Monday, December 27, 2010
This morning, I call the emergency service line at work, which announces that, despite blizzard warnings, the office is open. Defeated, I go about my morning routine foolishly thinking that if I leave a few minutes early, I'll be fine. Remind you, this is early morning and I am entirely sober: what the hell was I thinking? To make matters more ridiculous, I opine, "Don't forget to bust out your knee-high snow boots...oh, and you should wear a skirt to make sure your pants don't get wet." Right - we were beaten with snow and I think that the trusty "7" train, which ceases to run with the slightest hint of precipitation, will safely get me to work. And that a skirt (an article I rarely wear) is an excellent garment, ideal for hurdling snow drifts.
I head outside and *holy crap* there is snow everywhere. I manage to waddle down the street to see the "7" train creeping along the tracks. SWEET - the train is running! By the time I ascend the stairs, which incidentally have not been cleared, and learn from the 50+ people huddled together that there is no Manhattan-bound service and the Flushing-bound side is equally sketchy. So much for NY1 broadcasters, who announced all morning that the "7" was the only line not experiencing difficulty. Ah, the media: long on opinion, yet short on fact.
I waddle back down to ground level and walk headlong up Queens Blvd. (a.k.a. The Boulevard of Death), as the sidewalks are unnavigable. Waiting in the excessively long line yields no results: no buses and no cabs, just relentless wind. I abandon all heroics and stagger home, but not without neighborly assistance: a young man literally gives me a hand traversing the snow mound, and a neighboring Super braces herself on an iron fence while hurling me over the mound she is in the midst of shoveling. The Christmas spirit reigns in Sunnyside, Queens.
So, it's been a snow day. Or I'll be fired. We'll see.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Today we haul ass back up north to party with the fam. In preparation, I headed over to Grand Central Market yesterday afternoon (after being released from the Dark Tower (a.k.a. work) at 1pm). Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to find few patrons; however, mere minutes later, the gates of hell opened and an innumerable number of bodies were swarming the premises.
It was so crowded that I lasted long enough to grab two focaccia breads from Zaro's bakery, dodge a near black eye from guy flailing his arms at Murray's Cheese, and avoid being trampled by some idiot wielding a SUV-style baby carriage (in the Market - really? This was a conscious choice?).
Paltry treats in hand, I abandon my mission and, after riding a monumentally full (and odoriferous) train home, I arrive at the Sunnyside Post Office. Again, I was pleasantly surprised to find only one person preceding me on line. However, by the time I was assisted, the line grew tenfold and people were winding out the door.
Packages retrieved, I journey next to a lovely pastry shop to see if can find some cannolis (or something equally delicious and fattening), but, alas, the pastries had been picked over until there was nothing, save a lone bran muffin.
Defeated, I stagger home. Plop on the couch. And refuse to move for the rest of the evening. Merry Christmas.
Today, we must now gather the items I failed to retrieve yesterday, get on a commuter train (damn you, Grand Central), and make our way north.
Dear baby Jesus, on this eve of your birth, please give me the strength.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Right now I am relishing in the relative silence of my home at 7.05am. All I hear is the ticky-typing of keys and the howling wind outside. I am also perusing photos of last night's lunar eclipse. Part of me is kicking myself for not clambering outside to view it myself, but the other half of me - you know, the one that has to go to work today - is happy I stayed nestled in bed.
It's laundry day again (didn't I just do that?) and I am happy to report that I have not seen another soul wandering the building. It might be a good day, after all. God bless us, every one.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I generally avoid people like the plague. When one lives in NYC, as I do, one is chronically surrounded by...well, everyone. This being the case, I go out of my way to do most activities during off-peak hours. (Sadly, my M-F, 9-5 job precludes me from doing this all the time.)
Anyway, I slept terribly last night and still managed to rouse myself at 6am, so I could go downstairs *in peace* to do my laundry. At 6.15am, I manage to run into four of my neighbors. Three of whom are RETIRED. What the hell? Why can't you people stay tucked into your apartments until after rush hour? I mean, you have ALL DAY to do your laundry, recycle, grocery shop, holiday shop (I could go on), but NOOOOO, you feel the unbridled pull to do all of these chores when the rest of we office schleps are forced do ours.
Deep breaths - good thing it's Monday and I have another long week ahead of me.
Ebenezer "the Grinch" Scrooge
Sunday, December 12, 2010
En route we passed the Bronx Zoo and, despite the deepest desire to pull in and say hello to our wildlife friends, we soldiered on choosing instead to reminisce about our numerous visits whilst planning the wedding. We were so lucky to be able to host our wedding at such a unique and personally meaningful venue, and love the fact that when we do return we will always have such fond memories.
I have provided much commentary about our experience working with the zoo and it was, overall, fantastic. I definitely think that, as this is a new event space, the staff is experiencing "growing pains," but I can honestly say that they were attentive and flexed their creative muscles to ensure that we had a day that reflected us.
On the day, we were so touched by the effort made by the the staff. First, because they also loved our awesome invitations, they borrowed the design graphic and used it to create the menus. Second, when we entered the the Schiff Hall we were blown away by the decor; they embraced our Halloween overtones and decked the place out accordingly - everything looked elegant and festive. Finally, when the ceremony concluded a member of the catering staff came up to the bridal suite bearing us giant cups filled with our Unity Cocktail beverage (*) as well as a sampling of all the appetizers; we can blissfully say that we did not miss out on a single food item we selected.
