Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dear Diary...last entry

So, I've decided to go retro. Now that the wedding is over (thereby rendering this blog passe), I have done what most in today's age would deem unthinkable: I have purchased a journal. The real kind. The kind one writes in. You know, with a pen.

I have said my peace with this blog, and the experiment is over. My takeaways? Well, for starters, it was cathartic and, at times, fun; however, more often than not, I felt plagued to write something witty. I would wake up in the night suddenly feeling as if I had forgotten to do something...oh, yeah, post a blog entry. Once something ceases to be fun and starts feeling like an obligation, it's time to let go.

My apologies to my four diligent readers, but I'm closing up shop. I wish all brides planning their weddings the best of luck and I hope that some of my posts will be helpful to you.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to write in my new diary (where there will undoubtedly be far more cursing and rambling incoherent thoughts - I can't wait)!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Can't sleep...again

Why is it that one's mind focuses on the most random things while desperately trying to sleep? Once again, I awoke in the middle of the night with thoughts of work, looking for new work, writing this blog, laundry, finishing the wedding thank you notes, etc.

The thing that most plagued me, however, was: I should learn to play the guitar, or find a voice teacher to get my voice back into shape, or sit down with my old piano books...and then knowing that I won't. There are some days where I do, but most I just watch.

Doing laundry now. Then off to work. Then to the dentist. Ah, that's why I don't play guitar or piano and haven't gone back to singing. Life kinda gets in the way. And why must weekends fly by so quickly? I don't know how people with children do it.

Well, this was an uninspired post. I have no humor today...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mr. Laslovich and the models on TV

Every now and then one gets on a subway car and is promptly met with a whole lotta crazy. Today was my lucky day.

Unlike yesterday, the "7" train showed up this morning quickly and with relatively few passengers. Lulled into thinking that this was a humble apology extended by the MTA for yesterday's stellar performance, I was pleased...until I realized that the lack of people was due entirely to a schizophrenic man, clearly on hiatus from taking his meds.

As I have mentioned before, my husband and I go to the gym before heading off to work. This morning I boldly decided to run 2 miles for my cardio portion of the workout. By the time I started my commute, my hips were throbbing and my lower back felt suspiciously stiff. Dilemma: A) do I scoot onto a different car to avoid aggressive crazy man, or B) do I rest my weary bones in the only seat available, located directly in front of him? I chose B, of course.

As I nestle into my corner seat (prime!) with my nose buried in my Kindle, Crazy Man - let's call him Gil - mumbles to me, "You and the models you watch on're stupid; your TV is taking over the world." Granted, I have a large, flat screen TV, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's taking over the world. Gil then turns his attention to the stunning young woman sitting across from me reading Cosmo, "And you, with your is taking over the world." Um, Gil, not to interrupt your rant, but I feel oddly compelled to defend myself as the geek with the technology, but I'll let it go. This time.

Finally, we hit the Hunter's Point stop. Enter "Mr. Laslovich," the poor schmuck. This unfortunate guy, a well-dressed executive leaving the privileged paradise known as Long Island, stumbles right into Gil's lair. Agitated, Gil shouts in his face, "Damn you, Mr. Laslovich and your duffel bag." Apparently, this Mr. Laslovich owns a mysterious blue duffel bag that he keeps high in his closet. The contents? Body parts. I can see why Gil is distressed - I'd be upset, too, if my nemesis harbored severed limbs in his closet.

Eventually, Gil begins to silently pray. Mr. Laslovich shrugs and pulls out a newspaper. I resume my literary adventure. Pretty Cosmo girl applies some lip gloss.

All is right with the world.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beware of pick-pockets at all times; they are all around you

Today was another thrilling ride on ye old "7" line.

Due to damage to the track, we are going to totally shaft your morning.

Okay, so this wasn't the announcement, but it certainly should have been. Instead, the entirely competent and kindly conductor did manage to bellow several times over, "Beware of pick-pockets at all times; they are all around you!"

