Category Archives: random stuff

hello world

Okay, trust me guys, I have been writing, but lately my main writing technique has consisted of staring at the computer screen for ten minutes debating whether “inconsolable” or “distraught” is just the right word to use in a given sentence, then clicking over to Twitter. Also, my bosses were like, hey, go ahead and lay out the product catalog, but OH YEAH YOU HAVE ONE WEEK TO GET THE FINAL FILES TO THE PRINTER AND THAT DOESN’T COUNT REVIEWS AND PROOFREADING. So, that’s been awesome.

That didn’t stop me from attending yet another wedding here in town yesterday. And let me tell you, the amazingly glorious weather last weekend? That was not the case this weekend. At all. I am talking chilly drizzle, all day long. I am also talking the entire wedding was outside. If that was my wedding, I would have been freaking out. But my bride friend wasn’t phased in the least. And you know what? Us guests weren’t, either. We sat there toasting, eating, and laughing; slowly getting damper. And nobody cared. I think that’s key, somehow. I think that’s something to keep in mind: that when you think the bottom is falling out from under your wedding, when your worst nightmares of cold November rain* (or in this case, October) are actually coming true, all is not lost. Guests are surprisingly resilient creatures. Whatever the circumstances people will still, at bottom, just be happy to be there.

So that was nice. But let me tell you, I get tiny little pangs of wistfulness now when I go to weddings. It’s not that I want to go back through that experience again. It’s that we had that one day, you know? And we won’t have it again. But it’s okay. I can revisit those memories in my head at any time of day. Kind of like Wedding On Demand. Or something.

Anyway, I’m going to go back to trying to finish my other posts. Oh, I mean work on the product catalog. That one. In the meantime, I want to leave you with a hilarious Chicago-area Craigslist ad seeking a wedding band that I found via Gin and Tacos. It was apparently yanked down shortly after being posted, which is unfortunate because this is just too good not to spread around. As a bonus, it also serves as a smug reminder of how our weddings are so much more awesome than the weddings of other schmucks. Right?

Terrible band needed for sham of a wedding. 11/6. No pay (any takers?)

As the musician in our family, my Shylock of a half-brother and his parsimonious fiance have passed off to me the job of finding a band for their wedding. I love the kid, but his unique brand of expectant coercion and astonishingly consistent lack of judgment have left me with no recourse but to literally give him what he wants, a band that can “tear up Skynyrd, and won’t cost nothin'”. Since they think music is spontaneously generated via voodoo magic by assemblies of self-promoting philanthropists, I am now on a quest to find the best working band in Chicago interested in “doing it for the exposure”.

If you are a serious musician that values your craft and earns a living from performance, you’re probably thinking “Fuck you. Do you ask your accountant to do your taxes for the exposure?”. You are not who I am looking for. Thanks for looking.

If however, you and your unemployable band of pothead hobbyists are enticed by the prospect of a free open bar stocked with the finest of suburban banquet hall well-liquor and an opportunity to run a train on the most whorish collection of self-entitled bridesmaids this side of a Sex In The City marathon, please contact me. There’s probably dinner in it for you too, if the starched vagina of a “wedding planner” (bride’s bff) can get her 3rd rung caterer to leave a few sandwiches in a storage closet for you at some point in the evening.

What I need from the band:

I don’t care if you are an original Icelandic thrash-raga act featuring steam calliope and backwards Armageddon poetry, but I need you to be able to train wreck your way through a few requests.

Don’t Stop Believing. You provide the high notes, we’ll provide the smell of wine and cheap perfume.

Free Bird. Go nuts with the solo. Really. If this evening was a never-ending cascade of sonic punishment hailing down on Tom at blaringly inconsiderate volumes, it would only serve as apropos karmic revenge for the afternoons I’ve spent listening to Jillian chatter about OHMYGODIDON’TCAREWHAT.

Macarena/Electric Slide/Chicken Dance. It doesn’t matter which one you play, but there has never been a classy party where one these songs has made an appearance. This will not be a classy party.

