Monday, September 29, 2008

September 27, 2008: best day of my life

2:30 am - Dupont Circle.

Stories to follow. Off to Istanbul! Hugs to all!

Friday, September 26, 2008

In which I act like I'm getting an Academy Award, when really, I just want to hug all of you

I want to thank all of you for your amazing support, enthusiasm, and kindness leading up to my wedding.

And when I say leading up to my wedding, what I mean is, from the moment you guys started reading up to now. Because LG has been all about relationships since the minute I started.

Hell, the reason I started was a failed relationship. Or anyway, that overflow of angst was what propelled me to start a blog. What I didn't know then was that I was actually reaching out into the wide, invisible e-world, stretching my arms out for virtual hugs.

I know I've said this a number of times before, but hopefully you'll indulge me once more; you all are amazing. So kind, supportive, loving.

Thank you to all of you who, every time I said, "I'm absolutely certain I'm going to die alone!" responded with, "You absolutely are not."

There are a couple readers - people who do not have blogs and comment very rarely - who basically said, "Stick with it. You'll be fine."

And they were right. It's odd to think that comments from absolute strangers help, but they do.

I want to make sure to give huge thanks to Lisa at PoliTits, who happened to click a Wonkette link shortly after I started writing, and has stuck with me ever since, and even though she's a really busy working mom, rejoiced with me in my ups and sent me encouragement in my downs.

I'd also like to mention that after we got engaged the first three gifts we received were from bloggers: HKW, Nicole, and Slightly Disorganized, only one of whom I've met in person at this point - SD, in July. And they've continued to be so very lovely. HKW, your sweet sweet note yesterday made me cry.

Although you might ask what doesn't these days.

This is not to say that my real life friends weren't excited - Tej and her husband immediately took us to brunch to celebrate. Engaged! Yay!

But the biggest, most concerted amount of excitement came from LG readers. And I've basked in it ever since.

I have so many people to thank for advice and virtual hugs, and this is a tiny list, and if I've somehow overlooked you, please bear in mind that I'm getting married tomorrow and currently I'm brushing my teeth and getting dressed as I write this.


Broadly, thank you to Lemmonex and Ryane for being endless fonts of wisdom on makeup, and thank you KassyK for offering thoughts on hair and fashion and glam in general. Thank you FreckledK for sending love and support and continually cheering us on.

Thank you Wendy for returning from my India past and being with me from Hawaii through all of this. It's meant a lot to me. And speaking of my past, with a relationship stretching all the way back to when I was born, through Dacca days and up to the present, thank you Jordaan for coming all the way from Texas and bringing your lovely daughter. I can't wait to see you guys. It makes me cry thinking about it. Oh, and if you're reading this, I have you down for one vegetarian and one omnivore dinner.

Thank you VVK for being a solid, constant rock, and also for being taller than Nick, which doesn't happen that often. Thank you Restaurant Refugee for your generous wisdom and more. And thank you Jessica for being a pretty much daily source of email hugs and advice and support. In fact, LG readers could thank you for saving them from reading about so many more melt downs than they otherwise would've.

And last but so far from least, because reading these, and knowing people took time out of their busy days to write and sent great thoughts makes me cry every time I get one, thank you to all the readers who have sent nice notes. I've gotten a number of really lovely messages from readers - one from North Dakota last night, which particularly warms my heart, since my mom is from Minot. All saying, essentially, "I don't know you but I'm so happy you've found love and so excited for your wedding."

Thank you all for all of this.

I am hoping to post tomorrow, because I give my bridesmaids their presents tonight - presents that have taken a tremendous amount of my time, thought and energy lately - and I'd really like to post pictures once they have them.

But tomorrow being our wedding day, I know the odds are slim. So I wanted to get all my thanks out today.

Big hugs to all of you.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Orts, pre-wedding orts

I'm more of a paragrapher than a list-maker, but I've currently got a bunch of disconnected bits and no story.

So my orts. Numbered for ease of separation, but in no particular order.

1. We've gotten a lot of advice. Some really touching and make me cry-y. And some just plain funny. I appreciate all of it, and the kind, loving place it comes from. At some point I'll print it all out and put it all together.

2. I'm about to pick up Nick's ring. Super exciting!

3. Maude and family are in town! With any luck I'll see her later today. If not, then tomorrow! Can't wait, can't wait!

4. Jen has made it to DC via stops in two other American cities, with one other wedding on the way. She never stops, that one. I like to call myself an international woman of mystery, but the truth is, it's her. This is a woman who takes long weekends in Greece, for goodness sake, and had her bridesmaid dress made for her. Glam!