We look back at our experience and are so grateful for the staff at the zoo. Tim, Keira, and Katherine are creative, flexible, and fun people, dedicated not only to ensuring that you have a wonderful time at your event, but also in the effort to preserve wildlife. What more could we ask for?
* The Unity Cocktail has yet to be mentioned. Since several of our guests were following the blog, I kept certain "surprise" elements a secret. We mentioned this idea to Katherine months before the day, and she loved the idea. After weeks of sampling cocktails, Katherine was instrumental in narrowing down our options. The day before, we dropped in to taste several bourbon-based drinks before deciding on Chapel Hill:
1 1/2 oz. Bourbon
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
It was light, fresh, delicious, and a wonderful way for us to incorporate our parents in the ceremony, plus it served as our Specialty Cocktail for our guests, making it a wonderful way to tie the ceremony into the cocktail hour.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Yes, this is the Offbeat Bride article where I first developed my crush on Angie. Upon reading, I knew she was the photographer for us and, so, I frantically checked her calendar to see if she was free on October 23, 2010. I immediately sent her a request and she responded within hours. How can a photographer resist shooting a wedding at the Bronx Zoo?
Anyway, after a few email exchanges, Angie gives me a call in the midst of a terrible blizzard - she was, at the time, working for an upstate paper and was en route to photograph an accident (speaking, of course, on her hands-free cell). Happily, the accident yielded no injuries, so we snuggled in for a breakdown of her wedding package.
Well, we ended up chatting for at least an hour and I fell in love with her whirlwind personality - she is chatty, personable, and generous of spirit. I hung up and wanted her to not only be my photographer, but my friend.
If you are EVER in need of a photographer, I wholeheartedly recommend Angie. She is absolutely the best.
(In keeping with my insistence of avoiding posting overtly personal information about myself or loved ones on this blog, I am not providing a link to the preview shots of my wedding - if you are interested, please comment on this post and I can get you the specifics!)
Saturday, December 4, 2010
In preparation for all the loot we received for the wedding, we are tackling the kitchen cabinets. Why on Earth do we have a meat dehydrator, anyway? We are getting rid of the old and making room for the new. I'll hack my way through the process and then it's time to begin the online Christmas shopping extravaganza!
Wow, this is a lame-ass post. I just felt the pressing obligation to write; however, my head is so cloudy and I am literally mouth-breathing, so perhaps I shouldn't have bothered? I'm thinking that is the case...
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Speaking of Thanksgiving, my husband and I took the pilgrimage (get it? Pilgrims!) to my parent's house for the big event. Upon entering their home, I quickly became the unwilling cream to a proverbial Retriever cookie sandwich - a massive Golden Retriever sniffing my crotch and an equally massive Labrador Retriever sniffing my butt. Drink one.
After shooing away these beastly dogs, I am greeted by my father who says, "Love, I've been reading your blog and, I have to say, it's gotten really boring." Drink two.
Several drinks later (and a snuggle with my nieces), I am back on track and ready for the bird.
In all seriousness, though, we spent the greater part of last week compiling a honeymoon picture slideshow, so that we might include it in a special thank you posed to those that attended our wedding. Although I will not include said slideshow here, I will include the text (I was reminded last night during a lecture on social media that there really is no such thing as data privacy, so I choose not to advertise myself any more than necessary). I'll post some discrete pics on a later post, as well as review each city we visited.
Dear friends and family ~
As we approach Thanksgiving we thought it appropriate to express our gratitude to all of you for being part of our lives and for sharing in our wedding day festivities.
We never thought we would host a wedding celebration and often found ourselves questioning why a couple would devote such time, energy, and money on a single day out of their whole lives. Well, now that we have experienced it, the answer is so clear that we are humbled: the love and good will we felt on that day, and in the days since, has reminded us of life’s importance. To sit in a room surrounded by those you love – eating, drinking, and laughing as we did – is so joyful that it is abundantly obvious to us why such celebrations exist.
Saturday night we sat down with a bottle of champagne to open a letter from the City Clerk containing our marriage certificate. We followed this momentous event by opening wedding cards, and we are not ashamed to admit that we were moved by the sentiments and overwhelming generosity bestowed upon us. Although some of you may blame the bubbly, we can honestly say that our emotions were solely driven by our happiness in knowing we have such wonderful friends and family.
We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and look forward to writing each of you personally in the weeks to come.
*******************************God bless us, every one!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Prior to the event we were asked to provide a Music Request List and, as former musicians, we definitely went a little overboard, providing no less than four pages of popular and obscure tunes. Vinny unearthed most, producing one bizarre, yet awesome, set list! (We also encouraged our guests to suggest a song on their RSVP cards.)
I can't begin to tell you what it felt like to sit down and hear Ani DiFranco serenading me while I tucked into my dinner. This shocked me into the moment, thinking, "Wow! I love pumpkin ravioli and Leffe beer and...is that Ani DiFranco?!?!" That is a distinct benefit of hosting one's own party - one gets what one pays for!
The rave review:
- Vinny knew this was a crew of dancing fools and made sure the songs were balanced between upbeats and ballads.
- Brilliantly, Vinny withholds the microphone from the masses, making certain that all requests to speak are cleared by the bride and groom. All drunken sentiments are pre-screened!