First, is this Dickensian England? No, it's Queens, and I guarantee that Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger are nowhere to be found. Perverts, on the other hand, abound! Twist and Dodge - that's what one has to do in this scenario, because this city is loaded with guys that live for overly crowded subway cars so that they may rub against unsuspecting women for kicks. Take my wallet, just leave my ass alone.

Second, "they are all around you"? I love how the MTA can seriously inconvenience thousands of straphangers, while simultaneously inducing mass paranoia. Pick-pockets are lurking behind every corner; suspicious packages, presumably teeming with explosives, are waiting to detonate all over the city; and backpacks and other large containers are subject to random search, as they undoubtedly contain anthrax, Ebola or ricin (hey, Lord only knows what women carry in those multiple bags of theirs). It's a wonder I leave my apartment.

Actually, I bitch, but the whole fiasco ended on an amusing note: After about 10 minutes of being in a near-embrace with a man to whom I am not married, I peel myself away at my stop and he says, "Your hair smells really good." He wasn't pervy, weird or creepy. His bag appeared to be of normal size. He tried to keep a respectable distance (a monumental feat, considering). All-in-all, he was just a nice guy striving to make the best of an awkward situation...and my hair does smell good.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Freshman 15, Newlwed 20

A few months before my wedding, a well-meaning colleague announced, "You've lost a ton of weight." I hadn't realized that I had evolved into an Orca and we now had to discuss my weight loss in tonnage...

Like most couples, we were trying to lose weight before our wedding. And, like most couples, we enjoyed eating everything in sight during our honeymoon. The problem, however, falls in the timing of our wedding: 10/23. Two weeks after returning from the all-you-can-eat honeymoon, we celebrated Thanksgiving, the all-you-can-eat holiday. And then came the full swing of the holiday season, resulting in some significant heft. I'll need to lose roughly 13 pounds - oh, sorry, tons - to get back to my pre-wedding weight.

Why does no one mention this? We received no warning regarding this phenomenon, and yet when I mentioned it to two fairly recent newlyweds, they nodded knowingly and then commiserated with me.

Well, let this post serve as the warning:

Dear affianced,

I know planning a wedding can be stressful, dredging up emotions that you have spent the majority of your adult life trying to ignore, rationalize or exorcise. Have no fear: it will all be over soon and you will have a great time at your wedding. Then you'll honeymoon and have an even better time; you'll eat, drink and throw caution (not to mention money) to the wind.

Then you'll come home and adjust to married life. You'll start to feel comforted by the lack of wedding planning stress. And you'll celebrate. You'll be pleased with your commitment to your new spouse. And you'll celebrate. You'll tuck away your wedding finery and revel in the pictures where you both looked so happy. And you'll celebrate.

Then, one morning, you'll attempt to zip your favorite pants and - good God - it's painful. You've celebrated. A lot. And that is okay...the pants are merely the symbol of a good time and a happy life. Now it's just time to revel it in. Good luck!

Now, it's off to the gym and to the grocery store (where salt & vinegar Pringles will not magically find its way into my basket).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Maslow and Laslow Kittyfeld

It's been forever since I've posted and, frankly, it's because I grew weary of writing about weddings. This can't come as a shock, seeing as I have never purported to be a fan of them in the first place. I loved mine. I had fun. Moving on...

Today, I finally saw Maslow - resurrected from what I presumed to be the dead. Who is Maslow? He's a cat that lives in the courtyard behind our building. His brother is Laslow. They were born here two years ago when our building was undergoing some requisite pointing and our awesome Supers built them this Kittie Manse in the backyard. Of course, the Supers call them Heckle and Jeckle, but they'll always be Maslow and Laslow to us (Maslow, stemming from a conversation about the hierarchy of needs and whether it applies to kitties as well as humans; and Laslow as an homage to Laslow Hollyfeld, the elusive character from the film Real Genius).

I will carry my camera to see if I can get a snapshot of either of them - they are crafty little suckers, so this may be tricky .