Do Not Play:

Jessie’s Girl. I used to play weddings, and if I have to hear this song one more time, I’m going to fucking cut someone.

They said they don’t have any preference’s for attire, so I’ll take that to mean you’re ok in a threadbare Megadeth shirt and black jeans.

I will provide the PA (the band and sound system are my wedding present to them).

This is not a joke. Please shoot me an email if this sounds like something you might be interested in.

 

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* To be sung in your best Axl Rose shriek.

pack it up, pack it in

You know, lately I just can’t seem to pull the blog posts together. I have a few of them simmering in my saved drafts folder, but each are about 30 million words long and seem to have entirely lost sight of their original points and trying to find them again feels like a torturous afternoon spent listening to news talk radio in the dentist’s office.

It’s not a good week for the blog. It’s not a good week for being a bride.

Actually, I take that back. I feel like we’ve made some real wedding inroads lately. We released our STDs into the wild, we decided on an officiant, I started building our website, and we are making hotel block reservations. Those are not things I necessarily want to write about, though. I mean, imagine reading a post like this:

“Hey guys, we finally went to this one motel that’s right near our venue? And it used to be terrible, but we’d heard this guy had taken it over and was renovating it? So we walked in and were like, “We’re interested in reserving a block of your rooms for our wedding,” and the proprietor was so shocked and excited that he actually mimicked picking his jaw up off the ground. He showed us one of the rooms he had renovated, and it had bamboo floors and really nice shower heads and new bedding from Linens & Things, and he said by September he should have almost all of the second story redone, which is roughly 10 rooms. Perfect! The motel is seriously a half a stumble from both the venue AND the afterparty bar, and it gets even better: The rooms are an unheard-of-in-downtown-Santa-Barbara $89/night!”

I mean, yeah. Bonus for us, ultimate snore for you. But sadly, this is all that I can muster of late.

So today I am taking a page straight from Becca. I’m going to forget about wedding stuff. I’m going to tell you just a little bit about what else has been going on in my head.

  1. I’m trying to figure out what my next career step should be, and how exactly I should go about pursuing it.
  2. I’m contemplating wanderlust. Can we ever leave this city when we’re lucky enough to have decent jobs? Can I convince the beau to pull up roots and put down new ones elsewhere? Another state? Another time zone? Another country?
  3. I’m fighting a daily battle with time management and self-discipline. Many days, they win.
  4. World travel. ‘Nuff said.
  5. I’m seething over how much I want to kick Sidney Crosby in the shins. While wearing steel-toed boots. Don’t worry, this is merely a hockey grudge.
  6. I’m mourning the loss of time spent reading books, because whenever I read a book I tend to get utterly absorbed in it, and I can’t make room for utter absorption in my life right now.
  7. Pita pizza. Oh god, I could eat homemade pita pizzas for dinner every single night.
  8. I suspect I may be getting a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer for my bridal shower as a joint gift from my aunts, and I am so excited at the prospect of what I can make with it. Bread! Raised doughnuts! Butter!
  9. On second thought, maybe a stand mixer is a bad idea.
  10. I’m rededicating myself to my goal of finally speaking German fluently.

Well, that was fun.

Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you I have another blog called another damn life. I started it a few months ago just… because. Because I decided I like blogging and want to continue it long past the day I become an old married woman. Posting over there will remain sporadic at least until after the wedding, but I did manage to put something up earlier today. Take a gander if you like.

And now it’s your turn. I know many of you have already shared a bit about yourselves over at A Los Angeles Love, but I wanna hear more. Tell me something. Anything. Go!

various and sundry

A few of us were hanging out on the porch on Saturday, sipping cocktails. The topic of bridal showers came up and someone wondered aloud what a guy’s equivalent of a bridal shower would be. “A groom’s bath,” the beau said. “It would be called a groom’s bath and it would involve taking shots.”