- The price is right! I contacted roughly four DJs and HV Sounds was, by far, the most reasonably priced. We may have had to go the extra mile by producing a song list, but wouldn't one want to do that anyway?! I can't imagine hosting a party where the dreadful Taylor Swift is booming over the airwaves. I don't tolerate whiny prepubescent warbling and nor should you.
- Vinny is sometimes difficult to reach by phone, which is usually fine with me, as I prefer e-mail; however, I was a little perturbed when I scheduled a call a few days before the event and Vinny didn't pick up his phone. I left a voice mail message, which he didn't return, but ended up reaching him via e-mail.
- The entrance song we requested was "The Circle of Life" from the Lion King Soundtrack. Now, had the aforementioned conversation occurred, he would have realized that we specifically wanted the wailing Broadway version, but we ended up with the mellow Elton John version. When we picked the song, we laughed hysterically. At the wedding, however, we sighed disappointingly.
- Vinny usually arrives an hour before the event, but I think he and his partner got lost coming to the zoo (an easy thing, given the multiple entrances). As I walked through the hall during the cocktail hour, I absentmindedly murmured aloud, "Hmmm...where's the DJ?" Little did I know this simple comment launched my MOH, Best Man, and Event Coordinator into panic mode. All three were on cell phones faster than a monkey can fling poop. Luckily Vinny was unloading his stuff outside at the moment and all was right in the animal kingdom.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I can't say enough about Sal & Dom's - their treats are scrumptious and moderately priced, and Millie, who designed our elegant Halloween-themed cake, was so helpful and lovely.
I know we live in Queens, but I assure you that we will travel to Sal & Dom's for all our future cake needs!
The only sad part is that the majority of this gorgeous cake ended up being tossed down the garbage shoot this morning. It broke my heart, but it had to be done.
You see, we ordered a decorative cake to feed approximately 40 people and a sheet cake to be sliced for the rest. Well, the sheet cake must have been HUGE, as it fed all 75 guests. Subsequently the decorated cake (minus a single slice used for the cake cutting ceremony) was boxed up and given to us at night's end.
So, what does one do with an extraordinarily delicious 2-tiered cake? Well, we loaded up 4 tupperware containers and froze them, force-fed vast quantities to our Matron of Honor and Best Man, and then had roughly 4 slices for breakfast on the morning we departed on our honeymoon (which was, perhaps, not the wisest decision, but it's not like we had to fit into formal wear, so what the hell?).
Then, driven by Irish guilt and desperation, we put the rest of it in a sealed cake container. And then left on a 2-week honeymoon...
Well, this morning I walked into the kitchen and was bitch-slapped with the strangest odor...the cake had melted in the cake container. It oozed chocolate all over the table and took on the odor of fermenting apples. It was so sad, but clearly the time had come to throw out the cake. I dribbled it into a bag, scrubbed the container, and said a parting thank you to the cake that served us well.
Then I went to the gym and cursed it for making my gut jiggle like Santa's whilst running on the treadmill.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
First on the docket: Etsy. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the craftspeople whose creativity far exceeds my own! I purchased the following and am humbled by their beauty...
Next, Rock Star Hottie whipped up these saucy wrist clutches, which I gave to my Bridesmaids filled with makeups and hair accessories:
And, finally, Pam of Curran's of Vermont designed this delicate necklace, which perfectly matched the heirloom earrings I borrowed.
With the help of these artisans I looked and felt fierce. Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day; I not only looked my best, but did so at the hands of remarkable craftspeople, who share not only their talents, but a piece of themselves with everything they create.
Thank you, Etsy!!!
Friday, November 12, 2010
I swear I have told more people about the day and the honeymoon than I ever dreamed was possible. I think that is why I have not posted anything to this blog since our return!
Next steps for me here in my online world is to review each vendor with whom we worked. After all, one of the driving forces behind my writing this blog was to guide other non-brides down a less bumpy path.
Reviews to come...right now I have to get ready to go to work. The Dark Tower awaits...
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Anyway, we had a great time and, as I am hellaciously jet-lagged, I cannot muster the strength for humor; I can merely recall facts:
- we drank a lot of beer
- we took over 300 photos
- in Glasgow I pet an owl (no, really, I PET an owl)
- in Amsterdam we visited Dutch zoo animals
- in Ghent, where torture was apparently a national pastime, we toured a medieval castle
Moreover, there is a beauty knowing that one can leave one's home sans map and locate, well, everything. And, finally, television here is a revelation: outside of a BBC program (sorry, programme) Have I Got News For You and a show (name escapes me) featuring the sublime Noel Fielding, there was surprisingly little cheek. I need a hearty dose of sarcasm and irreverence to survive.
Speaking of, I just re-read my post from post-wedding and I must recant the bit about my hair, which I said looked "fine." Awesome Angie sent us some preview photos and, damn, that is some jacked-up hair. I could have done better if I just rolled out of bed and tacked it up myself. Further, the majority of photos show me with my semi-grown-out bangs dangling in my eye because they just aren't long enough to remain tucked behind my ear. Boots (my MOH) found a small bobby pin on the ground and we used it to pin them back for the ceremony.
That's right: I found a bobby pin on the ground at the zoo...and then stuck it in my own hair. Hey, that's how I roll. I didn't want to make a deal about the wedding and do a trial run for some hair, but now I completely see the benefit.
Pictures of the honeymoon to come...