Why am I writing about this? Well, I can't sleep (a common affliction for me) and, in an effort to lull my mind, I am fixating on the positive elements of my day. The Maslow siting made the top of the list. I haven't seen him for months and thought, sadly, that he had succumbed to the elements.

Yes, the cat was the highlight: it certainly was NOT the pool of vomit I had to traverse as I stepped off the subway car this evening. Ah, St. Patrick's Day: the day I should spend reflecting on the struggles of my people, but instead spend dodging drunken suburban teenagers in the streets of Manhattan and drunken Sunnysiders in Queens. Good times.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thank yous

I am starting to feel the gnawing guilt that, although I have managed to thank nearly every vendor contracted for our wedding, I have yet to actually thank any of the guests for the gifts they bestowed on us. I am a 'thank you card' person - jeez, I send thank you cards to my dermatologist for disintegrating a persistent pimple and to our Super for snaking the shower drain. Clearly, I can't allow another month go by without sending a card to our guests for participating in what was, hands down, one of the most fun days I have ever had.

When I first spoke with Angie of Milestone Images this time last year (I cannot believe it's been a year), she warned me that 'October is the new June' and that I likely would not have any photos in hand until roughly six months after the event. This didn't bother me; however, I realize in hindsight that it does put a crimp in the plan if one wants to create a cheesy photo thank you card. Luckily Angie, being the truly awesome and professional chick she is, agreed to send me a few pics on the fly so I can whip something up. (Don't get me wrong, she posted a spectacular slideshow a mere 3 days after the wedding; I just don't have soft copies of any of the pics to use for this purpose.)

So, on today's agenda is whipping up a cutsie card, which pangs my husband, who would prefer to create an awesomely creepy card reminiscent of our wedding invitation. As much as I loved collaborating with him on that unique project, it was labor intensive and took us so long that if we endeavored to repeat the act, we would be celebrating our one-year anniversary before a single soul was thanked.

Well, off to admire the work of Angie and cringe at the cookie-cutter templates of Snapfish, Shutterfly, Kodak, etc. which will undoubtedly diminish her fabulous work.
So, on the agenda today is to create a card and place the order.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Bronx Zoo

A colleague called me on Thursday to tell me that her sister just got engaged and was beginning her search for a locale for the event. After seeing my wedding photo slide show, this colleague didn't hesitate before recommending the Bronx Zoo!

I confess that a part of me felt sad - I wanted to go back and do it all again. (Okay, not all of it, but most of it.) Of course, it also prompted me to recall that we get a free pass for a full year after our event to visit our lemur friends (and the ever-elusive, yet super-cute xiǎo xióng māo (red panda)), and I must take advantage! It was this time last year when we first visited the hall and decided to book it. It was snowing and freezing cold, which happily meant we were practically the only people there (a rarity anywhere in New York City).

It was also on the snow-drenched bridge that I realized: I had fought so long against the idea of "marriage," but I was finally ready for it: my favorite day of the year (Oct. 23) fell on a Saturday, one of my favorite places in the world (the zoo) had just opened a new event hall, and my favorite person (my now-husband) were all waiting for me - everything as aligned and all I had to do was embrace it. And, so, I did.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Miss America

Last night we were persuaded to watch the Miss America Pageant. Needless to say, my vow to stop drinking this month came to an abrupt, and necessary, end. I couldn't have made it through such a display without something quashing the fire in the pit of my stomach.

You see, our friend (Dr. Beeyul) is in town and, as he is the voice teacher for Miss Tennessee, we watched in support of him and his blond behemoth. It humbles me, but I have to admit it was awesome entertainment.

First, there is the whole: "What-the-hell! I-can't-believe-this-parade-of-human-flesh-still-exists-AND-they-claim-it's-for-scholarship-money-when-these-bitches-can-CLEARLY-afford-tuition!" factor. (Or, as my husband stated: the human equivalent to the Westminster Dog Show.) It's a car crash from which one cannot avert her eyes.