5. Nick is wearing a tux, and breaking out the mega-bling gold jacket for the dancing.

6. My dad is wearing a tux for my wedding. I've never, ever seen him in a tux. He's going to look gorgeous.

7. Our band cannot play Safety Dance. Not enough time to work it up. And so I really want to sneak in an iPod and speakers. Which will be a delight in two ways. One, we can get pics of Nick in the gold jacket doing the S-S-S-S-A-A-A-A... And two, the staff at the house museum would lose their shit immediately and completely. Yes, I would like to induce this. Yes, I am wicked.

8. Even though I promised Marta I would be vigilant about rubber gloves in textile class last night, I wasn't...I mean, I was up to a point, and then I wasn't. Sort of like teenagers and condoms, I supose. So anyway, I currently look like Lizzie Borden. I even somehow smeared some on my face. Fuchsia dye seems to wear off pretty fast, though, so by Saturday we should be good.

9. Please cross your fingers for sunshine. Because the current weather? Sucks some decent amount of ass.

10. And total non sequitur - I'm signed up for Twitter, but I don't. I just don't really get it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hanging out on the memory veranda

We have been putting together a slide show for our rehearsal dinner.

In doing so, I have strolled down so many memory lanes. And trudged through memory jungles. And slipped through sand in memory deserts. And plunked myself down on the memory veranda.

I chose this photo because it sums up so much about my childhood. It's hard to figure out where to begin, I have to say.

It was taken on our downstairs veranda in Dacca (now spelled Dhaka), Bangladesh. I don't remember why I was dressed up in a sari for the occasion. If you click on the photo, you'll see that I even have matching glass bangles.

I didn't wear a sari on any regular basis, but everything else about the scene is typical. My parents, all glammed up, having cocktails with friends. My long, unkept blonde hair. And my glasses.

I have had glasses since I was four years old. And for a while - longer than I wish were true - I insisted on wearing the glasses over my hair, as well-displayed above.

And my hair, I hated. I wanted black hair, like everyone else around me. And so, in the hopes that it would darken, I refused to wash it more than once a week. And even then, kicking and screaming.

Filthy child? You can't really tell in the picture, but I was, I was.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If this keeps up, I'm going to be seriously dehydrated

I have been bursting into tears left and right. All morning.

Seriously. I was making coffee in the kitchen at the same time as Tej, and we disagreed about something totally insignificant - and I started to cry. Not like delicate, gentle raindrops misting my cheeks. More like sobbing gently into a paper towel trying desperately to stop before someone I would never want to see me cry entered the kitchen.

I got myself together and sniveled down a back hall to the Quad. Where Kay gave me a hug.

And then my lovely friend T, who is one of my bridesmaids and is going to sing as part of the ceremony - she's a fantastic soprano - called. She said she generally hates weddings but is so completely excited about mine, and she just can't wait.

This made me wail.

And then Maria finished the programs and handed them to me. And they're lovely. Once again, tears.

I'm so excited about committing to Nick forever and ever. I'm not scared, I'm not nervous, I'm not having second thoughts. He is exactly who I want to be with.

We have a beautiful venue. We have great catering and fantastic music lined up.

And most importantly, we have almost all of our favorite people in the world coming - some from really far away. Far like Australia and Poland and Macedonia and France far! Not to mention California and Texas!

It's all so wonderful, and I'm so excited about it.

And yet somehow today, I can't seem to stop crying.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And now we know why Betty is always offering us oysters and rhino tusk when we visit

Some of our family friends have already arrived in town. It feels like the celebration has begun! I love it!

Last weekend I wound up in a conversation with a very dear friend who my parents have known since before I was born. She hasn't yet met Nick, and I was getting her caught up on life and wedding and such.

We were talking about food for the rehearsal dinner - crab cakes and some kind of beef - and how we were told that that combo would cover most people, except the true vegetarians, for whom we're getting veg meals.

I don't eat beef, and she asked if Nick does. Which led us into a conversation about what he likes to eat, what we typically eat for dinner, etc.

I told her that Nick had been losing weight, and that we've really been trying to eat healthy.

She asked about this, and I said, "Well, Nick's already taking Lipitor."

"He has high cholesterol?"


At which point Betty interrupted to say, "It's for cholesterol? I thought Lipitor was the one that gave you the erection!"

The erection. Is how she put it.

"You mean Viagra?"

"Ohh - Viagra!"

I had to make an immense amount of fun of her. As you might imagine.

And so the thing that gives me most pause is as follows. Nick has been in a number of conversations with family friends - men, all - about Lipitor. I specifically remember a dinner table conversation about it.

Now, they weren't talking about what it did, more that their doctors had recommended it and how it's being touted as a miracle drug. Nick is young to be taking it, but better to start early.

