can manage within that time period) where you don't ingest any animal products, alcohol, caffeine, sugar (or chemical sugar substitutes, either!), or gluten. Ulp.

I'm still thinking about doing this, but my biggest stumbling blocks, I've found, are the gluten and the caffeine. Not that I'm drinking a pot of coffee a day, but I so enjoy a nice warm cup of tea or a nice soy latte in the morning. I love holding the warm cup in my hands and sipping a sweet (from Splenda or Equal, not sugar) creamy caffeinated beverage to start my day. Especially on a cold rainy day like today. I must be more addicted than I think I am, because the thought of giving it up, even temporarily, is a little alarming!

Re: gluten, I am a total carb girl. I love to snack on pretzels; I love noodles; I love peanut butter sammies on whole wheat bread, I love bagels, etc. That one would be really hard too.

So, also as she advises, I'm just sitting with the idea for awhile to get used to it, and I may decide to do it at some point in the future. I will need a backup plan for how to replace what I'm cutting out, though, or I'll be off the cleanse after one day!

She gives vegan recipes in an appendix at the back of the book, which I found disappointing. I think they are meant for folks who have never tried eating vegan food before, because she calls for a lot of fake meat in them. Anyone who has ever tried grocery store fake meat knows that (most of) it sucks. You're much better off getting your protein from beans, or sources like quinoa, etc., than you are eating tasteless approximations of meat...nothing makes me miss meat more than grocery store faux chicken or beef! (There are some exceptions, but they are typically found in more specialty stores, not your average grocery store.)

I have also simultaneously checked the Veganomicon (a huge vegan cookbook...I love that the title blatantly refrences Evil Dead!) out of the library, and am enjoying it...this one might be an owner. A book like this would be much more helpful to me than those other recipes, I think!

So, while this was not my favorite book ever, I did find some value in it. Imagine that!

OMW: Day 16, plus weekend report

I think I have to admit that there's an issue with my right knee. I'm going to switch to the bike at the gym and see if that makes a difference (although the bike is not my fave...I get a much better workout from the elliptical). If it doesn't, then I'm going to the doctor.

It's not a sharp pain. It's a dull ache that only bugs me if my knee is in certain positions, and only after I've been to the gym (it gets better over the weekend and when I have breaks between gym visits). I just think that any pain is not a good thing.

This week I'm back on a M-W-F schedule, which is good--I like having a day off in between, for now anyway. It was nice on Monday because the gym was really quiet due to the holiday. If I wasn't lucky enough to get the day off, at least I could get on all the weight machines without waiting!

This weekend was busy and domestic, all at once. Friday night was a friend's birthday party. Saturday I got my hair cut, went to the library, had dance rehearsal, and then came home and did laundry, dishes, went to the grocery store, ordered Chinese takeout, and watched The Wedding Singer on TV with Mr. T. I love that movie! So sweet. I love Adam Sandler's joke about the losers at Table 9...We were asking my codancer the other day if we were at the loser Table 9 at her wedding. ;-) I guess we'll find out this weekend! Anyway, we did have cupcakes and champagne, yummy and caloric. mmmmmm. So I definitely need my gym time this week!

Sunday we (me, Mr. T, the MOH, and two other friends) went to see a matinee of Coraline in 3D. I was worried it would make me sick, but they did a really good job of using the 3D sparingly. I really loved the film and didn't mind the few changes they made from the book. After that we took advantage of our lovely city and went to the Cartoon Art Museum a few blocks away, and for the low admission price of $6, got to see the "Art of Coraline" exhibit, plus a Watchmen sneak peak exhibit. It was really fun and one of those inexpensive cultural trips that I love to take--while searching for parking and things like that can be a downside, things like the Cartoon Art Museum are definitely a bonus of urban living. Coraline was almost entirely stop motion, so they had a lot of the actual figures from the film and some of the sketches, plus the production journal from one of the model makers. It was so neat!

I would totally recommend Coraline for any adult and for older kids. I think it would be too scary for younger kids, but I suppose it depends on the kid.

(A photo taken at the SF Cartoon Art Museum Coraline exhibit, courtesy of this blog.)