Here is where I make the lame joke about how he’s already been participating in the groom’s bath regularly since freshman year of college, ba-dum-ching, thank you folks, I’ll be here all week.

************

I decided to open an Amazon wedding registry for us. I am very proud of this, because it only took two minutes, yet it feels like a Serious Accomplishment. Afterwards I found out that you can see which items are the most registered for in the United States by region. Apparently, the number one item that the Pacific, Rocky Mountain, Alaska, and Hawaii regions are lusting after a nonstick silicone baking mat. The Southwest is dreaming of a Pyrex 10-piece storage set. And the Southeast is all about the nonstick 6-piece bakeware set. But the Midwest and Northeast? They don’t care about boring kitchen stuff. No, all they want is a Wii.

************

The best thing I ever bought for somebody off of a wedding registry: A tent.

************

While poking around the interwebs, looking at registry-type items, I kept running into something called a charger plate. I asked the beau what a charger plate was, and his best guess was a commemorative plate about the San Diego Chargers. So I Googled “what the hell is a charger plate” and I found out that it’s basically a decorative plate that you put under the “real” dinner plate.

I know it’s supposed to look pretty, but dude. We already have enough dishes to wash. I am not about to invite more into my life.

************

EVIDENCE OF WHY I LOVE MY PARTNER:

We were folding clothes when I tossed out a question. “What should I wear to work tomorrow?” Before he could answer, I rephrased the question like the absurd person I am: “What would Jesus wear to work?”

“Jesus would call in sick,” he said.

I collapsed on the laundry and died.

can you feel my love buzz?

Ahh, the elusive three-day weekend. How dost one celebrate thee appropriately? Those in the northern states might celebrate by fleeing for warmer climes. But if you’re a coastal/southern Californian,* you might just consider making a trek to see that cold, wet, white stuff** that you’re always hearing about. Yeah, that frozen stuff that is always causing hellacious problems in BosNYwash and beyond.

And how. Like many of our fellow residents of the Golden state, the beau and I paid homage to our dead presidents by heading up to Mammoth Mountain with our friends. This provided me an opportunity to go skiing for the first time. Of course, I went with people who had been skiing since grade school. So what I really mean by “going skiing” is “making a giant embarrassing ass of myself.”

On the very second run I attempted, the beau accidentally took us up the wrong lift. We had been looking for a green route, you see. Green meant easy. What we did not know until it was much too late was that we ended up on a blue diamond, which is one step below a black diamond. Which translates into a “medium-hard” level of difficulty. Ho ho! The universe has such a delightful sense of humor sometimes.

Can I tell you something? It took me an hour to get down that run. In that hour, I have never hated snow so much in my entire life. I knew, of course, that it was not the beau’s fault, so I tried not to vent my frustrations at him. And by tried not to vent my frustrations I mean threw a hysterical fit. “This is the stupidest fucking sport EVER,” I moaned from my spread-eagle position on the slope after biting it for the 28th consecutive time. “I can’t do this I can’t do this oh my god I HATE EVERYTHING AND I’M GOING TO DIE!!!!”***

Not my best moment.

If I tried, I could somehow tie this story into an insightful analysis of the dynamics of our relationship, and how we can sometimes treat each other during stressful times, and how amazing it is that the beau did not just leave me mid-whine on the mountainside, but I am just too tired. The skiing, you see. It takes a lot out of you.

What I want to share with you instead are these vintage cards from 7 Deadly Sinners the beau gave me for Valentine’s Day. Well, he didn’t give them to me in the sense that they reflect his sentiments, he more presented them to me in the context of wow, would you look at these crazy things!!****

Look at them indeed.

Disturbing and misogynistic! Everything you want in a Valentine! Or… no.

What kinds of trouble did you get into this weekend?

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* OH HAI WHAT A COINCIDENCE I AM ONE OF THOSE.