This led me to two parallel dinner table scenes playing in my head. One in which men discuss the importance of cholesterol medication and arterial health. And the other in which they talk about their penis medication, which their doctors said they absolutely needed. Better to be safe than sorry.

As for Nick? Instructed to start preventative medication young. Because when he's older it could really be a crisis.

Betty must've been sitting there thinking, "Oh, God, the last thing I want to know is about the erections of my future son-in-law. Actually, maybe second to last, because Lord knows I've never wanted to hear about the erections of all these other men I've known for the last 40 years."

But of course what she said out loud was, "Would anyone like coffee or tea?"

(You know, to go with your big old erections?)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A week from today!

A week from today I make an honest man of Nick in front of the people we love most in this world.

I can't wait!

Nick bought a new tuxedo shirt, and he looks beautiful in it. He got his tux back from the cleaners, and it is a beautiful, conservative black. I believe we are breaking out the shiny gold jacket during the dancing. Once we have gotten people good and liquored up.

My dress is ready and hanging all covered at my parents' house. And the crinoline, to make sure it's super sticky-outy is hanging sideways like a bit O in their basement.

The magic makeup artist confirmed her availability. My MAC #7 false eyelashes are at the ready.

Oh, and the cake details are all set. I'd asked, months ago, if I could possibly have fuchsia water lilies. Because I thought it would be fun. She said certainly.

I emailed the other day and asked if I could have lily pads. And white flowers tinged in fuchsia, or with fuchsia centers. To tone it down.

She wrote back with the following. "Yes on the lily pads. YES on toning down the fuchsia."

Heh heh. She's amazing, and so I know it will be pretty. It, like the bridesmaid dresses, is going to be a surprise. I like it that way.

My high school friend Sophie, who I recently learned reads LG, sent me the most amazing list of emergency supplies to have on hand. Things I'd never have thought of. But are such a good idea. I'm amassing those this weekend.

And, in case you're wondering, I've sworn to Betty that this supply bag will not include a tiny spray bottle filled with pee.

We are figuring out some details, and I'm finishing up working on gifts.

And other than that, I think we're set, right?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Same as it ever was

The problem, I think, is that I get very focused in the moment. I think this, because honestly, I don't think it's that I lack judgment in general.

Because, here's the thing.

You know how you wind up with clothing - like T shirts and boxers - from past relationships? And the ones from bad breakups you throw away immediately, thus banishing memories. But ones with no hard memories, you might stick in a drawer and forget about.

And then one evening maybe you are screen printing on the kitchen floor of your little apartment.

Since you don't really live there anymore, but what you are doing with it and where to live is in flux, you are sometimes there, but with very few clothing options. And having walked there from work, you are in a no-dyeing-or-any-other-permanently-staining-behavior outfit.

And so you are forced to cast about for clothes that don't matter. Which turns out to be a dingy old tank top. And a pair of really comfy, stretchy, white boxer briefs.

Not the kind that go far down your leg. The Calvin Klein kind that, on a guy, would sit high on his thigh. Sort of like a more attractive version of tighty-whities. Having girl thighs myself, they scoot up, and sit gently above the rounded top of them.

It's a good look.

And these are boy underwear. So there's a little pokey-outey place to put your penis. The one I don't have, but look like I do (albeit a rather inadequate one), while wearing them. It's just part of the penilely accomodating design. And it looks even more poked out because of all the extra room created by the scooting up the legs.

So the kind of dye I use for screening needs to be heat set. Which is relevant, I promise.

Once the fabric is dry, you spread it out on a layer of newspaper, place another layer on top, and wrap it up, long ways and then sideways - kind of like you'd roll a cinnamon roll, if that makes sense. And then tie it to hold it. You then steam it for 30 minutes, in a modified spaghetti pot kind of thing.

And when the 30 minutes are up, you need to take it out fast. You don't want to let the moisture from the steam in the paper affect your design.

When you open the paper, these enormous gusts of ammonia puff out. So you have to unwrap this big paper bundle while trying to hold your breath.

So on this particular day, there I am, yellow rubber gloves, tank, tighty-whities. In my small tiny place. Trying to not breathe while pulling out the fabric and gathering up what seems like an entire issue of steamed, ammonia-y newspaper.

Pulling, unwrapping, gathering, holding breath, blinking eyes. Arms full of paper, staggering breathlessly, trying not to drop paper on the floor, trying to keep the scarf from sticking to itself and from dragging while getting it to the bathroom to rinse it.

My front door is on the path from kitchen to bathroom. And as I pass it I have the sense that for the love of God, I simply cannot breath and I just need some air! Air! Please! Air!

And so I fling the door open wide - why, I do not know, as it only opens to a hallway - just in time to nearly hurl myself into the path of passing strangers.