Geeks: I love them

Check out this Wired story about some geeky marriage proposals. I love geeky boys! So funny and sweet.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Tomorrow we will have been engaged for one year. Wow! Time flies and all that!

Tomorrow I have a haircut and dance rehearsal, plus I desperately need to do laundry (very romantic!), and Mr. T is just looking forward to sleeping in after working about 60 hours this week, but we are planning on Chinese food from our favorite local place (it features all local/organic ingredients and sustainable meats...I LOVE this place) and what seems to be a tradition for us, champagne and cupcakes. mmmmcupcakes. That reminds me...according to the Knot's checklist, we have cake tasting in our near future! mmmmcupcaketasting!

Happy Engageaversary, honey!

OMW: Days 14 and 15

Well, David's Bridal seems to have given up on calling me. That was three weeks straight of calling every day, sometimes up to 3 times a day! Wow.

So this week was kind of an off week but also a good week for OMW. I'll try to explain.

Monday I opted not to do OMW. I was still tired from Vegas.

Tuesday I got up and went. Although I was 10 minutes late (my new norm), I felt for the first time that we were settling into a routine with this, that it felt more natural. That was a good feeling (gee, and it only took 6 weeks!). But then I was such a space cadet that morning--I left my makeup bag at home and had to text Mr. T to bring it to me at our train stop later (meaning I had to put on makeup on the train, not my fave, but thank goodness for cell phones). While I was working out I kept leaving my towel and water bottle behind and having to go back for them. It was odd.

I also got up Thursday (yesterday) and went to the gym. This time I did legs, since I thought I'd also be going to the gym this morning, where I would do arm weights. Later in my office I caught myself wishing my arm muscles were sore. It was a strange I was craving the exercise. I think that's also a good sign.

Last night the MOH and I rehearsed and I didn't get home until late, then I stayed up doing a bunch of stuff that couldn't be put off (prep for a friend's bday party tonight), plus Mr. T didn't get home from work until midnight (it's been a rough work week for him), so all in all I didn't get to sleep until 2. When the alarm went off this morning, I turned it right off, because there was no way I was going to the gym on four hours of sleep...I have learned from 12 years of dance that you are much more likely to hurt yourself if you're tired like that.

So, no 3 workouts this week, but other small victories. And, it's funny to think I'm disappointed about only getting in 2 workouts in a week, when just 6 weeks ago I was probably hitting the gym 2 times a month.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vegas, Baby! (including OMW Day 13!)

Well, I'm home and only a little the worse for wear!

Vegas was really fun and while it was expensive, I had a limit for how much cash I would spend and ended up under that total, so I feel good about that.

The MOH and I flew out Friday (I worked out in the morning so I could feel virtuous the rest of the weekend). We all stayed at the Luxor, so after a stop at our room for a quick change, we met at a restaurant within the Luxor. It was fun to meet some of my co-dancer's friends that I'd never met before, and to hang out with some of her friends I hadn't seen in awhile. The rest of the night was relatively tame--drinks and hanging out. We knew we were saving ourselves for the following evening.

My co-dancer texted us all (there were 16 of us in her entourage!) at 8 am to see if we wanted brunch, but only 7 of us made it. I'm sorry, when you're eating at 9:30 am, it's not brunch, it's breakfast! We went to Bouchon at the Venetian, which was started by the same chef who started French Laundry. The MOH and I shared our breakfast and I was proud of myself for suggesting it--not only did we save money, but it was the perfect amount of food (waffles, mmmmm). Everyone got ridiculously rich and sinful dishes--chicken and waffles, french toast, and a crazy dish called a Croque Madame, which was basically a ham and cheese sandwich covered in some sort of cream sauce served with a mountain of fries.

After breakfast we braved the rain and took a walk over to Caesar's. I couldn't believe it was raining--isn't Vegas in the desert? Their drainage systems were clearly not robust enough to handle rain; there were huge puddles everywhere. But, whatever, wet feet, we were on vacation! After wandering around Caesar's we went to the Bellagio to look at the fountains and to see the Chihuly ceiling and the gardens in there, which was fun. I stuck to my resolve about not shopping anywhere.