** This will amuse you east coasters: at one point in the trip, we came across a couple of kids who had gotten their truck stuck on a trail. The boy was busy affixing chains on the front tires, and the girl was… hunched over an embankment, shoveling snow into her mouth. Yes. She was eating snow. She said she was from L.A. and it was the first time she had ever seen “real snow.” Insert scoffing noise/estimate as to how high she was here.

*** Wow. Emo much?

**** He is so cute.

auld lang pine*

I had to come back for a minute and share with you some quality insight from my brigadier of honor, with regard to the rosette dress in the previous post. I am even going to do that fancy thing where I put it in blockquote format, like this:

“It literally looks like someone came upon a pile of hotel sheets sitting in the hallway while the maid was working, stole them, and then stapled them together with some origami and a $2.99 barrette from Claire’s.”

Yes. And it all could be yours for only $2,100!

In other news, I am having a hard time comprehending the fact that today is the last day of 2009. My local Ralph’s** grocery store is not, however. They already have the Valentine’s Day candy out. I know, right? WHUT.

We made some last-minute New Year’s Eve plans with friends in L.A., and we’re scrambling to get our ish together before we drive down, so I don’t have time for a bigger, better post today. Cheers to each of you. So long, ’09. Here’s to 2010.

See you next year!

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* I have no idea.

** Dude. Ralphs. I buy one little pack of diapers for a friend’s baby shower, months ago, and I’m still getting handed coupons at the register for Enfamil. I DO NOT HAVE A BABY. PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE.

winter holiday

Via http://kitchenretro.blogspot.com

If you’re looking for some last minute gifts, you can’t go wrong with half a nightie and whiskey toothpaste. Frankly, I think the copywriters for this ad from the November 1960 House Beautiful had been brushing their teeth a little too frequently,  if you know what I mean.

Tomorrow the beau and I depart for Virginia. We’ll be gone until next Monday, so posting will be light to nonexistent during the coming week.

Happy Christmas and stuff, if you’re into that kind of thing.

and the cake was from safeway

The cake in question

I can’t get this Offbeat Bride post out of my mind.

More specifically, I can’t get this quote out of my mind: “And the cake was from SAFEWAY.” Yes, the bride wrote the name of the grocery store in all caps, and rightfully so. Because who does that?

This couple does that. And they rocked it, too.

A grocery-store cake takes some chutzpah. Because I’m pretty sure the Indie DIY Wedding Club would have revoked their membership after a move like that. “It has come to our attention that the bride neglected to hand-craft her cake from organic fair-trade ingredients. Your wedding is made of FAIL.”

On a completely different note: Has anybody ever pulled Steve Perry aside and quietly pointed out that OH HAI, THERE IS NO SOUTH DETROIT. There is just water. City boy must have been born and raised a fish? Next time you make a fist-pumping, guitar-soloing sing-a-long bar anthem you should double check a map, sir.

Steve Perry: “HEY YOU GUYS I FOUND SOUTH DETROIT, IT IS REALLY NICE HERE.” (image source: Wikipedia)

bits and bobs

The other night I was standing in line at the post office, waiting to pick up a package. A woman wearing baggy pants, a deeply creased face, and bright red lips shuffled up behind me. She tapped me on the shoulder.

“Is that for text?” she asked, gesturing toward the iPod in my hand.

“Oh no, it’s an iPod,” I explained. Then, to clarify: “It’s for, uh, music.”

She squinted at me. “You got your earphones in?”

“Yep!” I said brightly.

“You better watch out, you’re gonna brainwash yourself,” she muttered.

Thanks for the tip?

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It’s been cold in Santa Barbara. I know, I know. “Boo hoo,” you’re thinking, snowbound. But while there is no snow here, granted, Monday it was stormy and blustery and the last couple of nights it got down to 34 degrees. I finally resorted to turning the heat on.*

The heat in our house comes from a ancient gas unit that lives under the floor of the living room. The warm air rises up through a vent near the far wall of the room, next to the drafty, boarded-up fireplace.** That’s all we get in the house, is this one vent. Needless to say, this is a highly efficient heating system, provided you are standing directly on top of it.