New neighbors? Visitors? I do not know. I did not stick around to find out.

What I know is this: A more extreme vision of ludicrosity is hard to find.

Arms full of paper. Clad in nothing but undies, glasses, and yellow rubber gloves. Non-existent penis poking out the front of tighty-whities. Crazed look on my trying-not-to-inhale face.

What I most fervently hope and pray is if I ever run into these people again, I am carrying a screen, or something else obviously arty. So they can think, "crazy artist," rather than just, "crazy."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cosmetic frivolity + life lesson. With fake lashes. Wink wink bat bat.

So what I learned through the makeup process was something I've learned about myself in every other piece of my life. It is this: almost everything with me is a process of elimination.

I don't necessarily know what I want until I find it. Which means you necessarily try a lot of what you don't want.

Remember my gazillion dates? No, no, no, maybe, but no, and more no. And then, hello Nick! And at that point, knew exactly what I wanted.

So this was how I plowed through my dating career. And much of my work career. I have had more boyfriends than jobs, but my resume is not a short one.

It's not the easiest way to go through life. Nor the most expedient. If it's your MO, I imagine you will agree.

So back to the business at hand.

I got a recommendation on a makeup artist from a friend who worked in the makeup business for years. About a month ago I did a trial run.

The end result was that I really liked her, but I hated the makeup.

This woman was so pretty, and her makeup was impeccable. The whole time she was putting my makeup on, I was sitting there thinking, "She's just so beautiful!"

I wanted to ask her how it feels to be that beautiful. But what a weird question to ask.

At the recommendation of my friend, I'd pulled pictures out of a bunch of magazines with the general look(s) I thought I liked.

When she was done, I looked in the mirror, and was kind of confused. It just didn't really look like me. My maid of honor was over, and she felt the same.

The makeup artist said to sit with it, to think about it, and think about what I liked, didn't, etc.

So she left, and we analyzed what was wrong, what wasn't sitting well with us. And came to the conclusion that I looked kind of like I'd been snatched out of a European village at a young age, sold into prostitution, been hard-used, escaped, and started my life over. And was now trying to look younger and fresher through makeup.

I say this not to be mean or denigrate her makeup skills. As I said, her look was perfect.

It was just a look that really, really didn't work for me. And taught me the power of makeup. My face looked more round than it actually is. My eyes, which point, looked round. And I looked like I had a whole lot more wrinkles than I do.

Although I am loathe to put this up, here's proof I'm not exaggerating. Don't you agree?

I didn't say any of this to her. But I also didn't want to risk hating the apparent shape of my face on my wedding day. And so I said was that in looking at our budget again, we had decided to forgo paying for makeup application.

Which was my precise intention. It freaked me out to lose control over how my face looks.

A week later, my mom and I went to the mall. We were walking past the Lancome counter, when an attractive woman with really cool glasses asked if she could help us. She had a visiting makeup artist that day.

And I sat down, and she did my makeup, and I just felt pretty. And sparkly. And not at all like I was recovering from a kidnapped life of use.

To make things even more fun, while she was doing Betty's makeup, we talked about the wedding. She asked if I was going to wear false eyelashes. And then said if I walked over to MAC and bought some, she'd put them on for me.

Which she did. And I kind of loved it. This photo I put up above shows the lashes best, I think.

I wanted to take her home with me and ask her to make me look like that every single day. But instead, I asked her if she's free the 27th.

I am waiting for confirmation, and if she can't do it, I'd already decided to do my own. I do love those fake eyelashes, though.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Evil thought that has nothing to do with the wedding and everything to do with the election

I almost never talk politics here. I realize this is a huge departure from my norm, and for those of you who like the light stories, politics is the opposite what you are looking for.

But this is where I am in the moment.

Mostly, although I do believe W fucked us almost as far as possible as a country, and I didn't think we could be more fucked or a bigger global laughingstock until McCain-Palin came along, I leave things alone. I don't believe things are that different with most Democrats or Republicans.

Also, almost all my friends are Democrats. And they're much more politically involved and interested than I am. Which I feel grateful for, because they are really smart and motivated and the kind of people you would actually like to see in politics. I can listen and agree and feel good about it all.

So this weekend Nick and I were out running along the river, talking about what a cretin Sarah Palin is, and how she thinks she's smarter than she is, and what an idiot she looked like when asked about the Bush Doctrine.

Now, I have to admit that I didn't know what it was. But I'm not running for Republican vice fucking president. Or Republican anything. Or, really, anything.

Just, you know, running along the river.

Nick says that he's confident more and more will come out that will turn people against her.

My contention is that no matter what comes out, a lot of people will still vote the McCain-Palin ticket. Maybe the majority of the country. The ones who wanted to have a beer with Bush. Because he seemed like a fun guy to hang out on the porch with.