After that we all split up; my co-dancer and I got a snack and everyone else went off to nap before the evening. That night we went to the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill at the MGM; all of us dressed in wigs and crazy costumes. My co-dancer had this huge beehive wig and a frilly polka-dot dress; one girl dressed as Dolly Parton; I had a pink bob wig on and crazy pink and black feathered lashes (as well as pink makeup, pink jewelry, and pink fishnets); the MOH (my MOH, not my co-dancer's!) wore a green wig, green lashes, a leather corset, and a black fishnet top and tights; one of the guys had on a huge afro wig, a suit, and a glowing fake fur boa; another of the guys had on a suit and a wig that matched his facial hair exactly, so it looked like it could be his real was thin and greasy looking, and he kept calling himself "Uncle Jack" and telling each of us we were his favorite niece and not to tell the other nieces.

We walked over to MGM from the Luxor, and we caused quite a stir. You would think no one in Vegas would bat an eyelash at anything, but people were blatantly staring, laughing in amazement, pointing, taking pictures, and commenting. It was hilarious. We were like some 16-person wig parade. We made it to dinner, which was delicious, and then we got to hang out a bit there (they'd put us in a semi-private room). One of the girls had brought glow necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, so we all adorned ourselves with glowy things that would ensure we'd get even more attention. At one point these two women in dresses with corsages came in and said they were supposed to be going to a wedding reception but that once they saw us, thought we would be more fun. Well, I'm sure we were! But they eventually left for their reception.

After dinner we headed over to Excalibur to see the Thunder from Down Under, an all-male revue. We had a row of booths in the very back of the theater, which is not too big, so our seats were fine (although we had to sit up on the back of the booth, our feet on the seat cushions, in order to have a better view of the stage). There were quite a few bachelorette parties there, but we were the most...colorful. There was one group with bunny ears on.

Finally the boys came on and it was a ton of fun--everyone in the audience was screaming their heads off. I noticed that the guys were terrible dancers--no one was synced up, the moves were sorta lame, etc., but really, out of everyone in that audience, I think only the women in our party noticed. They also didn't really dole out much in terms of flesh....a shirt here, a jacket there. For a strip show, there was not a lot of stripping, although there was some. They would pull various women up on stage and embarass them. I thought we wouldn't have a chance at this because we were so far back, but then the host came out in the audience and MOH. It was hilarious. He picked out two other women to "compete" with her; he called my MOH "Xena" because of her corset. The three women had to fake an orgasm (remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally?) and then the audience had to cheer for their favorite. Of course we screamed ourselves hoarse for the MOH, but an older lady took it...we told the MOH that the other women got the "old lady vote." The MOH did get a nice parting gift of a poster and some g-string panties, which she gave to our co-dancer (I told her to wear them on her wedding night under her Spanx bodyshaper!).

I tried to take video, but they watch you like a hawk and came over and made me delete the clips off my camera, which was a bummer. After the show we were all going to get a (paid) photo onstage with the beefcakes, but the other women in line were shoving and it wasn't pleasant at all, so we took off. It wasn't worth it!

Afterwards we went to the Thunder gift shop and women were stopping the MOH and saying, "Xena! I totally voted for you, you were my favorite!". It was great. Then we had a bathroom stop where this little older asian woman popped out of a closet and gave us mardi gras beads that matched our wigs. It was so bizarre. I don't know what she was doing there or why she had the beads, but it was really funny and she seemed to like us a lot.

After Excalibur we started walking back to our hotel and got grabbed by some club promoter who thought we all looked awesome and gave us free entrance to her club, Cathouse. It was fun to cut to the front of the line and have the bouncer hold open the curtain for us while folks looked at us enviously. HA! She gave us drink coupons, but only the women (as we walked into the club we had to put the guys in the middle of our group so they wouldn't get left outside!). So, once we collected our free drink we left and went back to a bar at the Mandalay. We got the MOH to ask some guy if his floor-length fur coat was real. She marched over there, already all full of adrenaline and discovered that yes, it was real (made out of coyote. blech.). The MOH said that he was super sleazy in general and he had two women on his arm. One of the women said, "oh, let's take a picture with her, she's so cute!" and as the MOH posed for a picture with the guy, he leaned over to the MOH and confided, "She is SO stupid" (about the picture-taking girl). The MOH also managed to start chatting up some twenty-something guys sitting at the bar after that.