Monday, October 25, 2010
I was a little freaked out when the hair stylist admitted 3/4 of the way through the session that he is colorist and that the woman who usually does up-dos was on vacation. After 4 attempts at a French Twist, I told him just to pull it up and stick the awesome feather fascinator in it. He did, it was fine.
Then, after our first photo, I managed to leave my bouquet on a pillar - never to be seen again. The NYPD - I kid you not - was called in to look for it, but alas, it is gone forever. That is some bad mojo for whoever picked it up and didn't return it...
It was a great time and it has been described as "memorable" so I am happy.
We are packing for the honeymoon, so this will be unsatisfactory and brief...it was a great day, though - from the weather to the food to the company: we had a wonderful time!
More posts to come - there will be stories of Glasgow, Amsterdam, and Ghent! Wooooooot!!!!
Friday, October 22, 2010
As a follow-up: I just tried on my dress and there is a stain on the right breast (this is in addition to the stain I saw by the buttons last week and called to her attention). Unbelievable. It looks like makeup? I am trying not to blow a gasket, but I paid this woman $240 for minimal - and it would seem - careless work.
I am by no means a Bridezilla, but I cannot let this slide. Now I have to call and leave a message (she is not there at 4.39pm on a Friday) and alert her to her incompetence. I don't want to be mean, but she has to know that I am unhappy and disappointed. This is ivory silk taffeta, one would expect utmost care. There is nothing she (or I, for that matter) can do except hope that no one notices...or that I am so radiant the streak can't be seen.
This woman came so well reviewed online and she was so nice when she took my measurements...little did I know she was secretly Nosferatu.
On Wednesday alone I was: A) blind-sided with the last minute detail that I needed to get an insurance policy for $1,000,000.00 / $2,000,000.00 (yes, those are millions...and in US dollars) and B) finally received my finalized proposal and invoice.
On Thursday I had a migraine and was practically rendered useless.
Today I am feeling much better and have very little to accomplish - I dropped off stuff at the zoo, tasted some specialty cocktails, and got a manicure / pedicure (red polish, of course).
In 90 minutes we'll have our rehearsal and then it's off to dinner. First, I will take the time whilst alone to try on my dress for the final time to find out if I can have beer tonight (if that puppy is snug, it will be seltzer all night long)!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
We are 2 days to the wedding and yesterday I thought my head was going to explode. The Zoo can't seem to get its act together...we have yet to pay them because until last night at roughly 7.46pm we didn't have a corrected proposal. Yup, 2 families descending on me whom I have promised food and booze and I have not yet paid for food and booze. For those of you that know me, I am extremely organized and firmly believe in preparedness, so this turn of events has my lower intestine crying and my right eye relentlessly twitching. Oh, and they failed to mention over the past 10 months that we are required to provide a certificate of insurance for the event to the tune of $1,000,000 policy and $2,000,000 aggregate. We learned that yesterday at 2.53pm...3 days before the wedding.
Then on the work front, a project I have been trying to complete since June may once again be pushed off owing to petty decisions. And I stunned myself when I pulled some Quantitative Research Analysis lingo out of my butt during a meeting. My skin crawled (see posts from May for a gentle reminder has to how much I loathed that course).
Anyway, I am up now working on a PPT slide for use at the rehearsal. One can always use visual supplements. Have I mentioned I am extremely organized and firmly believe in preparedness?
Yes, I did.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Anyway, this will be a short post as I need to get ready for the gym: have to keep my immune system cranking.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
In the hopes of curtailing the spread, we slept separately last night. I think it's old-school romantic...you know, because we are not yet married.
I think I need someone to lance this thing...
Friday, October 15, 2010
Today, I was stood up for a fitting at the tailor's. You know, the one that charged me a $100 deposit. Now I have to go back to see her on Tuesday, 10/19 and she guarantees me that the work will be done on Wednesday, 10/20.
I am taking deep breaths before I have to continue with my work day. I am spending the remainder of my lunch hour (while scarfing down some stress-reducing, this-will-come-back-later-to-bite-me McDonald's) and venting on this blog. There is no need for an unsuspecting colleague to suffer the wrath - they didn't do anything wrong.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'm sure there will be yet more photos of me asleep in the midst of all the festivities, but that's how I roll. I nap and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
She is adding a few buttons, tacking the front of the dress where it overlaps (so I don't over expose myself), and putting in some snaps to conceal bra straps. And the deposit was $100. This is dispiriting. I could have lied and told her it was a costume, but it's a hard sell when you are standing there holding an ivory taffeta dress with lace.
Every couple will tell you that they were nickle and dimed just before their wedding, but it does kind of weigh on the soul.
Well, I got through the momentary panic long enough to give a shout-out to M&J Trimming. This place is nothing short of magical: buttons, beads, ribbons, lace — it's enough to make anyone positively girlie. I bought a few accessories that I may or may not use, but that's okay as the trip was so entertaining that it's worth the minimal cost.
I also relished a tiny bit in "being the bride." There was a trio of women there shopping for bridal details and they adopted me into their fold: the wedding tribe. Jenna, an artist, was very helpful and I am always grateful for a second opinion (especially from those so visually inclined).
Anyway, I'm off now. I have to visit the seamstress this morning. I'll leave the blog site up so to be sure to post consistently over the weekend...I have to tell all about my work bridal shower and will recap tonight's Haunted Pub Crawl event!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Part of me thinks that we are so clever, offering transportation for 75% of our guest list. I mean, so many are traveling in for our event and driving in New York City is not for the faint of heart.