Nick has more hope than I do. But is also glad to have a British passport at this point.

During this discussion, James Carville passed us, going the other direction. Which has nothing to do with anything. It's just so DC.

So Nick was talking about how obviously great abstinence-only education is. And how it clearly works. And is obviously the best thing ever to promote.

And I suddenly had this amazing/terrible thought. What if Bristol Palin had a late-term abortion?

I know this is a terrible thing to wish for, and if I wished for it, it would heap bad Karma on me in 54 different ways.

So we're clear: I'm not wishing for it.

More thinking, you know, it could really tie things up nicely.

Friday, September 12, 2008

First dance

So when the guy in charge of our music asked what our first dance was going to be, Nick said, "Safety Dance," without hesitation.

The truth is, we had talked about it. And if we had a DJ, we just might have. Even though it would've made all the "old people" my parents keep referring to (including themselves in the group falling under this rubric) less than delighted.

However, a band playing an instrumental version of Safety Dance? Not so much.

Plus, of course, we have enough of the romantic, traditional in us that makes us both want to have something much less, um, surprising.

What we are currently thinking is "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You." You know, with the lyrics, "Wise men say only fools rush in..." We particularly like this, since one could say that about us.

But there are just so many pretty songs. They're old favorites - which means songs you've heard as first dance songs at a ton of weddings.

So how do you choose one that isn't exactly what everyone else has chosen before you? Or do you just say, whatever, it's lovely and we like it, who cares if we're not being original?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And when she was bad, she was horrid...

I am currently a giant wedding crazypants.

This is, I think, a step or several up from bridezilla. But I know that lately I have been very trying. Definitely more toads and snails than sugar and spice. Much more.

Just ask my intended.

He will say, "Yes, and more yes. And please, God, could you give me back the fun, happy, interesting woman I feel in love with? Because this banshee is making me nutso."

I bet if you asked him, that is exactly what he would say. Betcha.

I don't have a good explanation except that the wedding makes me crazy.

This morning Nick said, "I've never seen you like this. I would just never have predicted that you would be so into the wedding, and so stressed out. And so difficult."

"I'm sorry."

"Uusually, you're really level-headed and rational and intelligent. Or anyway, you used to be. Every once in a while I get a glimmer of that person. I can't wait for Old Lisa to come back."

Um, me either.

In the beginning I was all, everything is fine, and it's going to be nice, and I'm just not going to get worked up! My bridesmaids can wear whatever black dress they want - which is still true, and I've only seen a couple of their choices - and it's all going to be good. We'll have food, we'll have wine, we'll have music, and everyone will have a nice time.

Details? Schmetails!

Heh. Yeah. That was months ago. Lately, I feel like I'm just batshit, all the time.

You know, I was bitchy to the no-no-no woman at the venue. Like, when she said we couldn't set flowers on the fireplace, I gave her a huge bitch smile, and said, "Of course we can't. That's so excellent. Really. Thank you."

If you have never seen me turn into a bitchface? It is a little terrible.

When we left, Betty said, "Maybe try to be a little less bitchy?"

And I try. . .and it goes away for a little while. And comes right back. Sometimes it's like I'm looking down at myself. I want to clap my hand over Other Lisa's mouth and be all, "Stop it! Don't say that!"

And I can't stop myself in time.

It's like PMS times 54.

And also? Everything? Seems like it's about me. Not in an everything should be about me way.

More like this:

It's raining. I hate rain. And the reason it's raining? Is purely to inconvenience me.

There's construction on the bridge. Which makes us late. Of course they would put construction on the bridge we need to drive on this particular morning.

The black dye I was using in class last night? Came out more blue than black. Of course it's not turning out black, when all I need is black right now.

See how these things aren't remotely about me? And in my normal self life, I get that it rains, that construction happens, and that part of what is cool about dyeing fabric is that you don't exactly know how it will turn out.

And yet somehow, lately, I am making them about me. In my current bizarre world, some higher power is just trying to make my life a little more difficult, or something.

This is crazypants thinking and behavior. I know it is. Seriously. Plus, it's really annoying to live with.

You know I am not remotely kidding.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

I'm so glad that meltdown is over. Or rather, that MELT. DOWN.

It was useful, though. There were a couple things that I needed to be heard on, and until that point, I wasn't being listened to. Or rather, I was being listened to, but not heard.

Also, all that fuck the fucking fuckity fuck fuckers fuck! And the fucking fuckishness of the fuckfuckfuck! It all really helped. Phew!

I feel much better today. Today I hate the historic place and all they stand for a little less. Which is great, considering.