You cannot actually stand on the vent, because the metal grate is kind of flimsy, and besides, it would only be a matter of seconds before the soles of your footwear started to melt. So you have to kind of straddle the vent, legs akimbo, and balance there with your arm braced against the wall. There is, unfortunately, room for only one person on the vent at any given time. Which means that on Monday night the beau and I got to revive one of our most cherished and sacred winter traditions: vying for vent space.

Vent space invariably causes us to revert to second grade.

“Get off of my vent,” I say.

“This is my vent,” he insists.

“Yeah? Well, I was here first,” I whine.

“Oh yeah, well your mom called, she said to GET OFF MY VENT,” he demands.

“My mom doesn’t even know your phone number!” I shout.*** A brief struggle ensues.

Which is all well and good, because by this point I’ve usually reached the maximum length of time one can tolerate hovering over the vent before one’s clothes feel like they are on the verge of bursting into flames. “Ow ow ow ow ow,” I say, hopping over to the couch, where it’s always drastically colder.

You don’t stay warm for long after an interlude with the heating vent. Luckily, the hot/cold cycle roughly corresponds to football broadcasts: one and a half minutes of play, five minutes of commercials. So I can watch football from the vent where it’s toasty, then retreat to the couch to cool down during the commercial break, which I spend intermittently shouting at the television screen (“WHO BUYS SOMEONE A LEXUS FOR CHRISTMAS??”) and silently cursing the fact that we are actually watching a live broadcast instead of just DVR’ing the damn thing.

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At the very least, this cold weather has put me in the mood for the holidays. Ah, holidays. I love this time of year, despite the stress of gift shopping and the running to the post office and the persistent chill and the mock fighting over the heater.****

I keep thinking we should feel more stressed out about the wedding planning. It seems like that is what everyone talks about: oh, the stress and the hair-tearing and the sobbing on the floor. I realize that we are still have a great deal of time left; distance makes the heart fonder and all. I also realize that if you were to talk to me seven months from now I might be singing a different song. Like a song that sounds like sobbing, while lying on the floor.

But here’s the thing: I am actively trying to avoid that. I don’t want the last several weeks before the wedding to be one long blur of sleeplessness and worry and tears. There is a two-pronged system at work, here: perspective and planning. Planning is obvious. Deep in my blackest of hearts I am a tried-and-true procrastinator, and I know that not falling into that trap will save me a lot of heartache at the end. But the perspective is just as important, too. What I mean by this is giving a matter attention that is proportionate to its actual importance. Is the color of the tablecloths one of the memories I will hold dear in the coming years? No? OK then, just pick the cheapest option and forget about it.

I want to research a wedding item, make a decision, move on. And repeat that ’til all of it’s done. That can’t be so hard, can it?

I’m tagging this post “things I might regret saying later.” And I’m coming back to it later, when I have some months of perspective under my belt. Just you watch. We’ll see then. We’ll see.

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* Every year I see how long I can hold out. I did fairly well; last year I wussed out in November.

** Our house is about to fall down, pretty much. Next big earthquake, boom. I will be under a pile of rubble for sure.

*** Actually, I’m pretty sure she has it written down somewhere.

**** This is actually really fun. You should try it sometime. With your own heater.

things people say when they find out you are getting married

Scene: Bar. A girlfriend of one of the beau’s teammates is asking me about all the wedding details. We have covered date and venue and are discussing after-party.

Me: “… So, I think the after-party is when I’ll really cut loose and do most of my celebrating.”

Girl: “Well, it would also be nice to consummate on the night of the wedding.”

Me: “Um.” (blinks rapidly)

Girl: *stares intently*

Me: “…” (takes long, deep swig of drink)

Girl: *stares intently*

Me: “Well… yes! Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it. Ha ha.” (desperately racks brain for ways to escape conversation)

/ End scene