The other part chastises myself for foolishly putting nearly all of guests in the hands of a bus company that will - if the Better Business Bureau can be trusted - get them there on time and in one piece.
I'm not a gambling person by nature, but the dice are on the table and I have my fingers crossed.
PS - Tony from the BusBank is a very affable guy and the company gives the impression of being highly capable. If they turn out to be otherwise, our honeymoon will take a diversion to Chicago so I can kick some Butt(Bank).
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Well, if you ask the 26 people who have yet to RSVP to our wedding, I'm sure they would say it's exceptionally hard.
And the thing that really kills me is that we sent a Save the Date in April...let's not act like the wedding is a surprise, folks, you've had 5 months to figure out babysitter plans, transportation plans, kennel plans, etc. But, no, you'd rather wait until AFTER the response deadline to contact the bride directly with your numerous problems, which have precluded your prompt response. I expected this to happen, but it baffles me nonetheless.
PS - should you ever find yourself beginning a conversation with:
- "I know this this isn't your problem, but...";
- "I hate to bother you because I know you are really stressed and busy..."; or
- "I know you have a lot going on right now, but..."
...stop speaking. No, really, shut the hell up.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I have contacted several transportation companies today and my favorite has to be from CitiVans. I call and speak to Jenny, who grapples with English and sounds as if she is under water. I explain what I am looking for:
2 buses that seat 24-28 people each to transport 50 passengers from Sunnyside, Queens to the Bronx Zoo on October 23rd from 3.30pm-11.30pm.
She emails me a quote for 2 buses: one on September 29th and one on October 23rd for one hour a piece. This woman is their sales representative?!
I am trying really hard to find the humor in this so that I might properly entertain my readers, but I can't. Today I have lost my sense of humor.
I then contact BusBank and the very helpful (and English-speaking native) Tony offers me a decent quote and kindly suggests that one large charter bus that seats 55 people is the best option. I have a couple of feelers out there, but Tony might be the winner.
With my luck I can envision two thirds of my guests hanging out at a hotel waiting for a bus that never shows. This will be my recurring nightmare as we lead up to the wedding. I just know it. May Tony save the day...
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Now that I know people are actively reading this blog, I am screening a few aspects of the wedding; there are a few things that are so dear to me that I don't want to ruin the surprise. I'll give a hint about one of these elements: Accessories.
I am a big fan of a site called Etsy, which my sister introduced me to a few years ago. Etsy is an online community of artisans, designers, craftspeople, etc. who sell their wares on this online repository. Etsy is craft porn and I am an addict.
I am a minimally crafty person, but these people are extraordinary. I suppose these are the folks that when watching House Hunters on HGTV talk about how some room (that's bigger than my bedroom here in NYC) would be "just darling for a craft room!" And I always think, "Who the hell needs a room dedicated to crafts?!" These people do.
Anyway, I have been in conversations with Rock Star Hottie and Feathers and Frills, ordering custom accessories and bridal party gifts. I'm going to cruise shortly for a necklace - I need something to match the beautiful earrings my mother is lending me...the earrings she wore on her wedding day!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Anyway, we get over there and the street is barricaded - President Obama was in town, so all of Manhattan was at a stand-still. You know: if they are going to close the streets every time the man hits the island, the least they can do is drive him around waving for photo-ops. I mean, how rude.
I digress: we finally get into Men's Wearhouse where it takes a whopping 20 minutes to pick out the style, color, shoes, and accessories for 4 grown men. Simply brilliant. I know what you are thinking: I can't complain, seeing as all I did was perform an online search, have my measurements taken, and sit back for a custom dress to arrive at my doorstep, but, man, Men's Wearhouse makes me want to be a boy.
By the way, for those of you coming to Sunnyside for the Big Event: we went to a new restaurant (post-Wearhouse) called Floresta and it was phenomenal. Because they just opened they do not yet have their liquor license, but the food was so good that we didn't miss the beer and wine. The house salad was towering and delectable, and the Churrasco steak I ordered rivaled Delaware in size. We are sharing the leftovers tonight for dinner (yes, sharing the LEFTOVERS - that's how big this thing is). Try it!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
This led me to do some online research regarding general "must have" shots. The results are nothing less than pathetically hysterical:
- Close-up of groom's adorably nervous mug waiting for his other half
- The buffet or, if having table service, a dinner serving
- Intimate shots of bride and groom chatting with/crying with/hugging parents and siblings pre-ceremony
Naturally, I'll have to inform our ultra cool photographer, Angie Gaul from Milestone Images, that our list will likely look more like:
- Bride dodging lemur throwing its own poo
- Bride and groom laughing their heads off at monkey masturbating as it stands on the back of a tapir*
- Bride and groom snapping pictures of the chinchilla humping the glass of its display case*
- Close-up of bride and groom drinking Stella out of plastic cups while cursing people for not parenting their ill-behaved, sticky children*
*these events have actually taken place during past visit to national zoos. Now you can see why we love them; you never know what will happenI am sure that in the long run we will have some fantastic photos that really reflect our day and our spirit. For that, I am grateful.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
First, there was absolutely no judgment when I said I don't want a traditional wedding cake; Millie didn't bat an eye when she saw the wedding cake topper. Instead, she quickly whipped up a pencil drawing of what she had in mind, which was awesome and totally on-theme.