Our group had split up by this time and a smaller party of us went over to Burger Bar (a Hubert Keller restaurant) in Mandalay Bay for late-night snacks, which was yummy. I love their yam fries. Finally we ended up at the bar at our hotel. We got to bed around 5, and it was hard to get up to get ready for checkout. I was dragging! It was nice to come home to my own bed (my back was sore from the crappy one at the Luxor) and my kitties and Mr. T, of course. Phew! So, a really fun weekend, but I'm glad to be back.

Review of New Moon

Even though I bought this one for Mr. T for xmas (so it doesn't qualify as one of my wedding-budget-friendly library reads), I'm giving my opinion on it since it's the 2nd of a series and I've already done the first one.

However, I'm finding it difficult coming up with things to say about it that don't involve a massive amount of spoilers.


Well, did I like it as much as the first one? No, I didn't. It started off pretty action-packed, but the middle has Bella behaving even more mopily than the first novel. It was almost unreadable. Also, in addition to being moody, she's just stupid...she falls for something I would never have believed in a million years.

After a very long middle section, in which a few interesting things are revealed (damned spoilers!), the end picks up again, but some of the dialogue is terrible, and the end is also a little anticlimactic.

Would I recommend this one? I'm not sure. Will I read the next one? Yes, of course. I liked it enough to remain curious about the characters, although I did read a review of a later book where the reviewer says that clearly the author tried to give her readers everything they wanted, and that never works out. But I'll make up my mind on that when I get there!

Review of When You Are Engulfed In Flames

I almost forgot to review this one!

I love David Sedaris. I've read all of his books and have seen a few of his readings. He is hilarious. So of course I joined the long, long line of library patrons waiting for this book.

As I was reading I was surprised to find that many of the essays were familiar to me. "Have I already read this?" I wondered. But then I realized that what I was remembering included his voice reading the stories, so he must have read these the last time I saw him, which was a few years ago. Although I enjoyed this book a ton, the funniest stories were the ones I'd already heard, which was a little sad. Still, I loved the book. What's great about David Sedaris is his utter fascination with people and their behavior. It makes you just as fascinated. And the fact that he is apparently completely socially awkward just makes the whole thing better.

I totally recommend this one if you are not squeamish or worried about profanity...he loves gross stuff, too. And foul-mouthed people.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mantra for Vegas

I will not go shopping. I will not go shopping. I will not go shopping. I will not go shopping. I will not go shopping. I will not go shopping. I will not go shopping...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

OMW: Day 12, plus, minor meltdown!

Today I got up 15 minutes late again, but I got up. Baby steps! I went to the gym and worked out, doing arm weights this time after the cardio.

After yesterday's workout my knee was twingey again. My friend D. had told me not to use one of the leg machines...her physical therapist told her that knee surgeons must have invented this particular one so they'd get more customers. Well, I've used it in the past, so I went ahead and did it, but I think that was the thing that made my knee protest. So, no more of that one. I had acupuncture last night and asked for some knee help. I was worried about going to the gym this morning, but afterward, I had zero pain. It was like warming my knee up was the perfect thing for it. Phew.

I might not go to the gym tomorrow, just to be safe. We'll see.

Last night I was walking home and thought, "oh, I need such and such, I'll just go by this store to pick it up," and stopped dead in my tracks when I got to the store and it was closed. Like, "gone out of business" closed. I was shocked. I loved that store! It was a holistic pharmacy with a lot of gift items and bath and body products, in addition to herbs, etc. I can see that those are luxury items that folks would probably not be buying. Still, it was a shock. After getting the news that Mr. T's cousin's wife got laid off earlier yesterday, I had a minor freakout. When I got home I told Mr. T that maybe we should call off the wedding, get married at City Hall and have a small dinner for just our immediate families. As much as I'd like to think we're doing fine, I can't say with 100% certainty that I won't be laid off or that Mr. T's business won't slow down this year. Mr. T looked at me and said, "Are you really seriously wanting to discuss this, or are you just freaking out?" "Freaking out," I admitted, and then he gave me a hug.