Second, there is the "talent" portion - and, yes, I put that in quotes. Now, our small audience consisted of 1 current professional opera / music theater singer (and doctorate of music), 3 former professional opera singers, and me, a former professional music theater singer/dancer.

That being said, we gave them major credit for performing on national television, but COME ON! The highlights:
  • Miss Washington - whiter than the collective mass of bleached teeth during the opening number - screeched her way through the Motown soul song "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," as made famous by the The Temptations. Seriously.

  • Miss Arizona sphincter-blinked her way through "Nessun Dorma,"which takes a big ol' pair, seeing as it was the Pav who first rocked it, and then Aretha who, with 30 minutes of preparation, wailed the hell out of it at the Grammy's when the Pav was too ill to perform. Geez, Miss Arizona needs to choose more appropriate material.

  • Miss Delaware blatantly ripped of the choreography from one of the worst/best movies ever produced (and one of my all-time favorites) — "Center Stage" (see Television Without Pity for the best recap of this righteously awful flick). Only it lacked heart, vivacity, and any semblance of technique.
This talent portion confuses me. Granted, I haven't seen the Miss America Pageant since 1996 when a college classmate was Miss Vermont; however, I would imagine that most of these women are 'career' pageant performers, so it's perplexing that they are so terrible. It's as if they targeted one thing they can do with basic aptitude and proceeded to pass it off as though they have been doing it their whole lives (as the childhood photos displayed behind them would suggest). It was just shameful, until...

Miss Arkansas busted out two dummies and yodeled the bejusus out of some cowgirl tune. We rewound and watched it 4 times. Hell, I wish we had DVR'd at this house, 'cuz I'd be watching it right now. It was the freakiest thing I have seen in a while and she deserved to win but, alas, she lost to Miss Nebraska. So disappointing.

My husband and his brother, raised in Iowa, are still reeling over Miss Iowa's introduction: "Leading the state in ethanol production, my state gives you gas." Freakin' sweet.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Get Wed by Fred in the New Year!

So, we spent New Year's Eve at a good friend's house whereby I met a lovely couple from Ireland, who have been dating for 4.5 years. I tell you this because I was instructed by the young woman not to tell her beau that I had been in a relationship for 13 years before getting married. It seems that she would like to get engaged in the near future and this bit of information would serve as encouragement for her man to avoid asking. And, so, I've learned that I am a blight on all single women looking to marry.

Anyway, after being asked several questions about our wedding (and hearing praise for how fun it was), I basked in the glow of once again being the bride. I never thought in a million years I would say this, but I missed it. Now, I could say it's because I'm the youngest of six kids and tend toward narcissism, but that's not true. (At least not in this instance.) I just have such great memories of the day and realize that as we get farther away from October 23rd, there will be fewer opportunities to talk about it. It will be less newsworthy.

Anyway, this reminded me that I still have work to do in the wedding lovefest arena and, so, today I will rave about my brother-in-law, Fred, who officiated...

One of the things were adamant about was having someone we knew marry us. We felt that getting married is an intimate event and, therefore, did not want a stranger standing in front of us and our family & friends purporting to know us. Armed with Google, we learned that one can become an ordained minister - free of charge - through the Universal Life Church. Then, for a fee of $15, one can register as a wedding officiant with the NYC City Clerk's office, which starts with an online (or mailed) application and then a visit to the office during business hours.

That's all it took! So, we asked Fred, who is ultra-cool and possesses a PhD in religion to preside. I cobbled together a ceremony (God bless the Internet!) while Fred composed a fun sing-a-long as an opener and - badda boom, badda bing - we had one hell of a wedding ceremony. It was, without a doubt, the best decision we made. For weeks afterward we received a ton of inquiries about the awesome "priest" who married us. Fred did an amazing job and, two months later, we still have the refrain from his sing-a-long stuck in our heads:

"Hurry up, we're going to the zoo, let's not rush 'I do, I do'!"

Best. Song. Ever.