Second, we tasted two fillings: Bavarian Cream and Chocolate Mousse, both of which were superb. I could have eaten a bowl of the Bavarian Cream. I need to take a moment now, close my eyes and relive the experience...
Third, her presence was just so calming - I felt completely and utterly relaxed speaking with her. She is the kind of person that makes you think, "Everything will be okay." Her adorable grand kids came in and, I swear, I was jealous of those children. I want Millie to be my grandma.
Finally, and this (hah) takes the cake: we bought 3 cake-lets and one mini cannoli for the trip for the absurdly reasonable sum $3!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Look at this poor soul (thanks, Google Images!)...
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I find it a supreme rip-off that make-up application costs $70; however, if it's WEDDING makeup, it costs $150. I'm sorry, what are they possibly going to achieve with the extra $80? Will I suddenly look like Giselle? I highly doubt it. Besides, I do not need the pomp and circumstance of Being The Bride. I am sure that makeup application is a lot easier when one doesn't feel obligated to drink champagne and have a photographer snapping photos.
I'm fairly confident the florist wouldn't pull the "wedding" fee on me, but I couldn't risk it.
This Saturday we go to Sal & Dom's bakery. Even though we do not plan on having a traditional wedding cake, I can't very well tell these folks it's a concert. Darn!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I learned that black vodka exists. Looks weird, but likely tastes A-okay!
I found a million and one apple cider recipes, some sites proving better than others.
Now, I'm not saying we'll try all of them, but I'm not averse to the challenge!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
So far only one has been returned to sender, claiming insufficient postage; however, my brother informs me that his arrived with the same notice (although his kindly postal carrier stamped it "paid by carrier"). What a pile of nonsense - I bought a birthday card today from Papyrus that I swear weighs 5 pounds (replete with googly eyes and an alien spacecraft design) and I'm sure that will sail through. There is simply no way these demand more than the standard $0.44 postage.
Plus, doesn't the USPS appreciate that I wrote an entire term paper on the merits of stamps, positing that they serve as badges of identification for a country (similar to what a logo does for a corporation), thus perpetuating the brand of its country of origin? Ungrateful bastards.
I'm going to calm myself by researching autumn cocktails.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
a) they do not have a dance floor in the hall,
b) they do not intend on purchasing one, and
c) the vendor they contract charges $950 to temporarily lay one
WHAT?! Yeah, I've been in a real funk about that for awhile: it's not necessarily the money; it's the principle. My dress didn't cost $950. My wedding ring, which I will wear for the rest of my life, didn't cost $950. The DJ, without whom there would be no dancing, didn't cost $950. Are we detecting a pattern?
Sure we can forgo the floor, but I am a born worrier and fret that someone will slip on the tiled floor, breaking a hip. Hmmm...tough call.
46 days to go...and nowhere near done planning.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
So far, we have kicked around the following:
The Garden Song (very sweet, but as my mother aptly pointed out, "What does that have to do with a wedding?" - totally reminds me of Free to be You and Me...awesome)
Daughter of Mine (Irish tune, guaranteed to make me weep uncontrollably)
Father and Daughter (a kicky little Paul Simon tune I have always liked, but also a weeper)
This could be harder than I imagined. Who would have thought such a sarcastic chick would be such a sensitive mush...
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Yes, I loved Cards & Pockets, until I learned that the invitation inserts wouldn't print (too narrow for the printer). I loved my dress, until I recalled that I can't lift my arms in it. I loved the cool idea we had for our first dance, until I realized how much work it would entail.
Yup, just a funk. Today I feel better, but am reassessing the entire event. People say it should be fun, so I am going to start doing things that I want and stop obsessing (a major character flaw):
- The enclosures ended up printing fine on an alternate printer
- I will change into jeans and/or fun pajamas after the cake cutting, so I can be comfortable and dance
- I have a back-up song in mind for the first dance that cracks us up - our guests won't 'get it,' but that's okay
My mantra: I am a lazy bride.
Our goal: It's just our chance to throw a kick-a$$ party
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I called the other day because I am a little apprehensive about our time line and was assured by the super-casual, yet learned, representative that turnaround time is 1-3 days! We purchased a color swatch deck and the colors are so gorgeous we had a difficult time deciding.
Of course, we have not yet placed our final order, but if the invitations turn out anything like I imagine they will (and with such great service) you can bet I'll be incorporating more of their products into the wedding, not to mention future events!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I confess that I did not react the way that I am "supposed" to react. My first instinct was that it looked like a costume, which essentially it is: I am playing the role of the bride. Every now and then I feel the hot breath of society on my neck, pressuring me to behave in ways in which I am not programmed. Television shows and magazines are truly warping reality - was I supposed to see my wedding dress and begin to weep? Didn't happen. Was I supposed to daydream about how people will react when they see it? Didn't happen (although I admit that I heard my mother's voice in the back of my mind opining that it wasn't at all what she thought I would pick). In truth, I kept thinking about when I worked at Connecticut Rep doing "Pirates of Penzance" and had a costume built for me - it felt the same way, only that the fabric and design were much more elegant.