One of the things I told a friend yesterday, though, in the middle of my fuck the fucking fuck, was that I was tempted to quietly pee in an out-of-the-way corner. In lieu of creating the drama of wine pouring and candle lighting and such. And possibly being arrested on my wedding night.

Which I wouldn't put past the fuckity fucks.

But back to the possible peeing in a corner.

It is, of course, exactly the kind of thing I am not going to do. It is also the kind of gross, slightly horrifying thing I would come up with on my own.

Except that this time, I didn't.

One of my friends and colleagues has a boyfriend who grew up in Morocco. He's this very well educated, handsome guy. Very clean cut, sharply dressed, and with a super high powered job.

And when she is really upset about something? Like at her last job with her jerky boss? And she'd come home with a terrible story about something he'd done?

He would say, "Would you like me to pee on him?"

Seriously. In his culture, this is up there with the biggest of insults.

The vision is pretty excellent, I have to say. Well dressed man, standing on desk, peeing on evil boss? Or sneaking up behind, and peeing on the back of the neck? Horrible surprise.

Who among us wouldn't love to inflict that on someone in our lives?

But then this led me to ask if the person has to do the actual peeing on of the person. Because could you just bring some pee to work with you?

Would be much more convenient, you must admit.

Maybe have them pee in a Tupperware container? You know how they have those screw-top bottles with a round bit in the top that pops open? Maybe you could save a bottle of pee to be used in really terrible emergency circumstances?

Obviously, it's not as dramatic. But the person would still be peed on all the same.

You would necessarily label it "pee" - because of course you wouldn't want to confuse your pee Tupperware with your food Tupperware. This is what I do with my dye containers.

I mean, in case you're thinking of trying this at home.

Soooo, yah. Anyway, hi! It's Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

732 and a big rant

Warning: this is the opposite of oh, yay, the wedding is going to be so beautiful and life is great! In case that's what you're looking for here.

732? This is the number of things I am probably supposed to be doing. Some of these things I know I don't even know I'm overlooking.

The caterer, who is awesome, is going to send me a list of musts, and another list of suggestions. And a schedule, with his pieces filled in, and blanks where we need to take some action. This will help.

I love this man, and if he weren't gay, which I'm quite sure he is, and if I weren't marrying Nick, which I most definitely am, I'd probably want to marry him. He's really cute and dresses very well and has great taste and is just so incredibly organized. And soothing.

Yesterday we met with this caterer, and the music man (which of course makes me think, "With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for pool!"), who is also fantastic. And last but not least, we met with the person at the house museum. Whose main function? Seems to be to tell us that we can't do things.

I know these aren't her rules. They're the stuffy, uptight, we're a really important, uptight, historical society - and did I say uptight? - house rules.

Really, I wish they'd just provide us with a fucking list of things we are allowed to do. Because it'd be a lot fucking easier for them to compile than the extensive list of things we can't.

And the most frustrating part, the part that really would make me choose another venue if I could, is that I have to go through Nick for everything. Because he's the member. Which is a whole nother explanation.

Also, I know "whole nother" is not a written expression. Nor is it correct grammar, even spoken. You might be thinking this. But I like it. So there.

And so now for the no no no's. Or anyway, the highlights.

Red wine? No. It could stain the marble floors. Cosmos? No. Same with any other red beverage.

Pulling up to the front for people to get out? No. Even though there's a goddamn driveway? No. Not unless they're handicapped. Which our officiant is. So he's allowed to pull up. To the side entrance.

Flowers draping over the fireplace as a backdrop for our ceremony? No. Nothing on the fireplace. In fact, nothing can be set on anything. No rigging of anything.

They suggested we use the money from the fireplace flowers to have bathroom arrangements. I didn't ask if we're allowed to set anything on the bathroom sink. Nor did I ask if you're actually allowed to rest your ass on the toilet seat. Because the answer? Would probably be no.

Candles? No.

Rehearsal? Only between 4:00 and 5:00 pm on the Friday before. Which none of our people can get to. And it's just too early in terms of then heading to the rehearsal dinner, even if we start cocktails at 6:30. But the house closes at 5 pm. End of story.

And the kicker?

The room we're supposed to get ready in? You know, the one they assigned to us, when Nick called up and said we need a room? The one that ALL of my bridesmaids and I are going to spend the afternoon getting ready, hanging out, drinking champagne, taking pre-wedding pictures, and just generally getting geared up for the wedding in? That room?

Not allowed to be in until 4 pm. Why? Because it's on the goddamn fucking museum tour. The 20 people who go through this house on any given day have to be given access. Because it's on the tour.

It's so awesome that they have no remote fucking need to be accommodating. At all.