Still, I'm considering it. This is scary--it's the third large business on the block to close. Sigh.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

David's Bridal Update

I keep forgetting to mention this, but David's Bridal has called me EVERY DAY since my appointment there. Today they called twice. At first I wasn't sure who it was because the phone number had some funky area code, but I was playing with my phone at 10 pm one night and decided to call the number back, and sure enough, it's the David's Bridal call distribution center. They never leave a message.

Everyone tells me that I should just answer and tell them to stop harassing me, but I'm kinda fascinated. How long can they keep this up? Are they that desperate? It's been over two weeks!

OMW: Day 11

Mr. T was still sick this morning, but I got up anyway. HA! Of course, I got up about 15 minutes later than I should have, but I still got up, and went to the gym, and I felt great afterward, at least until I discovered I'd left my earrings at home, and then I still felt great, but slightly naked in the earlobe region.

I've decided to try out a four-day week this week. Today I just did leg-based weights; tomorrow I'll do arms, and then alternate again. If it seems like too much I'll stop after the third day, but both Thursday and Friday this week I'll have more time and be able to drive; Thursday because I have a doctor appt. at 10 am, and Friday because I have the day off. What's this, you ask? I'm going to Vegas! Woo-hoo!

My co-dancer (the one who called the David's Bridal ballgown a "shixa dress") is getting married in a few short weeks, so this weekend 18 of us are flying into Vegas for some bachelorette shenanigans. The cash outlay isn't great timing for me, but like every place, Vegas is hurting right now, so we were able to score rooms at the Luxor for $100/night...split with the MOH, who's also going, that makes $100 total that I'll be paying for hotel. The flight was also cheap; I think $60 each way?

Re: entertainment, the only official plans are for Saturday night. We're eating at a bar and grill (which, while not cheap, is not too outrageous) and then we'll be watching some Australian hunks take their clothes off for the bargain price of $50! Yup, we're going to the "Thunder Down Under" show! And there will be men in our party, so that should be interesting. And funny. I expect the evening will be hilarious and cringe-worthy. Apparently the "handsome blokes" dress up as firemen, pirates, and characters from "300." And we end with a "sensational cowboy finale." That made me laugh when I read it.

Anyway, despite the slogan, what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there--I'll make sure to blog about the fun when I'm back.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Last night Mr. T told me he wouldn't be getting up to work out this morning because he has a cold. This resulted in me oversleeping today, deciding whether to get up anyway and only do a partial workout, and then just deciding to sleep in and turning off my alarm.


I know, this is a lifestyle choice, so I shouldn't look at this as a failure, only a minor setback, get up on the horse again, blah, blah, blah. The problem is, despite proclaiming that there would be no way I'd be working out if Mr. T weren't acting as my willpower, it's a bitter pill to swallow that it's really, really true. I have no willpower! I guess my job is to work toward having willpower. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm debating increasing my workouts to four this week, ahead of schedule, because I'm so bummed with myself (and because, after chips and meatball subs and cookies yesterday, I could really use the extra work!). Mr. T told me not to worry about it, to just do three like we have been. I'm undecided.

The irony is, I feel GREAT today. Very well-rested. Shouldn't I be paying for my failure?

This Saturday Mr. T and I were in "go go go" mode again and sold our old PS2 and a few leftover games and accessories. The money we made went straight into some cable/splitter/switch thing we needed, but at least we didn't have to shell out for it, right? We also recycled some old electronics, including a broken lamp, a typewriter, an old CD stereo component, our old rabbit ear antenna for the TV, etc. We had to pay to recycle these, but I think it's worth it to be a responsible citizen rather than just chucking them into the trash to sit in a landfill. I count it money well spent! Mr. T and I are apparently hooked on getting rid of crap right now...we are already plotting to do more. That feels really good!