Being tomboy-ish, I admit that I will likely change into jeans midway through the reception. It is my party, dammit, and I want to have a good time! I will never last 8+ hours in a dress, pumps, makeup and hair.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
There is a stomach bug going around my office. I'm lucky number 3. So, instead of having the "trying on the dress wine fest" last night, I came home and ate bland chicken. Today I'm not faring any better. So, Carol, Boots and I will have the aforementioned fest on Monday once I've had the chance to recuperate and Carol gets back from a business trip. In the meantime, she tells me she'll wear the dress around the apartment cleaning and such, just to break it in for me. So kind.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Confession time: I celebrate no fewer than 11 birthdays in the month of July (seriously, I know October is chilly, but did EVERY couple need to jump in the sack to warm up? I mean, make some tea, thrown on a sweater, sit in a sauna!), so I have been eating and drinking far more than usual. And my standard intake of beer easily exceeds that of a normal human, who are we kidding?
I'm nervous. Really nervous. I don't know if I can pull off an honest-to-God real dress. What if I look fat? What if it doesn't button? What if I don't like it?
I'll go pour myself a drink to calm down. Luckily, I'll have my Maid of Honor, Boots, and my fabulous colleague and friend, Carol, there when I try it on. Carol can order wine from the liquor store around the corner and they deliver it. Score one for Manhattan.
I recognize, however, that some or our brethren may find this disconcerting; therefore, we have taken stock of our smallish NYC apartment (790 square feet) and have created a list of items that are in dire need of replacing (e.g., our poor blender whose base has been cracked for 2 months, the 4-year-old sheets that are paper thin, the colander that has melted on the left-hand side, etc.).
So, in our effort to "do good" for this event that will cost more that the down payment for our aforementioned smallish NYC apartment, I did a little online research and came across the "I Do Foundation." Although it does not get the strongest review from the Better Business Bureau, I decided to register with them anyway.
The premise is that they partner with popular retailers and a percentage of the base value of registry items are donated to charities of our choosing. Simple? Not as much as I had hoped. First, Bed Bath and Beyond is not a partner organization. What?! They are the holy grail of wedding registries! Second, higher-end stores (e.g. Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, etc.) can only be accessed if one registers first with WeddingChannel.com. This boils down to registering to a minimum of 3 sites just to get some stupid sheets and a 3% donation (i.e., $30) to Global Fund for Women. I think I'll just write a check.
In their defense, I easily linked a Target registry (which, frankly, I set up solely for one item for which I have been pining for months) and then decided that I would direct my more philanthropic guests to Emmaus House in Albany, NY, which is NOT a non 501(c)3, but is near and dear to my heart.
Taking the tenets of Emmaus House to heart, I have been reminded of something today: a charitable organization DOES NOT have to be tax exempt to do good and that most times simplicity is at your fingertips, if you are willing to reach out and grab it.
For more information on Emmaus House, or (better still!) to donate, please visit:
Monday, July 19, 2010
Okay - fun item today: Stamps! Through Zazzle, I was able to purchase (and, in some instances, customize) fun skeleton-themed stamps. There were so many fabulous images that I ended up buying 5 different designs.
The invitation is going well. We opted to design our own and are pleased with how it looks onscreen, but have run into challenges when it prints. Our adjustments thus far have proved promising, but there are a few more hurdles to jump before we declare them finished. We are excited about them, so I am not posting an image until after our guests receive them - sorry, no sneak peek on this one!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
After doing a quick Internet search, and receiving a glowing recommendation from a former bride and local Bronxian, I contacted Sal & Dom's Pastry Shop. They are as sweet as their name implies and are willing to meet with us to discuss a Halloween-themed non-traditional wedding cake.
Check out their adorable seasonal cakes (hover over the holiday for a snapshot).
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I also feel like a fat bastard - I've been celebrating my graduation for several weeks now and it's starting to show. Speaking of, I also had a panic attack today when I realized that I should really start looking for a new job. Good God.
Right now I'm just going to mourn the US loss to Ghana and drink a beer that I know I shouldn't drink...
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Granted, my beloved found an Edward Gorey image very similar to this, which we were gung-ho about using...naturally, this invite would be a whole lot easier. And who am I? A lazy bride.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Maybe a little hair of the dog will cure me.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
We all know I am not a fan of heels (see 'Grannie Shoes' entry from 2/6/10) and, dammit, I won't succumb to the pressures of the Wedding Oversight Committee — I will wear flats. Perhaps something along the lines of:
Okay, there were some little heels mixed in there, but...who knows? Being a chick is too much work.
Monday, May 31, 2010
I can't begin to express how great this feels...going forward, I will be less neglectful of my duties to my blog.
As my father would say, Go Get 'Em.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The other night we are in class and I glance over to see what she is doodling in her notepad (she is an excellent doodler, unlike myself). She is practicing her signature with her soon-to-be husband's last name. I couldn't decide if I should vomit or punch her. I chose the latter.
I am considering buying her a Trapper Keeper to provide her the proper canvass...
So, yesterday I visited Aleny to get my measurements taken. If you live in the New York City area and are in need of a really nice tailor/dressmaker, please check her out (57 West 57th Street, suite 602 - 212-317-5911). She's as sweet as pie (mmmm...pie). And she didn't charge me! This in New York, baby, where you get charged for blinking.
Okay, back to studying. I have my very last class this upcoming Thursday. Of course, I still need to finish an 18+ page group paper, create a presentation, and take a final, so I'm not celebrating yet...
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I have less than 2 weeks before I graduate with my masters. I am, in a word, exhausted. Plus, there is a nice layer of dread hovering over my every thought.