What I would really like to do, on my way out after the wedding, is this: Gather up vases of flowers, and arrange them across the fucking fireplace. And then open and drizzle an entire bottle of red wine across the marble floor. And then light candles, drip the wax on the floor to hold them, and set them in a pattern on the floor around it.

I know I should be all grateful that it's this beautiful venue, in a great location, and we are lucky to have it, and because of circumstance, it saved us a lot of money, and it makes Nick's father really happy. But I'm not, at least not today.

Fuck this historic society house museum. I hate them.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Orange, pink, and espresso! Showers! Or, the countdown! Or, all wedding stuff, all the time!

I'm going to just apologize now and say that it will probably be all wedding stuff, all the time, for the next 19 days. Just so you know.

And 19 days! Holy cow!


Marta and Tej organized a work shower for me the end of last week. I can't even tell you how happy it made me. They had pink and orange decorations, plates, and napkins, pink and orange M&Ms, pink and orange icing on the cake, and two kinds of Cheez-Its. It all rocked.

Nick was a surprise guest, which was lovely. Except that people, like our president - who is my boss - started asking him questions while he was standing in front of the crowd. I was twitching hard the whole time.

He asked Nick if he could encourage Lisa to keep working here for a long, long time. To which Nick essentially said that I have a lot of hobbies that I need to fund, so it really seems likely. I later mentioned that he might've said that he knows how much I love my job, so of course there's no question but that I'll be here for years.

Which he said never occurred to him.

So anyway.

They'd asked people not to bring gifts, and that in lieu of presents they were passing around a book (bound in orange!) for people to write words of wisdom, advice, happy thoughts.

The book is wonderful. I love it like crazy. People are still adding to it.

I did get surprise gifts, though. I've been departmentless, and this one department has adopted me. I didn't know they felt like they had, although I've been going to their staff meetings, as I don't have my own to go to. I know, sounds very sad and urchin-ish. Their Nordstrom gift card (yay - can buy spendy treats without guilt!) said, "From your adopted department."

Sooo nice!

And Jenny, lovely Jenny, my only original Quad-mate left, spearheaded a "Let's get Lisa the espresso maker she really wants!" effort. This was a huuuuge surprise.

Let me just take a moment to say that I'm a really irritating unwrapper. I peel the tape carefully, I slide off the paper, I set aside the ribbons. . .You get the picture. It makes people crazy.

I started unwrapping this gorgeously wrapped box. I carefully took off the ribbon, the tape, opened the top, and then saw what it was, and started jumping up and down and got all in a no way! you are kidding me! paper off off off! kind of frenzy.

If you can imagine me all jumpy up and downy in a hug and happiness frenzy. I bet you can.

Nick doesn't drink coffee, so this present is all. About. Me.

However, he has this engineering side that makes him really good at making and fixing things. And so Saturday he got all kinds of into the technicalities of the machine. He read the entire manual. And then explained it to me bit by bit.

My patience for these things is rather thin. I prefer to just rush in, with no idea what I'm actually doing.

In other words, I'm the opposite of Nick.

"That's too much coffee, Lis. It'll pour over the top. You tamp it down with this thing. No, wait, don't push that button until the orange light goes off. And remember. . ."

I can't even tell you how many little cups of coffee we made. Too much coffee? Too little? Too tamped? Not tamped enough? What if we use the two-cup thingy? Does milk froth better if you put less in there?

And I drank every last one. Wouldn't you?

So I was maybe bouncing off the walls for a bit Saturday.

Which was an incredible day, even though the weather sucked, because it was my closest girlfriend not-shower shower! Marta also organized this, with DC friends and my bridesmaids, minus California Jane (LA - very far) and Jen (Macedonia - veryvery far).

But that's another (weddingy!) post.

Best best weekend. Seriously.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hypothetically speaking. Of course.

Lets say you have a fiancé named, oh, Nick. For example.

Let's also imagine that this hypothetical fiancé has a father who used to travel a lot for work. And in the 1970s, he went to India. Where he was given a bolt of paisley cloth, spun with actual gold thread.

Please remember the actual gold thread. Because it is used as a selling point.

As in, "But Lis! It's made with actual gold thread!"

But back to the matter at hypothetical hand.

Say this father took the cloth to a tailor, and had it made into a dinner jacket. Which then hung in his closet for 30-some years. Until his son announced he was getting married.

Try to imagine that at this point, aforementioned father decided to pull out the jacket and offer it to son Nick. And then imagine that Nick being delighted by the proffering of the jacket. He might even promptly run it over to a tailor to have it altered to fit him.

And then one day you might learn, in this hypothetical situation I'm spinning for you, that he would like to wear it.

For. Your. Wedding.

Feel free to click on the picture for a very large version. And bear in mind that this fiancé you're hypotheticizing? Is ginormous, with big, broad shoulders.