In 2 weeks I fully plan on doing absolutely nothing. It will be my first Saturday since Christmas weekend where I haven't had some sort of reading, writing, or studying assignment.
5 deep breaths...in...out.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I am up to my eyeballs in school work (only 18 days to go and I am woefully behind on a group term project), so my anxiety level is pretty high.
We are working with the hotel to get a block of rooms set aside for October, which is also holding up the Save the Dates.
Deep breaths. Deep breaths. This is a rambling post if ever I've seen one!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Each semester I face a project that I swear I won't have the wherewithal to finish, but I do. May I find the strength to push through the next 4 weeks until graduation. We'll see.
Last weekend we visited one of the only hotels in our neighborhood - the La Quinta Inn. You know, I was pleasantly surprised - the staff was nice, the rooms were clean (and cozy - it is New York City), and it's close to our apartment. So, it looks like we'll book a block of rooms and solidify the rehearsal dinner space.
It's all coming together. Now if I could only find someone to write my final paper and take my final exam for me. Any takers? Yeah, I thought not.
Email 'Save the Date' goes out tomorrow.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Since we go to the Zoo every April, I had no idea that they deck the joint out each October in honor of Halloween. We are now in discussion to (*spoiler alert for those invited*) have a private tour of the haunted mansion replete with a smokey drink of our choice.
Things are getting interesting...
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
As I am the more practical, I have once again turned to the trusty Internet to find an at-home paper printing source. I found this the other day and, once again, am profoundly humbled by the creativity of some people.
Aren't these simply beautiful? I'm in awe. I'd like to say I'm inspired, but really I'm intimidated.
The selection looks fantastic and it sure beats the quote I got from a local stationery store:
$285 for 75 invitations (flat printed w/return address on envelopes)
$80-152 for envelopes
$145 for 2-sided reply postcard
I will do my damndest to support small business for this event, but these people are high if they think I'm going to spend over $500 on paper products with I design I came up with myself.
Well, that's all I have to offer this evening. I just spent several hours preparing for a mid-term for my Quantitative Research Methodology class. I need a cocktail...
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I did a simple Google search for 'girls black dress' and came up with three options for her. She picked this little number. Stating - and I quote -
"Well my favoritest dress is the one from JCPenny's: Mesh baby doll dress. It is sooooooooooo cute!!!!"
To me, she is sooooooooooo cute!!!!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
So, in looking for something fun for them to wear, I came across this saucy leopard number.
And as much as I love it, I'm afraid that my lovely, charming middle niece takes after her dad and uncles and is TALL. Something tells me this may expose too much leg.
Ah, to be young, blond, and leggy. (And good at math!)
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Not only is this site loaded with great ideas and reassurances that my wedding can be whatever I dream it to be, but it's a perfect distraction for those of us who should be writing a paper on Advertising Image Analysis and whipping up an annotated bibliography on The Heuristic-Systematic Model.
Anyway, I found this interview with Angie from Milestone Images and nearly plotzed. This woman sounded nuts (in the best possible way), so I called her and confirmed that she is certifiable. Just the kind of gal I want mingling with my family!
I think I'm going to roll with her - talent and snark combined. She's perfect!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
So, to begin my search, I have turned to the Internet. And subsequently, as I simply cannot bring myself to create an account on The Knot for myself, I snaked my soon-to-be sister-in-law's (henceforth to be known as "Boots") user name and password. There I found a charming little 1950s number by designer Justin Alexander (which I sadly cannot post for you as my fiance occasionally reads this blog) and was smitten. Until I realized: RK Bridal, for me, is akin to the third ring of hell and I would much rather purchase something from a local small business than feed the machine that is the bridal industry. I do have a hardcore crush on this dress, though. Is it cute enough for me to compromise my principles? Can't readily say...
So, turning to less obvious sources, I turned to trusty Google and found Kimera Design.
Located on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, this lovely store is high on my list to visit (yes, with Boots and another member of the Official Wedding Oversight Committee)...and after I lose a solid 10 pounds.
That said, I'm off to the gym!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Yesterday I actually took a lunch break. I left the building and bought a pair of very comfortable shoes.
Upon returning to the office, I showed them to a male colleague who said, "I know they're comfortable, but didn't they have a cuter pair?" Ouch.
This comment immediately reminded me of another colleague, who, upon learning that I had an internal job interview, blurted out, "Well, you can't wear that!"
Needless to say, I believe in comfort over style, which is precisely why my fabulous work crew has created "The Wedding Oversight Committee." I apparently cannot be trusted to purchase a wedding dress; therefore, I must present all considerations to members of the committee. Sad, but true.
I will rely on the expertise of the fashion-able; however, I retain the right to wear sensible footwear. Hmmm...maybe my new pair will suffice?
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Yes, as you have likely deduced, we chose The Bronx Zoo!
They have a new event facility, The Schiff Family Great Hall, which at one point served as the Lion House. Built in 1903, the Hall is New York City's first 'green' renovated landmark building: I get my historical site fix while being environmentally conscious. PLUS, all proceeds from the event will go toward supporting the global conservation initiatives of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which thrills me beyond belief.
The ceremony will take place outdoors in front of the sea lion exhibit (sea lions!) and the cocktail hour will be in the new Madagascar! exhibit. Yes, we'll be toasting champagne among the lemurs and munching hors d'oeuvres with the crocodiles!
Check out the little video we took when we visited the space - bear cubs!