And so this shiny gold jacket? Could be larger than your average 10-year old. The overall effect might be a little like King Midas's vault. On legs.

If this were actually the case in your life, would you lose your shit?

Hypothetically speaking. Of course.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I have always envied people with nicknames. Being named Lisa means you don't really tend to have your name shortened to much of anything.

I'd say the best thing about my name is that no matter where I've been, people have been able to say my name. Consonant vowel consonant vowel. No consonant clusters or dipthongs or anything of the sort.

I always wanted to have a nickname growing up.

Sometimes people will play on my name. Not many, but close people.

Maude's mom, who is southern, will occasionally call me "Lisa pisa puddin' pie" - which always makes me smile. Avery's mom calla me "Lisie." I like this. And California Jane will call me "Poo-Poo." It's just a term of endearment in their family, in the same way my family uses "Pumpkin."

You don't really think about these things and how they sound. Until your fiance opens a response card over the phone.

"Hey, we got one that says accepts with great delight. And can't wait for the big day. . .Poo?. . .Poo? What? Poo? What is this?"

"Jane! That's my Jane!"

"Poo!? What about the poo?"

"That's just what she calls me."

"What's with your people?"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Nature or nurture? As if it's a choice.

"Straight," I announced this morning, "I have learned that straight is not a choice."

Which led Nick to ask if I'd experimented in college. To which I can only say that much like my wishing that I'd slept with more people in my 20s, I sure should have.

But really, the issue at hand is wedding hair. And yesterday's experimentation.
I'm not exactly sure what I think. I quite like the back - I think it's cool. And I like that it's retro.
But the front, I don't like very much. Although I think it's because she really struggled with it, and just had to use so much product. So much that it lost all it's shine. And got kind of, well, crunchy.
It turns out my very straight hair does not want to curl. She sprayed it, she curled it with a curling iron and pinned it into curls, then sprayed them again, then put me under the dryer. And when she pulled the pins out? Stick straight.

And so she curled it with a curling iron. And put more stuff on it. And still the front did not want to cooperate. She's going to try something else later this week.

Back at the office, Tej, and Jenny, and a few other people weighed in. They mostly liked it, except for the front.

Nick, when I saw him in the evening, very diplomatically said it's the least favorite hairstyle he's ever seen on me. What his face said was: I hate it.

Nick likes my hair straight, and my hair likes to be straight, and I am wondering if fighting nature is just an exercise in futility?

Maybe I should just keep it straight and pulled back? Maybe have the front straight and some curls in the back? Or flowers in the back, but really just pulled into a very low, tight ponytail?

I'm in a quandary. A need-to-be-decided-quickly quandary.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stretched beyond my organizational capacity and using too many exclamation points

I'm sorry, I've got nothin'. Because I just can't think.

Every time I try to think, like, about stuff I actually have to do with my job, for example, the phone rings. Or I get an email. About wedding things.

As it's the month of our nuptials, I want to focus on nice things. And write a post on how we met and how great Nick is and nice ooey gooey stuff like that.

But the truth is, I'm 37 kinds of completely wound up.

There are too many questions and deadlines and decisions. Questions! How many? What kind? Who? Where? And! What else are we going to have for dessert now that there's just not room for a chocolate fountain at the rehearsal dinner?

Questions!? To be answered!

Stressed! So not fun lately! I mean, me.

My patience is so thin it's transparent. And sometimes, it's like I'm looking down at myself while I'm talking. And I want to reach out and cover my other me's mouth and be all, "Stop it!" And I just can't.


On the up-side, I'm nipping out in five minutes for my practice wedding hair appointment.

Fingers crossed!


Monday, September 01, 2008

Sneaks or tennies?

I was just thinking about how today is Labor Day.

Which made me think several things. One: Oh, fuck, it's fall. (Which is something I've been thinking for a while now, with the shifting of the light.) Also: Holy crap, it's September! Four weeks till the wedding! And then: Man do I have a terrible mouth. And last but not least: no white after Labor Day.

Then I thought, no white what? Is it no white clothing at all? Or just no white shoes?

Which then got me to thinking, I don't have any white shoes anyway, unless you count my tennies.

This further led to trying to remember if we called them "sneaks" or "tennies" when we were growing up. I called Betty.

Tennies. Definitely tennies.

Even though his mother is British and would call them "trainers," Nick grew up calling them "sneakers." But not "sneaks."

And now I am wondering if the English ever abbreviate them to "trainies?" Or is this kind of thing limited to my dorky family?


Whatever you call them, and no matter what color they are, I hope you're having a great Labor Day. And if it's not Labor Day for you, I hope it's a happy Monday.